Finnish know-how to accelerate the fourth industrial revolution in South Africa
The aim is to build new digital competence in areas such as 5G, robotics and AI.
Education export company EduExcellence launched expert cooperation in South Africa in autumn 2020. Its aim is to build new digital competence in areas such as 5G, robotics and artificial intelligence and to create new openings for education, entrepreneurship and business.
In 2020, EduExcellence an education export company created jointly by 3AMK, a strategic alliance of the three biggest Universities of Applied Sciences in Helsinki metropolitan area, Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia, launched cooperation in South Africa. The Forge Academy, supported by Nokia's South African operations, is a partner in this work.
The aim is to strengthen the development of digital competence and support the construction of new innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems.
“The big picture is all about the acceleration of the fourth industrial revolution. How we can help in the utilisation of new technology, such as 5G networks, robotics, IoT and artificial intelligence, and thus support South Africa’s transformation so they get up to speed in digitalisation,” explains Senior Lecturer Asko Mononen from Laurea, who is taking part in the cooperation project.
The first phase of cooperation included establishing the Skills Development Center, where students, especially impoverished students, will be able to gain access to education. EduExcellence experts have been involved in the development of aspects such as curricula, while South Africans have been responsible for teaching.
“During the second phase of cooperation, new solutions can be innovated and piloted using the 5G network implemented by Nokia,” Mononen explains.
“And after this, incubator activities will be developed in the third phase, meaning business partners who wish to develop products around new technology will be invited to take part. This will hopefully create commercial solutions and jobs.”
Asko Mononen sees many opportunities in the EduExcellence expert cooperation, both for South Africa and more extensively for the African continent. Finnish professional higher education has a great deal to offer:
“We plan to expand our activities in the direction of digital learning and various lab environments. Instead of just individual courses, we can offer much more from the vantage point of Finland’s model for universities of applied sciences, development pedagogy and corporate cooperation” he says.