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International Advisory Board offers new recommendations for RDI activities

Laurea’s International Advisory Board convened in Finland in late August.

Laurea International Advisory Board (IAB) is a group of ten international experts in higher education. IAB provides support for Laurea’s strategic development. The group regularly meets with Laurea’s management, most recently on 27–29 August in Finland. IAB’s latest member, Vuyisile Phehane from the University of Johannesburg, participated for the first time.

RDI: Interaction and impact

This time, IAB’s primary focus was on developing Laurea’s research, development and innovation activities, especially with an eye on raising the social impact of activities. The group learned about Laurea’s RDI activities through five strategic research programmes, introduced by Laurea’s RDI experts.

To get a better idea of Laurea’s co-operation with the surrounding society, the Board members visited the Kalasatama Health and Well-Being Centre in Helsinki, which has served as a live testing lab in several projects. The group was guided around Kalasatama by Lars Rosengren, Medical Director.

The second session on Tuesday focused on teaching, especially on the development of Laurea’s LbD model. The integration of teaching and RDI was presented by three Master’s students, who also facilitated the workshop jointly with the IAB members.

Ideas from abroad

Laurea’s first IAB began operating back in 2009, and the present advisory board is the third one. Professor Marion Bogo from the University of Toronto, Canada, has participated in the IAB for the past five years. What she values in IAB’s operations is the exchange of ideas between Laurea and education experts from different parts of the world.

- Finland is one of the world’s top countries in the field of education, and it is very interesting to learn more about your innovative methods on site, says Professor Bogo.

Marion Bogo works at the Faculty of Social Work of the University of Toronto. In her research, she especially focuses on care practices, field placement and simulation.

- Here at Laurea, I’ve found it very stimulating to learn about your success in using results from your research into innovative practices and also products that are suitable for commercialisation, she says.

Bogo believes that Laurea could benefit from more systematic procedures to support the professional development of staff, such as those employed by her own university and universities in North America.

- The staff is the heart of a higher education institution, she emphasises.
- That is why we put great weight on ensuring that each faculty and staff member has a designated mentor. We help all members to develop their research and teaching competence, support and monitor their professional development.