Laurea and the Japanese Tohoku Fukushi University have collaborated in researching the development of services and structures for older people.
For 10 years, Laurea University of Applied Sciences and the Japanese Tohoku Fukushi University (TFU) have collaborated in researching the development of services and structures for older people. In honour of the jubilee year a jubilee seminar was organised at Laurea's campus in Tikkurila on Friday 28th November, where the results of the collaboration were presented and future projects were discussed As well as representatives from TFU and Laurea, the Japanese Ambassador to Finland Kenji Shinoda also took part in the jubilee seminar.
The Finnish-Japanese collaboration originally started in a network which included Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki School of Economics, as well as the City of Espoo and the City of Vantaa. In May 2013, Laurea and TFU entered into a new, bilateral cooperation agreement.
The focus of the cooperation between Laurea and TFU has mainly been on services for older people. An ageing population is a challenge which unites Japan and Finland. Currently one third of the Japanese population is over 60. A difference between the two countries is that in Japan, the private sector is responsible for providing elderly care, and during the collaboration the Japanese have been interested in the cooperation between the public and the private sector in Finland.
The results of the RDI activities of the Finnish-Japanese network on services for older people have been presented in yearly seminars and joint publications. As a result of the collaboration, Laurea has brought the Japanese concept of clinical art to Finland and developed it from being used in work with older people to also being used in, for example, work with the disabled, child protection and mental health work. The City of Espoo and the City of Vantaa have been closely involved in the collaboration, and the network has, among other things, started a joint project for its Finnish participants on bringing change into elderly care. As a result of the collaboration, the student, teacher and researcher exchange between Finland and Japan has also been active.
The jubilee seminar also built a basis for future collaboration between Laurea and TFU. In the future the aim is to increase the cooperation further, particularly in regards to education and research.
Tohoku Fukushi University, which is located in Sendai in north-east Japan, is a vocationally oriented university with a particular focus on welfare. In Sendai, you can also find Finpro and the Finnish Wellbeing Center, which is a centre for wellbeing administered by the Sendai region that markets Finnish elderly and wellbeing services. The Wellbeing Center in Sendai has played an important role in the work of the Finnish-Japanese cooperation network.