SAMK responds to the labour shortage – a tremendous number of international professionals entering the workforce

SAMK has systematically increased the number of international degrees since 2017. Currently, there are students of 76 different nationalities.

Ryhmä kansainvälisiä opiskelijoita tutustuu teollisuusyritykseen.

The students of international degree programmes at SAMK visited the companies and business life in Huittinen.

– We are probably the most international organisation in Satakunta in the sense that we bring a tremendous number of international, skilled people here, says Ari-Pekka Kainu, Head of International Relations.

The strategic goals of SAMK are, among other things, that more than 20% of the student intake is to international degree programmes, and that the volume of education export is more than half a million euros. Education export also includes the students who pay tuition fees in Finland.

An education export team was set up at SAMK a few years ago to meet, among other things, the strategic objectives.

The target for the number of international students was exceeded

– Initially, the main focus of the education export team was to think about English-language degree programmes and how to attract international students to SAMK.

The team set a target of 500 international degree students by 2024. The target was exceeded by a wide margin already in 2022 when 650 international students started in the different degree programmes at SAMK.

– We are also actively involved in national and international development groups, where we have had a good discussion on the student career trajectory, says Kainu.

SAMK also receives some students who already have a bachelor’s degree from their home country but want to come to Finland to upgrade their qualifications to European ones. A large proportion of students would like to stay in Finland after graduation.

– Some of them also have a family with them, which is, of course, also a sign of interest in staying, says Kainu.

International professionals open up a whole new world of opportunities for businesses

The services of the society have been developed from the perspective of labour immigration, but the situation is not yet so good for education-based migration.

– We have had many discussions with different parties at national and international levels to make our services more international, Kainu says.

At the moment, the biggest pressures are related to the graduation moment of the students.

– It is vital to get students into practice placements, to get to know the world of work and later into jobs. The next step is to start monitoring employment.

Kainu points out that in the near future, there will be such a labour shortage in Finland that international professionals will be needed.

– International professionals open up completely new opportunities for businesses also outside Satakunta and Finland, he says.

Maapallon kartta sinisellä pohjalla.

Number one in internationality in the AVOP survey

SAMK achieved first place in the AVOP survey in the theme Internationality, multiculturalism and language studies. Students were asked about their opinions related to, for example, SAMK contributions to their ability to work in a multicultural environment, language studies, tuition given in foreign languages and practical training abroad. AVOP is a national questionnaire of universities of applied sciences, which is answered by students in the final year of their studies.

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