International cooperation provides new opportunities to physiotherapy students
English-language Degree Programme in Physiotherapy at SAMK is a desired partner in international cooperation. There are several examples of this cooperation, e.g. at the moment one student is conducting her thesis together with a student from a Swiss higher education institution.
“The Degree Programme in Physiotherapy in English was started already in 1994. Therefore, there are no mental obstacles for international cooperation any more. We have learnt to trust our competence and we know that we have a lot to give”, Senior Lecturer Maija Kangasperko explains.
Cooperation with Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften (ZHAW) started in a meeting of the European Network of Physiotherapy in Higher Education (ENPHE). Maija Kangasperko is a country coordinator in this network.
“Cooperation is possible because both parties are flexible and the processes in each institution resemble each other”, Kangasperko says.
A student from Zurich came to SAMK as an exchange student in autumn 2015, and the thesis cooperation was started towards the end of the exchange period. The Finnish students were asked, if anybody was willing to participate in this kind of cooperation. “Eight people volunteered and the student was able to choose her partner. In a long-term project like this it is important that there is personal chemistry between the people”, Kangasperko explains.
Practicalities in the thesis work
Kangasperko, a teacher from ZHAW and the students had a couple of Skype meetings, where they demarcated the topic of the thesis, appointed supervisors for the thesis, discussed methods and divided the tasks.
There have been several supervision sessions online and supervision has progressed smoothly. It is important to have two students who want to work on their own. The thesis work will be completed in the summer. The students have not only been working on their thesis but they have also completed other studies. (Read about Sara Salerto’s physiotherapy practice in Norway.)
“I like cooperation with higher education institutions from abroad. It is fun”, Kangasperko says. “Things work, when institutions want to make them work and are flexible. Of course, the students have to be willing, too. New things require flexibility and novel solutions from them, too”.