"We are seeking not only better ways of operating but also entirely new forms of cooperation with our strategic higher education partner Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin," says Riitta Konkola, Metropolia's Managing Director and President.
It all started some 12 years ago as a joint degree programme in Construction and Real Estate Management, and cooperation within the Conservation degree programme.
This partnership was taken to a strategic level in 2011.
Existing connections were boosted and cooperation was expanded and deepened following a visit of 22 Metropolia representatives to HTW Berlin in October 2012. During this visit, the following aspects of the respective higher education institutions were compared:
o lecturers' salary systems
o quality assurance
o teaching quality and student feedback
o reputation in working life and the media.
This benchmarking seminar was partly financed by the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council, represented during the visit by Chief Planning Officer Karl Holm.
"I am impressed by how far the benchmarking project has progressed. They have managed to get down to brass tacks and come up with some real answers. This work seminar has created a lot of genuine and good cooperation. This has taken place between rectors, degree programmes and within projects. I am also impressed by the content provided by Metropolia," says Karl Holm.
Matthias Knaut, Vice-President for Research at HTW Berlin, is enthusiastic about the potential offered by cooperation with Metropolia, and committed to implement plans to make it work.
"If we are strong and work well together, we can be open to others," says Mr Knaut, indicating that higher education institutions can play an important role as European innovators.
Metropolia and HTW Berlin agreed on the following steps they will take together:
- to increase student, lecturer and personnel exchange
- to start joint summer courses and dual and joint degrees
- to promote solutions that facilitate online learning and learning while working
- to prepare joint project studies and RDI projects to support innovation at European level
- to create international projects and learning networks
- to boost international cooperation with the Baltic, North African and emerging BRIC countries.
- to attract foreign students and promote the development of universities of applied sciences in other countries
- to continue to benchmark higher education institutions and to develop peer evaluation.
New areas of assessment and comparison include student services and the cross assessment of certain degree programmes. Another objective is to study the practices of multidisciplinary stakeholder cooperation.
The project's results will be reported to the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council and will be freely available at the end of 2012.
Managing Director, Rector, Riitta Konkola, firstname.lastname metropolia fi