Collaboration with The Dominican Republic Continues – Photo Gallery of the Study Visit in Finland


Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) continues the transnational programme of educational leadership together with Instituto Nacional de Formación Técnico Profesional (INFOTEP) from The Dominican Republic. The one-year programme with 60 participants aims to further develop pedagogical experts’ competence in vocational education reform, management and pedagogy. In last April, 17 team leaders made an educational excursion to Finland.

The goal of the Finnish study week was to deepen and further develop the participants’ regional development projects and share practices, ideas and future plans with Finnish specialists of vocational education. The visit included observations and dialoguing in several educational institutions: Perho Culinary, Tourism and Business College (Helsinki), Salpaus Further Education (Lahti), Tavastia Vocational College (Hämeenlinna), HAMK and Häme Vocational Institute. The visitors were also invited to National Agency of Education, Finland.

The special topics of interest were the national reform of Finnish vocational education, building individualized study paths and collaboration with working life partners. Also student motivation and counseling, prevention of social exclusion as well as pedagogically meaningful digital learning raised many questions and lively discussions.

Training programme continues in regional development projects in The Dominican Republic and in online, and the next face-to-face period, and the closing seminar of the programme, is in Santo Domingo in November 2019.

Group photo of the programme partners and participants at the end of the study week. The closing day ceremonies were honored by the presence and congratulations of Mr. Valentín Ciriaco Vargas (on the right) from the Stockholm-based Embassy of Dominican Republic. Mrs. Maura Corporan, the manager of the coordination team, in the middle of the row holding the latest Global Education -publication. Director of HAMK Global Education Maaret Viskari on the left.
Visit at the National Agency of Education, Finland. Education counselor Hanna Autere introduces the national reform of vocational education in Finland. Guide Leticia Tinajero translates in Spanish.
Visit in Perho Culinary, Tourism and Business College in Helsinki included observation of learning environments and on the job training guidance in hotel and restaurant careers. Head of the studies Marja Hemmi presents the sustainable development goals and their implementation in Perho.
Petri Vainio, teacher and expert in cooking, demonstrates learning by doing, peer support and skills development at Perho.
View to the sea at Helsinki. The first flowers, and the cold spring term of Finland, were under Dominican observation as well.
The programme participants dialogued profoundly about their remarks and further questions in learning groups. One of the interests of this group is how to implement digital tools in individualizing students’ study paths?
The day at Salpaus Further Education in Lahti included a visit to the brand new technology campus, and learning experiences about competence demonstrations in technical career and tourism.
Students from Salpaus introduced their learning environments, studies and future career plans fluently in English to the visitors. Guide Leticia Tinajero translates from English to Spanish.
Teacher Craig Donald presents learning environments of Salpaus to the visitors.
Programme participants enjoyed student-made, and served, lunch at Salpaus. Students were assessed to be very competent and polite.
Familiarizing with Finnish sports and culture at Salpaus together with tourism and marketing students.
Besides active studying, the Dominican visitors enjoyed fresh outdoors and Nordic walking, with poles, in Petäys, Häme. Vanajavesi-lake was still covered by ice.
Häme Vocational Institute offers horticulture, landscaping, wine, golf and garden training at medieval Lepaa Campus. Here picking ideas from the food production.
Learning about the flexible curriculum and the food production chain in the authentic learning environment at Lepaa.
Reflections in a learning group: how to support teachers’ and students autonomy and ownership in education?
Senior Lecturer Simo Uusinoka (on the left) from HAMK Teacher Education and Mr. Alexis de la Rosa discussing about recognizing students’ individual study needs and developing digital skills.
Awarded teacher Jari Välkkynen from Tavastia Vocational College demonstrates skills development in supportive group of peers. Socially safe learning atmosphere boosts student motivation and decreases drop-out rates. Team spirit is important!
Student Hechavarria Wilson Alcides (on the left) from Tavastia Vocational College introduces his studies and Finnish educational system to the visitors in his mother tongue, Spanish.
Mrs Ramona Mejía Calderón tested surface finishing methods and observed methods of learning by doing at Tavastia.
Reflections on building flexible study paths and organizing competence demonstrations in authentic learning environments. (The chilly and wet spring term of Finland became quite concrete to the visitors.)


Learning about shoe making at HAMK School of Design.
Reflections and deepening the regional development in the guidance of programme partners Nana Niskanen (on the left) and Pirjo Tuominen, HAMK.
Dialogue on guidance and assessment of project-based learning. What kind of skills vocational teachers need in conducting successful learning projects?
Bench-marking educational reforms of Federal Institutes, Brazil. Mrs. Marize Passos introduces the results of Finnish-Brazilian teacher education programmes to the visitors. The localization of innovations generated in transnational programs raised many questions.
Plans for the next steps with programme partners Essi Ryymin and Nana Niskanen from HAMK.
Mrs. Maura Corporan sharing her conclusions and thanks for active Finnish-Dominican collaboration in education.
Closing the study visit with programme partners and participants.
Devoted developers of education of The Dominican Republic.
Reflections and hard work continue in online.

Photos: Aiyun Yang, HAMK Global Education

Essi Ryymin, Research Manager & Principal Lecturer
Global Education, Häme University of Applied Sciences

Further reading:

The Dominican Republic and Finland: New Training Programme for Educational Developers. [Blog post]. Retrieved from:

Dialogue, Data, Design – How Global Education Research and Development Drives Educational Innovations. HAMK Unlimited Journal 19.11.2018.

Global Teachers Change Paradigms – Practical Paths to New Learning. Häme University of Applied Sciences. Hämeen kirjapaino oy: Tampere.


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