Following our true north: EAIE Helsinki 2019

Following our true north: EAIE Helsinki 2019 Helsinki 2019

From Dublin to Seville, from Nantes to Istanbul – over the past 30 years the Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition has journeyed throughout Europe inspiring and connecting higher education professionals and strengthening the internationalisation community. In 2019 we’re headed northward to a city that is leading the way in providing high-quality, technologically enhanced and inclusive education.

Join us for the 2019 EAIE Conference and Exhibition in our host city of Helsinki, Finland! Revealed in 2017 to have the 8th highest quality of life in the world, Helsinki is a vibrant port town on the Baltic Sea with a rich history of Swedish and Russian cultural influence. Home to 315 islands, plenty of shoreline and just over 600,000 residents, Europe’s second most-northern capital city (after Reykjavik) is picturesque, with the laid-back energy of a holiday resort.

In a nation of inclusivity, a city leading by example

According to the World Happiness Report 2018, Finland is the happiest nation on earth and is also home to the happiest immigrant population, in large part due to the government’s commitment to inclusivity in social policy-making and to education in particular. In fact, the cornerstone of the Finnish education system is equality of access to high-quality, lifelong learning – irrespective of ethnicity, language, wealth, ability, gender identity or sexual orientation.

By any measure, Helsinki is a frontrunner in inclusive education. The city has created a truly dynamic learning environment through partnerships with private and third-sector actors; vocational learning programmes geared toward labour-market needs; ground-breaking advancements in the use of digital technology to enhance learning; and an embrace of competence-based qualifications. And at a time when immigrants from the Global South, and refugees in particular, struggle to find a place in European education systems, Helsinki is leading the way with a development plan to enhance the skills, education and training of immigrants as well as local-language acquisition for refugees.

Encompassing all voices

It’s no wonder we’ve chosen Helsinki as the next host city for the 31st Annual EAIE Conference and Exhibition. We are delighted to work with our local supporting partners: Universities Finland (UNIFI), The Rectors Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (Arene) and the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK). Our theme of ‘Encompassing all voices’ is perfectly encapsulated in Finland’s approach to education for all.

Encompassing all voices in higher education is all about including those who might otherwise be marginalised, providing equal access to high-quality learning, and seeking out and incorporating divergent viewpoints into policy and practice. The way we see it, these are the guideposts and our true north for working in international higher education today.