Prof Stanley Mukhola, TUT’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Teaching, Learning and Technology, signed the agreement on behalf of TUT together with Hannele Mennala, Head of the StartUp School from Haaga-Helia University UAS.
The signing took place on 15 March, during a visit of Business Finland delegation led by Minister of Foreign Trade and Development, Anne-Mari Virolainen. “This co-operation is a first-rate example of how Finnish educational expertise can be a driver for the required positive change in societies. I am pleased to notice how these types of larger education export initiatives that are now happening, combine the key strengths of Finland, those of education and innovation,” said Minister Virolainen.
A Center for Entrepreneurial Development will be created at TUT. The Centre will utilise best practices from Haaga-Helia UAS and its StartUp School incubator. The first modules of the co-operation will start in June 2018, both in Finland and in South Africa.
Founded in 2012, the StartUp School helps Haaga-Helia UAS students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and start their own businesses.
Haaga-Helia UAS will support TUT in developing a new entrepreneurial study programme. The programme is expected to launch in 2020. Other areas of co-operation will include lean startup expertise, coaching skills training, programmes for collaboration between companies and the university as well as Research and Development projects.
“Our co-operation with Haaga-Helia is significant because it is targeted at empowering our students to start new businesses. In this way they can become employers in South Africa who in turn can assist in eradicating the high unemployment rates in the country,” said Prof Mukhola.
“We are extremely excited about the agreement, since it provides a new opening for education export in Finland and our joint co-operation with TUT. South Africa is highly appreciative of our StartUp School’s innovative way of operating and the pedagogical knowhow in Finland,” said Mennala. “As working life is changing fast, an entrepreneurial mindset is a great asset to accelerate future growth in any work role,” Mennala concludes.
The two institutions share a number of similarities. TUT is the biggest contact university of technology in Southern Africa, with over 60 000 students in seven faculties across seven campuses. Haaga-Helia UAS is the largest business educator in Northern Europe with a strong focus on entrepreneurship and co-operation with local industries. At TUT there is also a strong focus on entrepreneurship in many of its courses.