The University of Jyväskylä (JYU) has become the first Virtual Institute university member from Finland today, expanding Vi membership to 53 countries worldwide.
The contacts with potential members in Finland, the Vi's long-standing donor, were facilitated by Kent Wilska, Commercial Counsellor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, who brought the Vi to the attention of the Finnish University Partnership for International Development (UniPID) in November 2012. The University of Jyväskylä, which is acting as a coordinator of the 10 universities associated in UniPID, decided to join the Vi in October 2014.
JYU is a multidisciplinary research university providing top-level human sciences education to students of more than 100 different nationalities. The Vi will cooperate in particular with the Jyväskylä School of Business and Economics (JSBE) and the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy (DSSP) of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
JSBE offers a full range of Bachelor's, Master's and PhD programmes, several of which - such as the Master's in International Business and Entrepreneurship - are taught in English. Thanks to its specialized expertise in environmental and social issues connected to business, it was the first business school in Scandinavia to offer English-language Master's and PhD programmes in Corporate Environmental Management. Research at JSBE focuses on policy-relevant and managerial-relevant issues relating to Corporate Environmental Management, International Macro and Finance, and Entrepreneurship and International Business.
Among the disciplines taught at the DSSP are political science, public policy, and gender studies. The Department offers international Master's programmes in Development and International Cooperation, and in Cultural Policy, and an interdisciplinary module titled “Living with Globalization.” It also hosts the coordinating unit of the UniPID network. DSSP's research areas include sustainability and social transformation, and transformation of welfare policies and practices.
The cooperation between JYU and the Vi will be coordinated by Melissa Plath, holder of a Master's degree in Development and International Cooperation and coordinator of UniPID's Virtual Studies in Sustainable Development. JSBE Dean, Hanna-Leena Pesonen, specialized in environmental management, also agreed to bring her support to the cooperation with the Vi.
JYU's contribution to the Vi will initially take place through UniPID, particularly its Virtual Studies. Further contributions may be offered based on the needs and interests of Vi members. The University expects that Vi membership will support its ongoing cooperation and development research activities, and that it will link UniPID member universities to universities around the world engaged in research and education on similar topics.
For more information visit the university's profile on the Vi website.