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International Benchmarking in the Improvement of Students’ Practice among Three Universities
EDITED BY Jukka Aho, Anna-Riitta Mikkonen, Riitta Paasivuori, Maritta Pitkänen, Hilkka Tapola, Tiia Toivanen and Ritva Väistö
In accordance with the educational task of the Universities of Applied Sciences, a study-related practice has been incorporated into the curricula. Practice is a central part of a student’s study path and preparation for working life. Its content is increasingly designed to meet the needs of working life. This is apparent in the working life representatives’ increased interest in the students’ practice, the related objectives and the learning activities completed during the practice. Students’ practice and related processes are designed and evaluated in increasingly close collaboration with students, teachers and working life representatives.
At Savonia University of Applied Sciences (Savonia), the international development work related to the practice commenced as part of the strategic guidelines for internationalisation in 2010. This work was continued in collaboration with North Karelia University of Applied Sciences (NKUAS) in 2011 and 2012. Practice-related development work inspired the three institutions: Liverpool John Moores University, North Karelia University of Applied Sciences and Savonia University of Applied Sciences to conduct a joint benchmarking exercise. Benchmarking was focused on the practice of the students in the Degree Programme in Nursing. Collaboration carried out through benchmarking demonstrated how important it is to place a proper emphasis on development work if development efforts are expected to generate the expected results. Moreover, benchmarking further enhanced the mutual collaboration between the institutions. We got to know each other better and to better understand each other’s operating practices and their differences. Benchmarking was particularly significant for future collaboration. Mutual transparency, trust and familiarity added new collaboration paths to the partnership collaboration.
We hope that this publication will be useful as a handbook or guide when developing practice in international collaboration. We thank the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council (FINHEEC) for the financial support.
ISBN: 978-952-203-160-0 (NID.)
ISBN: 978-952-203-161-7 (HTML)