Studying Education in Finland

As an educator, the Education and Globalisation programme at the University of Oulu has expanded my assumptions and ideas and inspired me to look at education differently.

My choice - University of Oulu

As you may know, Finland has received worldwide recognition for having an excellent education system. Known for its emphasis on personalised learning, critical thinking, and lack of strict evaluation methods, it seems like an ideal setting to pursue higher education studies.

In my case, having pursued a bachelor's degree in Education Studies, I wanted to continue expanding my knowledge on global education, education policy, and international development. The master's programme in Education and Globalisation (EdGlo) seemed like the perfect fit for me, and I was excited to experience the Finnish education system as an education student.

The Education and Globalisation master programme at the University of Oulu focuses on international education, interculturalism, and globalisation and how they relate and affect education systems and policies.

Accordingly, the master's programme has courses in both education and social sciences fields, which is helpful for all students, as we all come from vastly different settings.

This photo was taken at the Oulu City Library, one of my favourite study spots. Doing schoolwork is always better with a beautiful view!

A unique outlook on education and learning

The most surprising aspect of my studies has been the firsthand experience of the Finnish education system. There is a strong emphasis on critical thinking, directing your own learning, and interaction with others.

The courses are organised in such a way that there are many opportunities to learn and pursue your own interests.

For instance, group projects, essays, and learning diaries allow students to be in control of their learning process and continue expanding their knowledge on the topics they are more drawn to.

Similarly, I have also been pleasantly surprised by how discussions, debates, and cooperation between students are encouraged. During my bachelor's, most of my learning came from teacher-centred lectures, while at the University of Oulu, I have found that most of my learnings come from interacting with my classmates.

This photo was taken during one of our courses, which took place in the Botanical Garden of the University of Oulu.

Thankfully, EdGlo is an international master's programme, and all my peers come from a wide range of countries and backgrounds. This allows us to have meaningful conversations and learn from each other, which without a doubt, has been the most enriching part of my studies thus far.

In addition, my courses leave a lot of room for self-reflective and introspective learning. This is done by having meaningful lessons where we are encouraged to dive deep into our own beliefs and assumptions, and later on, reflect on them on our own or with our classmates. For instance, for the course Language, Education, Society we often have lessons outside, where we take advantage of the university's surroundings and walk around the lakes and forests while doing our lesson.

This approach has been refreshing and rewarding alike, as it has provided me with meaningful insights into how diverse education and learning could be. At the same time, as an educator, it has inspired me to look at education differently and expand my assumptions and ideas of how education should look like. :)

About the author

Núria Torras from Spain is currently studying Education and Globalisation at the University of Oulu. Her hobbies include travelling, reading, nature, and running. Before coming to Oulu, she loved the warm weather, but after being in Finland, she started to appreciate (and even enjoy) the cold weather and the beautiful scenery it brings on.