Software production education export launched in China – collaborative research is being planned

A joint Bachelor’s Degree Programme in software production has been launched by the University of Oulu and the Nanjing Institute of Technology. In September, the universities signed a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research. Professor Markku Oivo is satisfied with the project’s progress: “We have been working hard and are forging ahead with a positive mindset.”

Collaboration deepens with the Nanjing Institute of Technology. During his trip to China in September, Rector Jouko Niinimäki signed a memorandum of understanding for collaborative research. Nanjing has invested in the future: there is a new research, education and conference centre serving students, researchers and visitors.

“We are currently applying for funding for a joint project. Now we need research groups and people who will take matters forward in a concrete fashion”, says Professor Markku Oivo.



This autumn, 93 Chinese students started the Bachelor’s programme in software production, jointly organised by the University of Oulu and the Nanjing Institute of Technology. Besides collaborative research, a total of four Bachelor’s programmes are being planned. Markku Oivo and Jouni Markkula gave the first lectures personally.

“The course is completely new, so it was difficult to estimate in advance how much student interest it would generate”, says Oivo. 

He is happy with the level of the applicants: the Chinese education system rates students based on different levels, and all applicants approved for the course are rated at the highest level.

The University of Oulu organises approximately half of the courses included in the NJIT’s software production curriculum. The studies meet the requirements of both universities. Teachers at the University of Oulu visit Nanjing for intensive two-week training periods. They have peer teachers in China who will visit the University of Oulu before the courses start. The teachers from Nanjing organise the training and practical matters.



Besides software production experts, English teachers from the University of Oulu will also travel to China. Oivo sees education export as an opportunity to develop teaching.


“In terms of digitalisation and remote teaching, both universities must invest in the quality of teaching. We have not been involved in such an extensive education export project previously, so linguistic and cultural challenges may occur.”


According to Oivo, collaboration with NJIT has proceeded very smoothly. Everything has been organised well and in good spirits, although practical matters have caused a lot of work.


“Our long-term plan is to acquire high-level Master’s degree students and provide more opportunities for researcher and student exchange. One possibility is to carry out collaborative research with companies. We have paved the way now.”


The Delegation of the Rector of the Nanjing Institute of Technology will visit the University of Oulu in October.


Pictures: Delegation of the University of Oulu visited China on September.


Read more: University of Oulu to export a Bachelor's Programme in Software Engineering to China


Last updated: 2.10.2018