A brief background to Työväen Akatemia in English
Työväen Akatemia is based within its own private grounds which includes a nationally recognized arboretum. As a Folk High School the concept of the college is to build a community to help foster informal as well as formal learning. To this end accommodation is provided for the many of the students on site, plus a hotel complex for visiting guests, both national and international. This enables students to meet and talk to a wide variety of academics and guest speakers outside of the traditional classroom environment, as well as to work with other groups who come to the college on a regular basis. The classrooms have up-to-date multi-media facilities with designated computer classrooms and a language laboratory plus a library with over 30,000 volumes on the open shelves and in the stack. In addition, the library can quickly access the interlibrary exchange system that functions in Finland between all libraries, whether academic or local municipal.
Työväen Akatemia runs many Open University courses for the students from Helsinki University, Jyväskylä University, Turku University and the Aalto University of Helsinki. Many of these courses are taught by the universities own teachers, but all of Työväen Akatemia’s teachers are licensed to teach various subjects by the universities. The universities also run training courses and educational seminars on their subjects throughout the academic year which the Akatemia’s teachers have the right to attend. This maintains the teaching levels and knowledge of contemporary materials of all the teaching staff. Työväen Akatemia, through UAS Humak and the Finnish open universities system, has a excellent network within the higher educational field of Finland. On top of this it has a good working relationship with other Folk High Schools in Finland as well as abroad. Due to its historical background it is also heavily involved with the Workers’ Educational Association in Finland and other countries. The Akatemia has worked for many years to develop and maintain contacts with colleges abroad both in the EU and outside. To this end we have worked with, and continue to work with universities and colleges in Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Sweden and Turkey.
Työväen Akatemia has for many years worked to create an international atmosphere within the college and has regularly been involved in European Eramus, Grundtvig and Leonardo projects. At present the Akatemia is involved in the SNOVE project, co-ordinated by the General Federations of Trade Unions in Great Britain. This project – “Supporting the Needs of Older and Vulnerable Employees (SNOVE) has partners from France, the Toulouse Business School, Netherlands, The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and Bulgaria, the Balkan Labour Institute. In addition to this, students are provided with opportunities to visit other institutions aboard including colleges, in Oxford, UK; Springe, Germany; Auch, France; and Kocaeli, Turkey. Every year the Akatemia also hosts one to two volunteers from the European Volunteer Scheme. All of these international links help the Akatemia’s students to develop wide knowledge and experience of other cultures.