International Week 2021: Dr. Rose Clarke Nanyonga
“Our university is now at it’s 12th year so it’s fairly young, but we have had significant strategic partners in USA, UK, Poland and in Finland. SeAMK is one of the eight universities in Finland with whom we have collaboration for actually nearly ten years now.
The collaboration has focused on two elements: student exchange as well as networking and benchmarking through faculty exchange. Every year we have had mobility, exchange students who come to Uganda and they spend whole semester here. Once a year we are able to send students to Finland, usually between two to four students depending whether we are able to get funds to support students.
It has been an amazing experience. We have had 300 or even more students from Finland in that time. On our side we have had 34 students come over and more than 20 teaching faculty and administrators including myself. We have come over for couple of week. We have been given possibilities to teach an we also co-share research and publications.
Of course Covid has changed everything. This year I think no one is travelling. Last year the visit was cut short. We had to send students back to Finland whe the country shut down the airports and we were worried that the students will be stuck here for the whole duration of the lockdown. We were really lucky to get the to the last flight out of the country. But the two Ugandan students actually stuck in Finland for the whole duration of the lockdown. SeAMK and Centria were very very supportive and helpful to keep the students there beyond the time that was funded.
But now this virtual exchange week is a great opportunity to bring your world into our offices. I could give my lecture from my own office. Of course it’s not the same as meeting face to face, but we but still I think it’s a wonderful opportunity. The clear advantage of this week is that the funds limit how many people can do the mobility exchange, as now all our students and our faculty can join. So you are able to reach much more people.
In my lecture I was talking about our experience in teaching nursing students using online methods. Particularly in this context where you usually don’t get much stimulous packages from the government so the institutions are really left on their own. And the question really is that how do we leverage technology, how do we foster enriching learning experiences for the students. And we want to hear more how this is being done in countries that have slightly better resources. You know, what is possible in that context and can we still deliver learning, and what can we learn from each other. ”
Dr. Rose Clarke Nanyonga
Clarke International University