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Aalto Magazine focuses on continuous learning

The just-published Aalto University Magazine 24 examines lifelong, or continuous, learning, which a recent legislative amendment made the fourth mission of Finland’s universities.
Aalto University Magazine issue 24 in racks. Photo: Anni Kääriä.
Photo: Anni Kääriä

“The strict division between working life and studying is history,” says Vice President for Education Petri Suomala in the Openings column. This needs to be considered when developing our provision of education. High-quality supply, approachability and flexible studies are coming together because Aalto wants to serve learners. A view of a personal, lifelong learning path that is easy to update when changes arise will emerge for the individual.

In the main article, experts consider ways to promote continuous learning and their possible benefits. Aalto University’s Head of Learning Services Eija Zitting says that, in future, the same course may be populated by both young students and people with plenty of professional experience. More advanced learning will also be provided by an increasing number of parties, such as companies, as this development continues. The emergence of alternative learning paths does not, however, mean that corners can be cut in youth education. “The challenge is to remain patient,” says Sinimaaria Ranki, Leading Specialist at Sitra. “Over the long run, we must permit some to delve into fundamental theories and, at some stage, perhaps emerge with fresh ideas. Faster-paced dialogue with companies is needed alongside this.”

In the Who column’s alumna interview, Karla Nieminen,M.Sc. in Engineering and Chair of Prodeko, the Guild of Industrial Engineering & Management, emphasises the importance of relationship skills and networking in professional life. She arranges training aimed at promoting these through her own firm. “Workmates who generate a good mood around them are in high demand.”

The increasing pace of change in work and technology is a topic examined by several fields of research at Aalto. The Future of Work project is helping researchers discover each other, say Professor Eero Vaara and Research Director Hertta Vuorenmaa. “We also bring together leaders, policy makers and think tanks. - - Our aspiration is to have Aalto University and the Future of Work to be the first things that come to people's minds when they ponder where to find the most relevant research on the transformation of work.”

This issue also contains a review of new learning methods in addition to explaining the meaning of, for example, augmented reality, “the fishbowl” and gamification in the everyday life of today’s students.

Aalto University Magazine is published in Finnish and in English. Pick up your copy on campus or access a facsimile on issuu.com. Some articles are also available on aalto.fi/magazine.

The joy of learning is a force we deserve to benefit from all our lives.

Vice President for Education Petri Suomala

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