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The range of climate courses broadens: Aalto and 17 other universities cooperate as Climate University

The Climate University network coordinated by the University of Helsinki has formed a teaching cooperation contract between 18 universities. With these new contracts, a majority of Finnish university students can take the network’s climate and sustainability themed courses.
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The range of climate and sustainability related courses broadens in Aalto University with Climate University network. The first Climate University courses open to all the students at the network universities will start in January 2022 and registration for them is open now. Specialists from the different universities have collaborated to design the instruction within the courses. INAR, the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research at the University of Helsinki, is the organisation administering the network. 

- The climate is a convoluted system and climate change will affect all of us. This is why it is vital to increase awareness and understanding. The Climate University is a very good tool for that, says Academy Professor Markku Kulmala, director of INAR. 

The first Climate University courses to open are:

  • Leadership for sustainable change (University of Helsinki is primarily in charge)
  • SystemsChange.now (Aalto University)
  • ClimateComms.now / Ilmastoviestintä.nyt (University of Oulu)

First course emphasizes the systemic solutions

Aalto University has been involved in the network since its establishment in 2018, and has been a key player in the implementation of the SystemsChange.now course.

- Climate change must be approached as a systemic problem, and the Climate University's multi-faceted network provides an excellent framework for teaching it. It has been inspiring to be involved in launching a new kind of teaching collaboration, says Antti Punkka, Professor of Operations Research.

Open for everybody

The course materials are open for everybody, but to get credits for the courses, you must be registered as a student at one of the partnering universities or at the Open University. The courses mainly run online, but in addition to remote assignments, the teachers responsible for each course will offer real-time guidance, as well, and will grade the students' performances.

The Climate University courses are geared towards students, teachers, and anyone already in the labour market, who are interested in themes of climate change and sustainability. The main language of the courses is English, but they are also being translated into Finnish and Swedish.

- Sustainability challenges are multidimensional and require multidisciplinary expertise. It is important for us to be involved in promoting sustainability teaching. Aalto University highly values this co-operation of the universities, says Petri Suomala, Aalto University's Vice President of Education.

A network of 18 universities

The partnering universities are Aalto University, Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, University of Helsinki, Häme University of Applied Sciences, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Jyväskylä, LAB University of Applied Sciences, the University of Lapland, LUT University, Laurea University of Applied Sciences, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, the University of Oulu, Hanken School of Economics, Uniarts Helsinki, the University of Tampere, Turku University of Applied Sciences, the University of Turku,  and the University of Vaasa. 

The academic rector of the University of Eastern Finland, Tapio Määttä, has worked for establishing the operations of the network and promoting the collaboration contract. He considers the principles of the network exemplary.
 
- The courses produced by different universities are widely available to all the students at the networked universities.  The network has also inspired instructors to develop courses together, Määttä says.

- It is very good that nearly all Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences are partners in CU. This is a good place to set off towards being a global influencer, adds Kulmala.

The Climate University's sustainability and climate themed courses

Guidelines for registering to the courses

Contact:

Professor Antti Punkka, Aalto University
[email protected]

University lecturer Laura Riuttanen, University of Helsinki
+358 50 415 4746
[email protected]

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