The University of Helsinki has the widest range of disciplines in Finland. It was established in Turku in 1640, but was moved to Helsinki in 1828. It has eleven faculties, comprising 36, 500 students and 8, 600 staff. Each year on average, the University confers 5,000 degrees, of which 500 are doctorates.
The University concentrates on high-level scientific research and researcher education. Scientific research is also the basis of the teaching provided by the University. The University operations support the development of society, as well as business and industry. University representatives offer their competencies for the benefit of society through a number of positions of trust and expertise. The results produced by the research and teaching carried out at the University have been widely acclaimed. The University participates in more than half of the national Centres of Excellence in Research, elected by international scientific panels. According to international expert panels, also the teaching provided by the University of Helsinki is of a high European level.
The University has strong international connections. It has some 80 co-operation agreements with universities on different continents. The University researchers are in great demand as experts in international scientific communities, meetings and publications.
The University is bilingual, but in addition to Finnish and Swedish teaching is also provided in English.
The Department of Teacher Education (http://www.helsinki.fi/teachereducation/index.html) is the main partner of IEREST. It is the largest and most important institute and research establishment in its field in Finland. Its national appointed task is to educate school teachers. Its research-focused teacher education and research activities have received considerable international interest. The Department is a multidisciplinary academic community with professional staff strongly committed to research. The research is internationally oriented and dynamic. The number of peer reviewed publications increased by 30% in 2011. The Department’s focal areas of research are education, society and culture and learning and interaction. Research is conducted in genuine contexts, including schools, kindergartens and teacher education.
In the IEREST Project, the Department of Teacher Education takes the role of leading Work Package 3 where the teaching objectives and activities are developed.
Fred Dervin is Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of Helsinki (Finland). He specializes in language and intercultural education, the sociology of multiculturalism and linguistics for intercultural communication and education. Dervin has widely published in international journals on identity, the ‘intercultural’ and mobility/migration. He has published over 20 books: Politics of Interculturality (co-edited with Anne Lavanchy and Anahy Gajardo, Newcastle: CSP, 2011), Impostures Interculturelles (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2012) and Linguistics for Intercultural Education (co-edited with Tony Liddicoat, New York: Benjamins). He is the series editor of Education beyond borders (Peter Lang), Nordic Studies on Diversity in Education (with Kulbrandstad and Ragnarsdóttir; CSP), Post-intercultural communication and education (CSP) and Palgrave Studies on Chinese Education in a Global Perspective (Palgrave with Xiangyun Du). His website: http://blogs.helsinki.fi/dervin/
Aminkeng A. Alemanji (Amin A. Alem) holds a Masters of Arts in Education from the University of Oulu in Education and Globalisation (with minor in Multicultural studies) during which he wrote his master’s thesis on the Effects of Poverty on Education in Cameroon. Through Global.me projektiyhdistys ry (an NGO involved in teaching global education in Finnish upper secondary school) he has taught global education in various schools in Helsinki-Espoo region. Today he is doing an action research on Anti-racism education in Finland using Walter ry KYTKE workshop as a case study for his PhD. In addition, Amin is currently working in an on-going EU project – IEREST (Intercultural Education Resources for Erasmus Students and their Teachers) where he is involved in designing intercultural courses for Erasmus Exchange students. Research interests include Race, racism and anti-racism education, interculturality and informal / non formal education engaging with theories like CRT, postcolonial theory and critical interculturality.