Engagement with Africa: Opportunities for students

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TopicsInformation for students

This article highlights several opportunites for students to engage with Africa-related topics through courses in development and education development in Africa at the University of Helsinki, the UniPID course “Global Education Development” (organised by the University of Oulu) and mobility options at the University of Helsinki to spend a semester abroad.

Topics within this article:

  1. How to learn more about (education) development in Africa? – Global development studies at the University of Helsinki
  2. UniPID course “Global Education Development” (University of Oulu)
  3. Mobility to Africa in Educational Sciences (University of Helsinki)

How to learn more about (education) development in Africa?

Global development studies at the University of Helsinki

Example courses from University of Helsink programmes

Open University courses

  • Open Uni: Development Studies
    • Study tracks in the Society and Change Programme​​
    • Research in Development Studies seeks to understand and explain the problems of developing countries and to find solutions to them. The problems are examined from the point of view of theory and practice, as well as history and the present. Studying the Development Studies is suitable for those who want to find backgrounds in world political and economic events and developments or who need basic knowledge of developing country societies in their work. Knowledge of developing countries and their specific characteristics is also an integral part of the ongoing globalization debate.​
  • Open University studies in Finnish: Avoin yliopisto: Globaali kehitystutkimus
    • Globaali kehitys, 5 op​​
    • Globaalin kehitystutkimuksen keskeiset kysymykset, 5 op​​
    • Globaalin etelän yhteiskuntarealiteetit, 5 op

Summer course

UniPID course “Global Education Development” (University of Oulu)

  • UniPID course offered by the Faculty of Education at University of Oulu
  • Course designers: Boby Mafi, Elina Lehtomäki and Sharanya Menon

What is global education development?

“In this course, we use the concept ‘global education development to address, learn about and to discuss educational development across the world, globally – not only at country level (international) but rather, to emphasize global connectedness in education and to understand how global governance guides educational development, the interaction between local actions and global policies, and to position ourselves in the field of educational development.

Applying the decoloniality lense we will critically reflect on who sets agendas and defines priorities, what research informs about development, whose voices and knowledges are included in development discourses, and in assessing changes.” (Lehtomäki, 2020)

Themes that will be explored in the course

Global Education Development (GED) and decoloniality


Sustainable Development Goal 4

How do we measure quality education across diverse contexts using the same metrics?

GED in the Finnish Context

What has coloniality and decoloniality have to do with Finnish education system?

COVID-19 and Post-development approaches to Education and Development

Can we start to imagine a different way to solve the issues we face in GED today?

Global Education Monitoring Reports

What do evidence-based policy reports say about GED and the progress made towards achieving SDG 4?


Why do this course?

  • A good opportunity to start questioning what the discourses and practices of Global Education Development areand how they tend to be dominated by Northern and Western perspectives
  • Interact with a variety of guest speakers throughout the course (academics, policy makers, NGO workers from diverse contexts)
  • Learn about Global Innovation Network of Teaching and Learning (GINTL)
  • Network with students across different Finnish Universities

Registration and more information

Mobility to Africa in Educational Sciences (University of Helsinki)

The University of Helsinki provides mobility opportunities through university-wide agreements to South Africa, Namibia, and Zambia. University of Helsinki students can find out more on the pages of the pages of the International Exchange Services and Education Cooperation. The application deadline for the academic year 2023/2024 is 11–25 October 2022.

Members of our network

We are a network of dedicated scholars and practitioners, who work jointly with our partners to co-create research-based solutions for local needs.

Together, we can spark cycles of learning for better education. 

Project coordinators

GINTL Finnish higher education institutions