Seeking new ways of working and broadening partnerships for impact 

About GINTL Africa

GINTL Africa builds upon existing partnerships and successes of collaboration with higher education institutions in African countries. We tap into the institutional expertise and experience of our 20 Finnish higher education institutions and African partner institutions for the benefit of the network and simultaneously look for new and innovative ways of working.  

We welcome and support different actors to participate in joint activities in areas of teaching, research and societal impact in higher education institutions. While some activities may be open, especially for staff and students in African and Finnish higher education institutions, we also serve as a platform for inviting organisations and individuals who are interested in research-based collaborations in the GINTL focus areas.

 The Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture’s Global programme includes several networks active in Africa. To find out more about our sister networks, visit: FAPISAFINET  and EDUCase.

GINTL Africa Coordination

Sai Väyrynen

Academic Director


Elizabeth Eta

Postdoctoral Researcher


Nico Stockmann

Research Assistant


Hanna Posti-Ahokas

Regional Expert (Africa)


Maaria Manyando

Project Coordinator


GINTL Coffee Chat with the University of Lapland: Experiences from Global Media Education through Development of Online Teaching 

Africa, China, India, GlobalOpen for all, Registration required

Main topics: GINTL Coffee Chats, GINTL Network, Sustainable Partnerships, Teacher Education

The third GINTL Coffee Chat of year 2023 will be held on Tuesday 3.10.2023, 9:00-10:00 (EEST) and is co-sponsored by the University of Lapland. Guest Speaker Dr. Satu-Maarit Korte will share her experience on the UNESCO/UNITWIN network which concentrates on teacher education for social justice and diversity.

Africa Day 2023: “Spotlighting Africa-related research conducted by doctoral and early career researchers in four Finnish HEIs”

AfricaOpen for all, Registration required

Main topic: GINTL Network

25 May is Africa Day, and it is celebrated under the theme “The year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation”. This year, the Universities of Helsinki, Turku, Eastern Finland and Jyväskylä are organising a joint Africa Day celebration event online. The joint online event will take place from 12:00-13:30 and will focus on presentations by doctoral and early career researchers highlighting their ongoing research on Africa-related topics. This is an open event.

GINTL Coffee Chat with Tampere University: “Building sustainable Indo-Finnish relationships in the context of education, research, and innovation development”

Africa, China, India, Global

Main topics: GINTL Coffee Chats, GINTL Network

Welcome to the second GINTL Coffee Chat of 2023 with guest speaker Mikko Ruohonen from the Tampere University. This session will focus on topics related to Mikko's presentation, “Building sustainable Indo-Finnish relationships in the context of education, research and innovation development”. Join us for an online conversation and opportunities to share about your current work!

GINTL at the Spring Forum for Higher Education Institutions (Kv-kevätpäivät) 2023

Africa, China, India, Global

Main topic: Conferences and workshops

GINTL Africa, China, and India will be present as well as hosting several formats at the Spring Forum for HEIs’ international issues! The Spring Forum 2023 will be held at Aalto University, Otaniemi campus on 3.-5.5.2023. Here you can find more information about the sessions that GINTL is part of.

Collaboration in the region

See all collaborations

Research-based and future-oriented curriculum review and development for teacher education in Kenya (REFORD)

The REFORD Project refers to “research-based and future-oriented curriculum review and development for teacher education” at the University of Nairobi and Strathmore University, Nairobi, Kenya. It aims to support students to acquire skills needed in 21st century life and the labour market. The project curriculum will align with the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), launched for basic education in Kenya in 2017. The current focus is on rolling out CBC in higher education institutions and teacher education. The research to be conducted under the proposed project will specifically strengthen the designing of curricula, improve the quality of delivery of teacher preparation programmes, and thus, strengthen the preparedness of the higher education institutions to implement the CBC. The future horizon is changing constantly. Education in the Global South must meet aspirations of sustainability. To expedite the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), educational structures need to provide relevant competences, models, and a future-oriented mindset that sustains our 21st century lives. This project received funding under the Spring 2022 GINTL Project Funding from the University of Helsinki.

New directions in development studies and sustainability: Reconsidering global challenges and local realities

The “New directions in development studies and sustainability: Reconsidering global challenges and local realities” project consists of collaboratively designed and delivered intensive courses, entailing exchange of development studies doctoral students and staff. It focuses on theoretical knowledge, writing and research skills as well as curriculum design collaboration, to provide significant long-term benefits to all partner institutions. The project structure consists of two in-person intensive course exchanges, two virtual exchanges, two virtual seminars as well as routine virtual team collaboration on curriculum development and coordination, joint research, and publication activities. Current paradigms and curricula in development studies around the world have become outdated and detached from global dynamics and local realities. This is clear when considering the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Analysis and understanding of the relationship between global challenges and localities is more relevant now than ever. The courses address topics proposed by the African partner HEIs, including: localisation of SDGs; multilateralism and recolonisation of Africa; climate change and agriculture; economic partnerships, trade, and international cooperation. This project received funding under the Spring 2022 GINTL Project Funding from the University of Helsinki.

Finland-Ghana collaboration in hybrid teacher education (CocoEd)

The CocoEd project develops research-based hybrid teaching and learning in Ghanaian teacher education. With digital technologies becoming powerful tools to enable remote communication, collaboration and learning, there is more flexibility to organise both virtual and face-to-face teaching and learning according to specific needs and the changing situation. This flexibility is especially important in areas lacking qualified teachers, but also in emergencies such as pandemics and political conflicts. The project seeks to research and develop feasible and practical alternative means for remote learning by paying attention that poor internet connection is a reality in Ghana. A Mini-ÅAU-Campus initiative by Åbo Akademi University provides an interesting research context to test, try, and research new solutions for hybrid pedagogy. The CocoEd project re-establishes, widens and strengthens the long-term collaboration between the University of Helsinki, Åbo Akademi University, and the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. This project received funding under the Spring 2022 GINTL Project Funding from the University of Helsinki.

Education for sustainable and rational approach to the use of medicinal plants in Benin: Co-constructive pedagogical strategy, research, and dissemination of good practices

Phytomedicine is an integral part of the healthcare system in many African countries, and in Benin 80% of population rely on medicinal plants as their primary source of medication. Our project is based on the idea that establishing a sustainable and rational approach to the use of medicinal plants in Benin requires complementary activities targeting both higher education on phytomedicinal research and the popularisation of good practices in medicinal plants use among traditional healers. Our four-step implementation plan will allow us to produce more precise data on training needs (step one), before strengthening teachers’ pedagogical practices (step 2), then strengthening researchers working in the field of the valorisation of medicinal plants (step 3) and finally impacting the actors of traditional medicine (step 4). Overall, these activities aim to promote internalization of teachers, researchers and students within the participating institutes and to promote long-lasting research and education collaborations between them. This project received funding under the Spring 2022 GINTL Project Funding from the University of Helsinki.

The University of Turku’s Hopeful Globe podcast: GINTL’s contributions

Africa, China, India, Global

Published Luna Erica

In June 2023, the University of Turku released the first episodes of the Hopeful Globe podcast, which shares inspiring stories from projects that have received Global Pilot funding from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The series, focused on the topic of higher education collaboration and the sustainability-driven initiatives that bloom therefrom, piloted with two episodes hosted by GINTL research assistant Luna Erica. Both episodes feature a speaker from a project that was allocated funding by GINTL.

Sustainability Science Days 2023: Attendee experiences

Africa, Global

Published Salma Khatibu, Vedasto Hamza

From 21 May to 2 June 2023, the annual Sustainability Science Days (SSD) were hosted at the University of Helsinki. Two guests, Salma Khatibu and Vedasto Hamza, received a Ministry of Education & Culture (MEC) Grant, supported by GINTL coordination efforts and minor cost-funding, to attend the 2023 edition of the SSD. In this blog post, they share their experiences as participants of the conference.

Haaga-Helia’s collaboration network on teaching and learning with Southern African universities


Published Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

During the ongoing year, Haaga-Helia has formed a network of seven partner HEIs in Southern Africa. In this phase of the collaboration network, the HEIs are interested in projects with focus areas in relation to the partnership between higher education (HE) and the world of work, entrepreneurship education in HE, innovations in HE pedagogy, sustainability in HE, as well as quality of education and leadership in HE.

Project insights: Education and research on the use of medicinal plants in Benin 


Published Luna Erica

With a population that holds ten times more traditional healers than doctors, the practice of traditional phytomedicine is one deeply rooted in Beninese culture – despite local scientific researchers’ views on the quality of a share of that practice. In an attempt to strengthen the bond between traditional healers and scientific researchers in Benin and to improve both their practices and Beninese medicine more widely, a knowledge-sharing collaboration was construed between the University of Helsinki and a group of Beninese researchers. For this project spotlight, GINTL research assistant Luna Erica met with Leena Hanski, Victorien Dougnon, and Jean-Robert Klotoe to discuss their team’s research.

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. 

Coordinating University

GINTL Finnish higher education institutions