09 Sep An eye on the Future
Text and photo: Hanna Kajander
Euro-Za Project Nearing Completion – An eye on the Future
The Euro-Za project, which began in November 2018, is nearing its July 2022 completion. The project, developed by Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) and coordinated by Nelson Mandela University (NMU), has been a meeting of different worlds and cultures.
Maritime education has made great advances in recent years, and the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have forcibly molded it to better serve the spirit of the times.
Distance learning and teaching somehow give more scope, and the hybrid model – a blend of contact sessions and distance learning – is likely to be a more permanent solution also in the future, at least in Finland, says Jarno Laine, senior lecturer in electrical and automation engineering at SAMK.
Laine, who turned 40 two years ago, has been teaching since 2005.
Looking back, maritime pedagogy has changed significantly — not just because of the pandemic but due to digitalization and more advanced simulation capabilities in general. However, one element has remained and will remain: the basic skills related to maritime work. These were necessary fifty years ago and will continue to be so in the future, regardless of teaching methods and practices, Laine asserts.
Pedagogical Freedom Comes with Responsibility
Laine joined the Euro-Za project after Sauli Ahvenjärvi, Principal Lecturer, Dr Sc. (Tech.), retired. Ahvenjärvi had managed to complete most of the work related to Pedagogical Processes, and it was easy for Laine to step in to complete the task.
I have been involved in a project similar to Euro-Za, developing maritime training in Namibia during 2013-2020. The aims were the same as for this project: development of curricula, development of facilities, pedagogical processes and of the quality of the training, through an improved quality management system. This was a learning curve for me, too – it is interesting to see what kind of practices are adopted in different countries, describes Laine.
Laine considers that from the pedagogical viewpoint the teaching is very similar, but what happens around it differs more greatly.
Let’s take for example the differences in a teacher’s pedagogical freedom: in some countries, very detailed study plans must be approved and the implementation of the courses is monitored in detail, whereas in Finland and in SAMK the teacher has pedagogical freedom. This approach enables us to closely follow the needs of working life. Of course, this also carries with it greater responsibility for outcomes. But for me, having freedom where work methods are concerned is rewarding, and makes the work meaningful.
Maritime Education in 2030
The final seminar of the Euro-Za project will be held in Cape Town (South Africa) in June, where the results of the project will be presented and where Laine will give his presentation.
The theme of my presentation is Maritime Education 2030. I feel that in future, studying and teaching will increasingly be based on concrete work tasks, in working life. They will be diverse, work-focused, and based on the student’s personal choices. At least in Finland, self-directed study and strongly working life-oriented learning have already been implemented.
Laine also believes that electrical and automation technology and an understanding of the structures of the various integrated systems will emerge more strongly in the field of maritime.
There will be an increase in the use of environments such as simulators. Other factors, for instance, internationality, a networked work culture between many actors, and shared expertise will also be important in working life in 2030, Laine envisions.
The time frame around which the world is heading in this direction will differ from country to country, however. According to Laine, Finland is blazing the trail in many ways in this respect:
Finland is at the pinnacle of technological know-how, also in shipbuilding. Our working methods are innovative, we are a kind of top-of-the-range “proto workshop”. Strong cooperation between education and working life enables educational institutions and teachers to stay at the forefront of technological development. At SAMK, for example, our teachers are deeply involved in various development projects, field development, and research. In my opinion, this is one of the great strengths of the Finnish way of working.
Jarno Laine, born in 1980 in Rauma (Finland)
Senior Lecturer, Electrical and Automation Engineering at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, Electricity and Automation
Teaching experience since 2005.
- Assessment of the maritime electrical competence needs for the Finnish National Agency for Education
- Updating the maritime electrical competence requirements survey, Bourbon Offshore
- National curriculum for Maritime Electrician training (Electro Technical Rating)
- National curriculum for Maritime Electro Technical Officer training in Finland (Electro Technical Officer)
- Development of maritime training in Namibia, Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST), Namibian Maritime and Fisheries Institute (NAMFI)
Motto: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” (Albert Einstein)