On the morning of 30 May, 2012, a delegation of 13, led by the Hon. Jukka Gustafsson, Finland's Minister of Education and Science, accompanied by His Excellency Lars Backstrom, the Ambassador of Finland to China, visited GUCAS. Prof. Deng Yong, Chairman of the University Council, met the guests, with GUCAS Vice-President Wang Yanfen, and GUCAS Assistant President Zhu Xiangbin also at the meeting.
Prof. Deng extended his warmest welcome to the distinguished Finnish guests, briefly reviewing cooperation carried out between the Academy of Finland and GUCAS. He commented that GUCAS was interested in hearing positive experiences in graduate education at Finnish universities. He felt that the visit to GUCAS by the delegation from the Finnish Ministry of Education and Science would promote exchange and cooperation between both nations.
Mr. Gustafsson expressed his appreciation for the hospitality shown by GUCAS and said that he felt that future cooperation would be full of possibility and vitality. The Minister gave a basic introduction to Finland's high education system, describing the international cooperation between Finnish universities and their overseas partners. Prof. Kaija Holli, Chairperson of University Finland, UNIFI, and also the Rector of the University of Tampere, and Prof. Markku Lahtine, President of the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences ARENE, and also President of Tampere University of Applied Sciences, respectively described Finnish universities and Finnish universities of applied sciences. The Finnish delegation said that they hoped that the existing cooperation between the China and Finland might be expanded on the basis of respective advantages. There was also discussion concerning climate change and sustainable development.
Mr. Xie Yong, Deputy Director of the International Affairs Office, introduced the historical development and present status of GUCAS, emphasizing the ongoing international exchange programs between Northern Europe and GUCAS.
With a well-developed educational system, Finland implemented compulsory education in 1921 and 9-year consistent compulsory and free education nationwide in 1980. There are 5103 schools at all levels in Finland, accommodating 1,901,000 students. 16 public universities and 25 universities of applied sciences now operate in Finland, including the world-renowned University of Helsinki, Helsinki University of Technology, and the University of Tampere.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Tapio Kosunen, State Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ms. Anita Lehikoinen, Director of the Department for Higher Education and Science Policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ms. Jaana Palojarvi, Director for International Relations of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Ms. Birgitta Vuorinen, and Ms. Tiina Vihma-Purovaara, both Counselors of Education of the Department for Higher Education and Science Policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture.