During a four-day workshop, lecturers of GUbridge for the Foundation Programme at the German University of Technology (GUtech) were introduced to the best teaching and learning practices in the Finnish education system. The workshop was delivered by Finnish experts, Mr Antti Saukkonen & Mr Juho Alpua of the Finland-Oman School, from 17th to 20th September at GUtech campus.
The Finnish experts are members of the newly established Finland-Oman School (FOS). The new addition to the group of educational initiatives by Oman Educational Services, OES, the owner company of GUtech, GUbridge, FOS, and other affiliates.
The workshop introduced participants to the Finnish teaching and learning approaches to improve the pedagogy of the Foundation Programme and to furnish the lecturers with a toolkit of practices susceptible to promote active learning among students. “These approaches should entice students to take responsibility of their learning and thus equip them with 21st century skills, mainly cooperation, social interaction, self-assessment and peer-assessment.” Said Saukkonen. “Best practices in the education system of Finland are transferrable and are being successful in other contexts outside Finland” Continued Saukkonen. Most importantly, “The Finnish education system has a toolkit of methods that we apply in the classroom to entice students to learn efficiently and effectively and we are to help the Foundation Programme lecturers to adopt these practices” commented Alpua.
The collaboration between the team of FOS and GUbridge subscribes into the vision set by the management of OES. Speaking of opportunities for collaboration between FOS and GUtech, Dr. Hussain Al Salmi, Deputy Rector for Administration and Finance cum CEO of OES, shared: “The workshop serves our vision for bringing efficiency in teaching and learning which will benefit the Foundation Programme students at GUtech, while paving the path for a lifelong collaboration between the team of FOS and GUtech.”
“The one-year Foundation Programme is expected to bridge the knowledge gap students may have before landing onto the Bachelor programmes at GUtech. To achieve this, we want our students to acquire necessary study skills and improve their English language to a level equivalent to 6.0 in IELTS.” reasoned the General Manager of GUbridge, Ahmed Saud Al Salmi. Besides, “Leveraging the school resources brought in by our Finnish experts opens up avenues for cooperation between FOS and GUtech.” He added.
The workshop was an opportunity to engage GUbridge lecturers in active learning approaches as they had the opportunity to get hands-on experience designing and practicing teaching strategies inspired by the Finnish education system, with close guidance and instant feedback. The Finnish experts also got the opportunity to assess the areas that require further efforts for the sake of achieving efficiency and effectiveness in teaching and learning of the lecturers involved in the Foundation Programme.
“We want to equip our lecturers with the Finnish pedagogical approaches in a practical manner to help them adopt and apply them immediately in the classrooms. Educators from across the globe hail the achievement of the Finnish education system. So why we should not learn from our Finnish educators. They are here on campus and are enthusiastic to share their skills and knowledge with the Foundation Programme team” emphasized Ahmed Saud Al Salmi.
GUbridge, an institution under OES, is tasked with preparing students for GUtech’s Bachelor programmes through a one-year Foundation Programme.