Joint degree programme on winter sports by Lapland’s universities and Beijing Sport University culminates in graduation ceremony
The graduation ceremony for a degree programme commissioned by Beijing Sport University was held at Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Rovaniemi on Thursday.
In 2018, Beijing Sport University commissioned Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the University of Lapland to organise a degree programme in Snow and Ice Resort Management.
The degree programme was part of a cooperation agreement signed with Beijing Sport University in 2017, which included education export as well as cooperation on teacher, student and researcher exchange and on research.
Focused on winter sports and travel, the degree programme package was strongly built on the special expertise of Lapland’s universities. The contents of the training mostly followed the contents of the Bachelor of Hospitality Management programme, but the specialisation studies were customised as Snow and Ice Resort Management studies in accordance with the client’s wishes.
Thirteen students from Beijing Sport University started the two-year training programme in autumn 2018. They were building on two years of management studies completed in Beijing.
- During the studies, the biggest challenge was language skills. We had not studied entirely in English before coming here. The way of studying is very different from China, but I like the study methods of Lapland UAS. Here, there are far fewer students, and teachers have more time to guide students, says Hou Zhifein, now a Bachelor of Hospitality Management.
- The lifestyle in Finland is also very different – work and leisure time are balanced here. I have enjoyed these two years in Finland greatly and I like Finland very much. Now, I plan to continue my studies in China, says Hou Zhifein.
Senior Lecturer Ulla Kangasniemi, who taught the group, is also very pleased with the group’s performance.
- The Chinese group’s studies went well, and all the students graduated this June. At first, there were challenges due to new learning environments and methods and studying in English. However, all of the students have improved greatly in skill, and one demonstration of this is the thesis written this spring, which the students worked on in small groups on a relatively tight schedule, says Senior Lecturer Ulla Kangasniemi of Lapland UAS.
- The students always had a truly exemplary motivation, and they were a pleasure to guide. It was also nice to hear during the graduation discussions that many of them dream of master-level postgraduate studies. They also gave good feedback on their experiences with of the Bachelor of Hospitality Management programme of Lapland UAS and on living in Rovaniemi amid a culture that was very alien to them, says Ulla Kangasniemi.
- Hopefully, we will get a new group of Chinese students as soon as the emergency conditions caused by COVID-19 and the virus situation start to improve. Negotiations on starting a new group had already taken place before COVID-19 messed up the plans. Education export is a very important element in higher education, and therefore it is good for Lapland’s universities to be strongly involved in this development, says Ulla Kangasniemi.
The studies in Lapland included studies on the operation and management of winter sports resorts, personnel management and strategic management as well as two practical training periods. The strength of the studies is close cooperation with companies in working life. Now that the studies have been completed, the students were awarded an English-language Bachelor of Hospitality Management degree by Lapland UAS.
Senior Lecturer Ulla Kangasniemi, tel. +358 40710 6403
The Graduation Ceremony was held in Jokiväylä Campus in Rovaniemi. All pictures: Marko Junttila.