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Finnish Japanese Elderly Care Services

The main idea of the project is to learn from each other about issues related to the ageing societies in Finland and Japan

The pilot project focuses on how elderly care systems work in Finland and Japan, and how they sustain wellbeing of elderly people. The project is student-centred and student-driven by students of Laurea UAS, HAMK and Tohoku Fukushi University based on Laurea’s Learning by Doing approach.


Main outcomes, aims and tasks of the pilot project

Financier: Finnish National Agency for Education 

HAMK’s budget: 26 500 €

Schedule: 2018 – 2020

Main outcomes of the pilot project:

  1. Development of students’ and teacher´s skills as active innovators and excellent international collaborators
    • For the students the experience is unique and gives ample opportunities to get deeper understanding of the other country’s culture, society social field and services.
    • In the beginning there are many barriers to overcome, as the participants are not familiar to each other and the time of the project is short. 
  2. Provision of new knowledge about elderly care systems in Japan and Finland:
    • Participating students will be able to explore the issues related to elderly care services and aging in Finland and Japan, understand better how to share skills and resources to support everyday life of the aging people who live at home, and  examine the social care systems.
    • Develop business case studies of operation and funding of service providing companies and share the knowledge among participants + interested third parties
  3. Creation of an international network for closer educational cooperation between HEIs, provision of experiences on significant and benefiting interaction 
    • Provision of encouragement and support to develop teaching contents and methods in an international network and offer of ideas and methods to be adopted in regular teaching.

The main aims of the project:

  • Strengthen the knowledge of variety of the services provided and financed in social sector in both countries by benchmarking and finding the best practices and models for supporting the everyday life of the elderly in a socially and economically sustainable way.
  • Create a business case study on how the public/private funded social service providers (private companies & public sector) are working and how they are funded.
  • View how elderly care systems work in Japan and Finland and how they sustain wellbeing of the elderly people
  • Enable exchange of ideas and learnings between the students and teachers of Japanese and Finnish HEIs.

Main tasks of the pilot project:

  • Compare welfare systems  related to aging and wellbeing of everyday life of the elderly in Finland and Japan
  • Share the best practices in Finnish and Japanese service innovations
  • Create a business case studies of local service providers in public and private sectors 
  • Look for new ways of producing services that support living at home as long as possible in the old age

Students are the main communicators with the target groups (other students and teachers in the HEIs) and stakeholders (elderly care units, private and public sector service providers and policy makers of the local governments) outside of the pilot project. 

The main communication channels are local fairs and media as well as social media services such as Facebook and Twitter.

Teachers act as enablers and supporters for the students according to Laurea’s Learning by Doing approach.


Heikkinen, S., Tamminen, P. Airaksinen, P., Ishizuki, T., Kudo, K. and Mori, A. (2019). Co-Creating an Understanding of Finnish and Japanese Elderly Care Services through Exploring and Learning Together in M. Antikainen, S. Holmström, A. Majakulma and T. Piipponen, Collaboration Counts: Experiences in Internationalisation from Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia. pp. 50-57.  Available online: 

Tamminen, P. and Steedman, T., 2019, Kurkistus japanilaiseen kulttuuriin, HAMK Unlimited. Available online:

Collin, T. (2019) Suomessa unelmoidaan robotisoiduista vessoista ja Japanissa omaishoidon tuesta – FinJap -hanke kartoittaa ja vertailee ikääntyvien ihmisten palveluja Suomessa ja Japanissa. Aamuposti 10.4.2019.