HAMK in Africa - Häme University of applied sciences
HAMK in Africa
Afrikan kartta
Map of Africa

HAMK in Africa

Partnerships for education, research and innovation

HAMK is building knowledge and competence together with African universities and partners.

In this age of globalisation, there is a great need for collaboration, new ideas and innovations, and shared resources. Häme University of Applied Sciences is actively involved in international cooperation in education and research, which will shape the future of the world. Collaboration with African partners has an impact on all HAMK’s levels:

  • Collaborative research is the tool for producing solutions suitable for local realities to create jobs and wealth. Collaborative research will also lead to sustainable development and climate change mitigation.
  • Students are in the centre of all we do. Students at HAMK as well as at African partner universities will have possibilities to enhance their international competences and to strengthen their global citizenship. Through HAMK’s collaboration in Africa, students will have more opportunities for short exchanges in multidisciplinary groups.
  • Our staff also have opportunities to increase their global through teacher exchanges, both by visiting African partner universities and by welcoming colleagues from African countries to teach at HAMK.

HAMK’s ongoing projects in Africa



AgriSCALE is a joint initiative for reforming agri-entrepreneurship education in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia. The project includes real-life PBL cases for international student teams both online and in the field in Africa.

Duration: 2020–2023

Funded by: Erasmus+/EACEA

View project brochure (PDF)

Biochar Africa

Biochar Africa aims at identifying potential biochar markets in Southern and Eastern Africa, build innovation ecosystems at pilot sites, and develop competitive products and services for selected markets in Africa.

Duration: 2020–2021

Funded by: Business Finland



FOREST21 is a joint project for strengthening capacity in South African higher education in forestry entrepreneurship. Through curricula reformations and promoting student-centred learning and teaching, graduates will be equipped with 21st century skills to solve problems, create jobs and improve climate-smart forestry.

Duration: 2021–2024

Funded by: Erasmus+/EACEA



PBL-BioAfrica is a collaborative project for strengthening the capacity of bioeconomy education and promoting PBL methods in Kenya and Zambia. A large number of students will be equipped with practical skills and an entrepreneurial mindset through team projects with real companies and NGOs. Promoting circular economy, climate-smart agriculture and gender equality are also in the heart of PBL-BioAfrica.

Duration: 10/2020–5/2024

Funded by: HEI ICI/Edufi/MFA (the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland)

View project brochure (PDF)


RAJO is a project funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for developing vocational training and improving youth employment in Somalia. HAMK is responsible for teachers’ pedagogical training and involved in developing the curricula in vocational training and a model for learning in real working life. The project coordinated by the Finnish Somalia network and is implemented in cooperation with its Finnish member organisations as well as local organisational and educational actors.

Duration: 2021–2022

Funded by: Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland (MFA)


Join Field Work in Africa

Building a sustainable world – this is what Global Sustainability studies is about. Learn about intercultural communication and why we need to care about others’ cultures or beliefs. Learn to understand the global economic and socio-cultural processes connecting the rich and poor of the world. Learn about the global inequality challenges, discuss sustainable and respectful global development and link this to your own studies. As a HAMK student, you have an opportunity to deepen your experience through joining a real-life development project in Africa.

In total, 75 HAMK students will be traveling to our African partner countries in 2021–2024.

Map with student mobility arrows from Europe to Africa

We offer three courses consisting of a full 15-credit module:

  • Cross-cultural communication, 5 cr online
  • Sustainable Society and Global Economy, 5 cr online
  • Creating Sustainable Solutions, 5 cr, field work in Africa or project work in Finland

Cross-Cultural Communication

Get prepared to work in multicultural environments and to navigate in the cultural complexity. Learn to recognize how culture, values, and non-verbal communication affect communication. Create links between the key theories and concepts of intercultural communication and real-life communication skills.

Sustainable Society and Global Economy

Get an insight to social, economic, and environmental sustainability issues in the global context. Learn about key theories and concepts on poverty and economic and social inequality. Discuss the ways towards prosperous and inclusive societies. Learn to link your own professional knowledge to the issues of global development agenda.

Creating Sustainable Solutions

During the field work in Africa, students work in multicultural teams to solve real-life problems. The field challenges are developed in close collaboration with companies, NGOs and other societal partners in Africa, Finland, or other partner countries. Students can also develop and test their own business ideas during the field course.

Before travelling to Africa, the international teams work online to familiarise themselves with the case. The field work in an African partner university is 10–12 days. The international teams share ideas and develop innovative solutions to the identified challenges. Each project team is mentored by the client organisation as well as the staff of HAMK and partner universities. After the field work, the teams can continue discussing together, analysing their cases and finding possible alternative solutions to their challenge.

The field courses are open to all HAMK students who are interested in working with bioeconomy-linked business and development challenges.

The students who cannot travel to Africa can complete a development project assignment in Finland.

Course structure scheme
Global Sustainability: Module structure


Autumn semester 2021

  • Cross-cultural communication: Sept–Oct
  • Sustainable Society and Global Economy: Nov–Dec

Starting Jan 2022: courses available online upon students’ own schedule

  • Creating sustainable solutions

Field work schedule 2021–2022: depending on Covid-19, the field works are expected to start during the spring semester 2022.

How to register

The courses Cross-cultural communication and Sustainable Society and Global Economy are available online and can be completed at your own pace.

The HAMK projects will cover the flights, in-country travel, accommodation and the stay in the partner university. Students’ self-funding includes personal travel, insurances, vaccinations and visa costs.

To learn about the field course schedule and to apply to the course, follow the information on Tuudo and the International Office.

More information

HAMK Sustainable Development Degree Programme
Ms Ulla-Maija Knuutti, Senior Lecturer
Email ulla-maija.knuutti@hamk.fi
Tel. +358 46 8567 699