HAMK in Africa - Häme University of applied sciences
HAMK in Africa
Map of Africa with partner countries highlighted
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 video (YouTube) and brochure (PDF)

AGS co-creation and innovation programme


The co-creation and innovation programme in Zambia empowers companies, universities, public sector, and individual citizens, to join an inclusive community that supports local SMEs.

Duration: 2021–2022

Funded by: AGS Programme (Accelerated Growth for SMEs in Zambia)

View or download the project brochure (PDF).

Cocoa business development

Project website

The Cocoa business development project is implemented in collaboration with the Kultasuklaa company and the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. The goal is to create a sustainable business model that provides a reasonable income level to the farmers and utilizes cocoa by-products in environmentally and socially sustainable ways. Team challenges of students from HAMK and UCC are one of the key methods for investigating the opportunities.

Duration: 2021–2022

Funded by: Finnpartnership



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)

Water Hyacinth Project

The water hyacinth Co-Creation project in Kenya examines different management and valorization options of water hyacinth biomass and their value chains. The alternative value chains are compared by different aspects: economical, societal and environmental. The main focus will be on the research needs and business potential for involved Finnish companies. During the Co-Creation phase local context will be analyzed, piloting sites in Kenya selected and a joint Co-Innovation project between consortium partners will be developed. 

The project is coordinated by Häme University of Applied Sciences Bio Research Unit and implemented in collaboration with Finnish and Kenyan companies, Egerton University, ADRA Finland Foundation and Community Initiative for Development in Kenya. 

Duration: 2022-2023 

Funded by: Business Finland 

Global Sustainability studies – 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, we plan for 75 HAMK students to travel to our African partner countries between 2022–2024. Join our field challenges by taking Creating Sustainable Solutions/ Global sustainability course, open to all HAMK students.

Map with student mobility arrows from Europe to Africa

Join our course this summer!

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

  • Creating Sustainable Solutions  
    • 5 ECTS, field work in Africa or project work in Finland
    • This part is built around student challenge. In the student challenge, you learn in co-operation with multicultural teams. You will be a member of HAMK team of 5 students, and you will work in collaboration with student teams from African universities.

Field work in Africa is planned to happen during 15.-30.10.2022. We are planning to have 4-6 student challenges in Zambia, Kenya, and South Africa. The list of student challenges is updating, you can follow the situation on this web page. 

Current student challenge projects are:

Before travelling to Africa, the international teams work online to familiarize 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, analyzing 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 bio-economy linked business and development challenges.

What does this mean for students?

If you are interested in participating in the student challenge and this course, you first have to pass Cross-cultural communication 5 ECTS and Sustainable Society and Global Economy 5 ECTS -courses.

There are few assignments in those courses that are related to the country you are about to visit, so you can wait with those assignments, until you get that information.

You can find the two courses ( Cross-cultural communications and Sustainable Society and Global Economy) from Learn.

NOTE: You don’t need to wait for the teachers approval in Pakki to start the courses. 


August 2022

  • You can apply to participate by writing and submitting a motivational letter by 25.08.2022. There will be a course in Learn for this, and you can see the instructions from there.
  • Selection of students to each case and formation of HAMK teams; 26.08.2022

September – October 2022

  • Kick off meeting ; 1.09.2022, online 
  • Face-to-face team building & meeting with mentors; 9.09. 2022, HAMK Visamäki, Hämeenlinna. (mandatory day)
  • Forming mixed teams (HAMK+African partners); 15.09.2022
  • Teams working virtually; Weekly, every Wednesday
  • Mentoring meetings with mentors; Biweekly on Mondays
  • Communication plan

October–November 2022

  • Workshop on ethnographic research methodologies,
  • Face-to-face meetings of students before travel
  • Mid-term presentations 12.10
  • Video workshop
  • Field visits/14 days/team

During 15.1030.10

  • De-briefing one week after the field visit (f2f)
  • Mentoring of students continue
  • Mentoring of mentors continue
  • Communication continues

December 2022

  • Virtual team work continues
  • Report writing
  • Final seminar presentation; 7.12.2022
  • Final report; 18.12.2022


 This is a great opportunity for real-life learning and experiences with students in Africa!

Course structure scheme

Global Sustainability Module structure

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 courses in the future, follow the information on Tuudo and the International Office.

Do you have questions or need more information about the Global Sustainability course?

HAMK Sustainable Development Degree Programme
Ulla-Maija Knuutti, Senior Lecturer

More information about the projects:

Teija Lehtonen, Senior Advisor, HAMK Bio
Tel. +358 400618 328


Three young Africans studying together


STUDENT POST: Team South Africa 🇿🇦🇫🇮

Our team, Team South Africa, is looking for climate-smart forestry solutions and long-term carbon sinks for carbon markets in South Africa. Beside getting to know the local culture and work environment, we need to be aware of the future climate change impacts in the project environment to be able to make long lasting and sustainable business models.

During this project, we have learned that the solutions that work to slow down climate change and storage carbon in Finland are not very easy to directly copy and implement to South Africa. Our team has spent many hours doing background research and interviewing specialists.

It’s been a very interesting spring with this topic. Our report for the project is slowly coming together, but the work is not nearly finished. This project will go on the next semester with a new team who will continue towards the final goal 😊

Mirva / Team South Africa

🇿🇦 Team South Africa / Katarina

Did you know that in South Africa, only 0.5% of the total area is covered by natural forests? We have prepared for you a few facts focused on our sector that we are working on during this project called Hamk in South Africa.
An infinite number of facts and information are interesting in this industry, and we have also selected some of them for you:

💡 most of the dense vegetation grows along the southern and eastern coasts and on the southern and south-eastern slopes of the inland mountains

💡 the forestry sector employs around 165 900 workers and of which it provides 62 700 direct jobs and 30 000 indirect jobs

💡 the forestry research infrastructure in South Africa is world-class

💡 there are a number of research projects aimed at the sustainable management of forest resources

Also among the main institutes that serve the research needs of industry are:

🏫 Institute of Commercial Forestry Research in Pietermaritzburg
🏫 Forestry and Agriculture Biotechnology Institute
🏫 Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria

Katarína / Team South Africa

#southafrica #teamwork #greencarbon #co2 #hamkinafrica #forestry #interestingfacts

STUDENT POST, Team Zambia:
Before travelling to Zambia we had two virtual 3-day workshops with student teams and Zambian companies. We got a lot of things done virtually but nothing to compare to 3rd workshop where we were able to work F2F. Finally we met our Zambian student colleagues and they all were super nice! It's all about the people!

HAMK student Minnamari interviewed Daisy, Niza and Rodgers from UNZA and asked what they think about workshops and working with HAMK students. Turn the sound on!

#hamkinafrica #universityofzambia #mulungushiuniversity #ags #industrycollaboration #workshop

STUDENT POST. TEAM KENYA. Greetings from Kenya. #Kenya #Njoro #pbl #AgriScale #EgertonUniversity ...

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