Transforming Higher Education - Häme University of applied sciences
Transforming Higher Education
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Transforming Higher Education

HAMK Edu - Transforming Higher Education

The challenges faced by higher education – such as globalization, digitalization, internationalization and environmental questions – set new requirements for higher education. The era of Education 4.0 calls for transformation in higher education to support independent learning, which can take place anytime anywhere. Learning will become more personalized, and the importance of hands-on learning and work-based learning will become more important in higher education. These create new demands for higher education teachers, whose role is to guide the students through the learning process and facilitate their readiness for continuous learning in diverse contexts. Transforming Higher Education research group at HAMK Edu enhances conditions for successful student learning and teacher development in higher education. The applied research orientation is valuable in investigating students’ learning in work-based contexts and in the boundaries between higher education and the world of work.

The aim of Transforming Higher Education research group at HAMK Edu is to 1) provide solutions for developing higher education through conducting multi-method research, 2) enhance smooth transitions between education and work and support students to become highly skilled members of the working life, 3) enhance teaching, guidance and supervision to enable individualized studying and to 4) improve conditions for continuous (both individual and collaborative) learning in higher education.

More specifically, the current research areas include:
1) Students’ learning and development processes and teachers’ teaching processes; supportive teaching-learning environments
2) Engagement in continuous learning; work-based education and transitions between education and work
3) Successful learning of teachers and organizations towards Education 4.0
4) Utilization of learning analytics in developing learning and teaching
5) (Socio)psychological well-being of teachers’ and students’
6) Sustainable development in higher education teaching and learning


The team collaborates with several national and international partners, such as:
Feevale University (Brasilia)
VIA University College (Denmark)
Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerpen (Belgium)
University of Trondheim (Norway)
University of Groningen (The Netherlands)
University of Cordoba, Espanja 
Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education (Vietnam)
Lac Hong University (Vietnam)
University of Technology and Education- University of Danang (Vietnam) 
University of Helsinki – Centre for University Teaching and Learning (HYPE)
DigIT – University of Helsinki
Aalto University
University of Tampere
University of Turku
Otus (Opiskelun ja korkeakouluksen tutkimussäätiö)
Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä
Turku University of Applied Sciences, Higher Education Research group


The European Association for Practitioner Research on Improving Learning (EAPRIL)
The European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
The Finnish Educational Research Association (FERA)
The Finnish Innovation Fund (SITRA)
National Foresight Network (
Praba (Finnish Society for Practice Based Inquiry)
Cherif (Consortium of Higher Education Researchers in Finland)
LUKE (Natural Resources Institute)


Amkista Uralle – uraseurantatiedot käyttöön / From UAS to career – Career Data for All

The aim of the project is to develop for the universities of applied sciences tools to follow-up the employment of their alumni. Project contains technical solutions for collecting, processing and analyzing data as well as reporting. The project promotes and enhances the recognition and use of employment data. The project is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

More information:

Jaana Kullaslahti

eAMK Project

More information:

The Ministry of Education and Culture will fund the implementation of the eAMK project in 2017–2020.

Jaana Kullaslahti

LUO Next Step –project 2017-2019

The goal of the project was to develop novel business opportunities and accelerate new job creation in bio- and circular economy in Häme region of Finland. The goal was also to create networked expertise in collaboration between higher education institutions, researchers and bioeconomy companies. HAMK Edu contributed to the research of HEI teachers’ key competences in successful work-based learning processes and to the multidisciplinary learning environment building.

Collaborative robotics and continuous learning 2019-2021

The goal of the project is to develop ecosystem of collaborative robotics and develop competences for regional innovations and employment in transforming manufacturing. HAMK Edu contributes to the project by researching and developing competences and training solutions in higher education and continuous learning.

APOA – Learning Analytics in the Universities of Applied Sciences 2018-2020

The aim of the APOA project is to study and pilot the use of learning analytics in the Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) in Finland. The project is funded by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture. The project consists of 11 Finnish higher education partner institutions.

The APOA project has five main level aims:
• To research what kind of data the learners, educators and guidance staff who who utilize learning analytics need
• Based on these needs, to pilot and develop the used digital environments in the universities of applied sciences
• To pilot and evaluate the pedagogical processes that use learning analytics in different UASs
• To create recommendations and policies for the effective and ethical use of learning analytics in the UASs
• To up-skill UAS staff in the advanced use of learning analytics

KOPE-project - Higher Education in Co-Operation

The Goal:

  • Improve co-operation between the Universities and the Universities of Applied Sciences
  • Improve the quality of learning, teaching and guiding
  • Support student-centered teaching
  • To reform policies, practices and learning environments

Project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture developing Higher Education.

More information:

The Work-integrated Pedagogy in Higher Education project (WORKPEDA)

The Work-integrated Pedagogy in Higher Education project (WORKPEDA) brings the working-life perspective more strongly into education.
Project is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture developing Higher Education. More information:

The student's counseling for the work of the future

The aims of the project are:
-Developing processes, models and structures the work of the future in cooperation with the universities of applied
-Strengthen teaching staff career counselling skills
-Developing of futures career counselling of the education.

There are six universities of applied sciences creating a national consortium in the project and the work is being
divided into three themes:
– Structures and models for counselling the work of the future – Strengthen the structures and the models of career
counselling in University of applied sciences
– Counselling the work of the future – strengthen the career counselling competence of teachers in University of
applied sciences
– Coordinating the network of six Universities of applied sciences. – Collecting and documenting results, national
dissemination of results.

The main actions are:
– Developing and modeling the processes and structures of career counselling and pedagogy
– Finding out the possibilities of AI (artificial intelligence) in career counselling process
– Developing education of the futures career counselling.

The results are
-Futures career counselling processes, models and structures in the universities of applied sciences are evolving
-The guidance competencies of professionals will be strengthened in the universities of applied sciences
-A model of future-oriented career guidance education.

The project is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).


Sustainable Development in HEIs

The focus of the transdisciplinary, international research group is sustainable development in the education and RDI activities. The main questions concern the roles, contents, emphasizes and integration of SD both in policy, national and institutional levels.

More information: Mervi Friman,

Strategic partnership between HEIs

The focus of the transdisciplinary, international research group is the strategic partnership of higher education institutes. The processes, quality, and ethical principles, as trust and commitment, are in the focus of the research activities.

More information: Mervi Friman,

A selection of recent publications

Corado, C., & Ryymin, E. (2018). Building Quality Education and Sustainable Future in Finnish-Brazilian Teacher Education. Finnish Journal of Professional and Vocational Education, Digital Special Edition 20(5), 98-104.

Friman, M., Schreiber, D., Syrjänen, R., Kokkonen, E., Mutanen, A., & Salminen, J. (2018). Steering sustainable development in higher education – Outcomes from Brazil and Finland. Journal of Cleaner Production, 186, 364-372.

Casari Cundari P., Friman, M., Räikkönen, M., & Pedersen, J. (2018). Building a Nordic-Latin American cooperation among higher education institutes in Finland, Denmark, and Brazil. Revista Conhicimento Online. Feevale University.

de Jong, F., Willemse, M., Kantola, M., Friman, M., & de Vos, M. (2016). Bridging the Imaginary Research and Practice Gap by Responsive Learning. Journal of Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences.

Kullaslahti, J., & Nikander, L. (2017). Uraseurantatiedon hyödyntäminen koulutuksen kehittämisessä ja osaamisen johtamisessa. Teoksessa T. Jokinen & L. Marttila, L (toim.) Näkökulmia uraseurantaan ja uraohjaukseen.

Kullaslahti, J., Ruhalahti, S., & Brauer, S. (2019). Professional Development of Digital Competences: Standardised Frameworks Supporting Evolving Digital Badging Practices. Journal of Siberian Federal University. Humanities & Social Sciences 2 (12), 175-186.

Postareff, L., Mattsson, M., Lindblom-Ylänne, S., & Hailikari, T. (2017). The complex relationship between emotions, approaches to learning, study success and study progress during the transition to university. Higher Education, 73(3), 441-457.

Postareff, L., Mattsson, M., & Parpala, A. (2018). The effect of perceptions of the teaching-learning environment on the variation in approaches to learning–Between-student
differences and within-student variation. Learning and Individual Differences, 68, 96-107.

Ryymin, E. (ed.) (2019). Global Teachers Change Paradigms – Practical Paths to New Learning. Häme University of Applied Sciences. Hämeen kirjapaino oy: Tampere.

Ryymin, E. & D’Andrea, A. F. (2018). Pedagogical Goals and Practical Implementations within the Finnish-Brazilian Gira Mundo Finlândia Pilot Programme. HAMK Unlimited Scientific 14.12.2018.

Ryymin, E., Gautam, M., & Väisänen, T. (2019). Collaborative Robots Transforming Work and Learning. HAMK Unlimited Journal 23.9.2019.

Ryymin, E., Joyce, B., Maetoloa, K., Uusinoka, S., & Viskari, M. (2019). Searching for Global Innovations of Learning and Social Wellbeing. HAMK Unlimited Professional 12.9.2019.

Ryymin, E. & Vainio, L. (2018). Successful Collaboration between Higher Education and Working Life requires Pedagogical Competence and Communication Skills from Teachers. Yliopistopedagogiikka, 2.

Räisänen, M., Postareff, L., Mattsson, M., & Lindblom, S. (2018). Study-related exhaustion: First-year students’ use of self-regulation of learning and peer learning and perceived value of peer support. Active Learning in Higher Education.

Simola, M., Nokkala, T., & Friman, M. (2016). Higher education research in Finland – what’s going on? Tiedepolitiikka 41 (3), 6-8.

Veermans, M., Ryymin, E., Korhonen A-M., Lallimo, J., Airola, J., & Niinimäki, J. (2018). Jaetut haasteet ja ratkaisut – opettajien digipedagogisten erikoistumiskoulutusten koulutusasteet ylittävä yhteistyöpaja. Ammattikasvatuksen aikakauskirja 20(4), 51-69.

Vilppu, H., Murtonen, M., Södervik, I. & Postareff, L. (in press). The effect of short online pedagogical training on university teachers’ interpretations of teaching. Instructional Science.

Väänänen, I., & Friman, M. (2018). Julkaisutoiminnan vaikuttavuus. Ammattikasvatuksen aikakauskirja 20(3), 35-43.

Ylänne, J., Postareff, L., Parpala, A., & Virtanen. V. (2019). The interaction between university teachers’ well-being and their pedagogical competence. Proceedings of 3rd EuroSoTL Conference, June13-14, Bilbao, Basque Country; pp 561-565.

Contact information:

  • Liisa Postareff
  • Principal research scientist / Tutkimuspäällikkö
  • Tel. +358505702484
  • Interest: learning and teaching processes, emotions and well-being of teachers and students, engagement in continuous learning, physiological measures and methodological diversity in HE research
  • Mervi Friman
  • Research Manager / Tutkimuspäällikkö
  • Tel. +358405858203
  • Interests: higher education policy, sustainable development in higher education, ethics and higher education
  • Jaana Kullaslahti
  • Senior Specialist, higher education pedagogy / Korkeakoulupedagogiikan asiantuntija
  • Tel. +358405878201
  • Interests: online teaching and learning, continuing professional growth and development, curriculum and learning design in higher education
  • Kirsi Korkealehto
  • Senior lecturer / Lehtori
  • Tel. +358504779400
  • Interests: Language learning, eLearning, academic and social engagement, social media in learning, learning design in higher education, global education
  • Irma Kunnari
  • Principal lecturer / Tutkijayliopettaja
  • Tel. +358408307431
  • Interests: Education 4.0, teacher learning and organizational learning in the change of HE, co-creation pedagogy, pedagogical wellbeing, positive psychology, teacher resilience, collective efficacy
  • Siru Myllykoski-Laine
  • Project researcher / Projektitutkija
  • Interests: teaching in higher education, work community’s support for teaching, teachers’ well-being
  • Leena Nikander
  • Principal Lecturer / Yliopettaja
  • Tel. +358405877028
  • Interests: competence management, leadership, work relevance and learning in higher education
  • Henry Paananen
  • Senior Lecturer / Lehtori
  • Tel. +358503207950
  • Interests: Educational Technology (Learning Analytics, Mixed Reality, Artificial Intelligence)