Global and Local, Policies and Living (#104)

by Ulla Virtanen, TAKK

TAKK local Nasta Café

The local café we sit in every working day, Nasta in TAKK Nirva Campus

Good news for the Education of Europe: Commission proposes to double funding for Erasmus programme for 2021-2027. This is the big news of the week, meaning political support for European Education Area by 2025. Moreover, the big goals of empowering young people and strengthening European identity are getting the attention they so need and deserve to have. It’s a free-flowing world for the future youth.

There are wonderful new, but natural elements to the programme: mobility periods that are consistently longer and cooperation that goes further than Europe – also for Vocational Education and Training! Which ais an absolute delight. The so called ”Centres of vocational excellence” will create more connections and larger networks for our secondary VET. Great!

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From global to local, yes. This week I had the privilege and joy to read the Master’s thesis by one of our previous trainees in TAKK. She writes about sustainable development and compares Chinese VET with Finnish VET. It touched me how she reminded us all about the need for place-based policy-making, despite the overwhelmingly great strategic policies we have from the global level decision-makers. Good job, Ms Riikka Yli-Arvela. Your Master’s thesis keep spinning in my mind.

I have seen, with my Erasmus and education export short history, how important it is to take local circumstances into consideration. To really hear them out and respond to them. This is no global world, it is actually very local and the best definition of global I have heard of, so far, is LOCAL + LOCAL = GLOBAL.

There’s lots of debate, who said it first, ”Think globally, act locally”, but let’s not stick to that. Instead, my point is, the question of ”local” is related to the concepts of essence, character and roots, which delights me even more. Small is beautiful, local is very ”original”… The original of certain circumstances has captured the character of the region and it’s people. We are in the core of something wonderfully original and local, and that cannot disappear, although it may change with time – gradually and naturally. Let’s keep the local things going and very much live. Let’s share them globally and we learn from each other more than words can ever say.

PS. Local things for example: neighbourhood cafés, pubs, events, music and building styles, business models of the region. Full of character!

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