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Finland to send abroad four counselors of education and research

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 26.9.2018 12.00 | Published in English on 28.9.2018 at 14.09
Press release

The Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs are working together to increase the visibility of Finnish competence at four destinations abroad. The first counselors of Finnish education and research, or Team Finland Knowledge experts, have been appointed to Buenos Aires, Beijing, Singapore and Washington.

The Team Finland Knowledge experts will promote Finnish educational and research cooperation and the exports of Finnish knowledge, expertise and educational innovation. The experts will be working at Finnish Embassies as part of the Team Finland country teams as of 1 October. First, they will undergo training in Finland.

“The aim is a more open and international Finland. The first four counselors of education, research and education export will boost internationalisation and exports and reinforce Finland’s reputation as a leading country in education, science and innovation,” says Minister of Education Sanni Grahn-Laasonen.

“Next year the Team Finland Knowledge network will expand as we will be sending our representatives to Pretoria, Moscow and New Delhi. Other postings will be discussed later on,” the Minister says.

Emilia Ahvenjärvi was appointed to Buenos Aires from the post of an expert of education export at the University of Lapland. She has also worked at EduCluster Finland and the University of Jyväskylä in Finland and as an education expert in Latin America.

Mari-Anna Suurmunne, who was selected to represent the network in Beijing, was Head of International Relations at Aalto University. She has also worked as Director of International Relations at Helsinki School of Economics and as an expert at the Embassy of Canada to Finland.

Anna Korpi, who will be heading out to Singapore, worked as a Director at EduCluster Finland. She was in charge of EduCluster’s East and Southeast Asia operations in 2014–2017. She has also worked for Jyväskylä Joint Authority for Education as Development Coordinator and for UniServices Ltd.

Ilkka Turunen was appointed to Washington from the post of Senior Ministerial Adviser to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education and Culture. He has also served as Secretary-General of the Research and Innovation Council and worked at the Department for Higher Education and Science Policy where he was responsible for international cooperation in higher education, among other tasks. Turunen has worked as Counsellor in Finland’s embassies in Paris and Brussels.

The Team Finland Knowledge experts are appointed for a three-year term, with the option of two additional years. They will be posted at Finnish Embassies.

The Team Finland Knowledge network will implement Finland’s policies to promote the internationalisation of higher education and research. The policy aims to build up the quality of Finnish higher education and research, reach a globally acknowledged pioneering position by 2025 and boost the exports of Finnish knowledge, expertise and educational innovation.


- Tiina Vihma-Purovaara, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 2953 30327

- Marianne Huusko, Ambassador for Education Export, tel. +358 50 3250641

- Heikki Kuutti Uusitalo, Special Adviser to Minister of Education, tel. +358 50 302 8246

Policies to promote internationalisation in Finnish higher education and research (in Finnish)

Education Higher education and research Sanni Grahn-Laasonen