Some of world’s best vocational education in Finland and China

China, here we come! One of the best vocational schools in Finland, and indeed in the world, OSAO (Oulu Vocational College), is aiming towards Chinese region and markets. Really happy and honoured to support OSAO in China. Our company Mingle Advisors with the great cooperation from BusinessOulu has built from zero-to-one a connection with the #1 vocational school in Zhejiang, one of the best in China, Zhongce Vocational High School.

I’ve heard lately vocational education coming along from so many sides – from Sino-Finland cooperation, Chinese and Finnish embassies, new Team Finland action plan, even from the President Xi Jinping, while he was meeting with President Sauli Niinistö, Premier Juha Sipilä and The Speaker of the Parliament, Mrs. Maria Lohela. It was also vividly highlighted in the 19th party congress outline.

But who has any idea how do the Chinese vocational schools work? Where are they? How do they function? How do you connect with them?

We had to learn a lot along the way – but got forward with perseverance and great network in Hangzhou. “Lauri, these build-ups take usually a long time, 1-2 years, and still you might not get it forward.” True, but I have felt something special with this Oulu underdog, forgotten jewel, and its reliable and trustworthy staff, Mr. Jarmo Paloniemi and Mr. Antti Rovamo and now also Mrs. Sanna Kivinen.

Past week we got a confirmation from the Hangzhou side that they are more than willing to start cooperation with our Oulu vocational college. We are learning along the way. Besides the school exchange we are gathering experience on potential education export chances.

And now the Hangzhou officials are already suggesting a full “Vocational Finland School” to be made. Wow… Big talk, but let’s see how the action plays out. As always in China, nothing is certain, before its done. Let’s keep up with good start and find more and more ways to support Finnish education, governmental and business players in China. People can talk great visions and smart talks, but when the moment comes, it’s more difficult to actually get things done. We’re very happy that we’ve once again shown, that with limited investment and short time you can get meaningful, concrete things done and pushed forward budget-friendly and effectively. It happens if you know what you’re doing. Or if you find out challenges, you keep pushing to finding out the right pathway to get things forward. “Never give up” works in China. Sooner or later you find a pathway.

A lot of work to be done, a lot of lessons to be learnt, but genuinely happy, that we have yet again got one more concrete thing pushed forward between China and Finland.

Ps. I visited OSAO again and have to tell that these people are just truly awesome! I loved it! People may overlook the vocational jobs, but at the times when theory and liberal university education is overhyped, it’s good to remember that these folks are often the ones, who make our societies click. The more you work with vocational, applied, business and practical side, the more you learn to appreciate and respect the hard work the Finnish, and indeed any global workers do. Besides big talk, sometimes you need action too.

Warm thanks for the students and staff at OSAO for showing how great quality is being done. The innovative culture of OSAO gives great platform for these ladies and young men to create some of the best vocational training there is available. From sweety cakes, to pondering administratives, guards and world-record machinery products, this is a great partner for any Chinese, or global institutions.

And we’re happy to announce that we have signed a continuation deal with Oulu Vocational College on co-operation in China. Do what you love, help others. That’s the best possible way to do business.

With small concrete steps forward. Once again feeling that we are doing something very meaningful.





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