The University of Eastern Finland (UEF) is a multidisciplinary university, which offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects. With approximately 15,000 students and 2,800 staff members, UEF is one of the largest universities in Finland. The university comprises four faculties: the Philosophical Faculty, the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies, and the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The School of Computing belongs to this last Faculty. One of its core areas of expertise is “new technologies”. In its Strategy (March 2010), UEF highlights its vision of being a competitive high-standard international and multidisciplinary university, its societal service mission and social responsibility, and its commitment for sustainable development. Through its activities, UEF strongly supports and takes a key role on the internationalisation of the Eastern Finland region together with other actors.
School of Computing, UEF – edTech group
Dr. Jarkko Suhonen leads the international and transdisciplinary edTechΔ research group at School of Computing, UEF. The group consists of more than 40 Computer Science researchers, professionals and doctoral students whose specialization range from theoretical computer scientists to experts in special education and inclusive design. The main research areas of the group are digital storytelling, contextual design for learning, human language technologies and ICT for development. The core expertise of the group is to design and develop applications and solutions for real-world educational challenges, caused by physical distances, time constraints, limited learning resources, mental or physical disabilities, cultural differences and the formation of global smart citizens. During the past 10 years, the group has received over 8M€ external R&D funding from the various funding sources, including EU, Academy of Finland and TEKES. The group has over 15 years of experience in working with several research and development initiatives in Africa. The group coordinated Edulink, an ACP-EU funded project that networked 5 African universities and 3 European ones to create a shared ICT4D curriculum. The School of Computing was also responsible for the creation of a contextualized ICT curriculum at Tumaini University (Tanzania). Together with the School of Forestry, the School of Computing has taken part in three HEI ICI projects (two of them ending this year). These HEI ICI projects focused on developing Forestry education with the extensive use of ICT in Venezuela and Kenya. The School of Computing currently offers international multidisciplinary PhD studies in Educational Technologies -an online PhD programme with students located in Europe and Africa.
ICT Center (TIPA)
TIPA is the IT services organization responsible of all IT services in the UEF. Tipa employs 56 IT professionals with different skill sets including network and infrastructure, IT services management, ERP, business intelligence, learning technology, information security etc. State-of-the-art UEF information network consists three major campuses 140 km apart from each other. Wireless technologies are widely in use and controller based WLAN management enables university wide management and control.
CIO Juha Eskelinen leads the whole organization and Toni Mönkkönen leads the infrastructure team of 15 infrastructure specialists. Together they have years of experience building IT services and networks not only in the university but also in harsh international environments in telecommunication manufacturing industry.