My Internship Reflections at UniPID

The Finnish University Partnership for International Development, also known as UniPID, is a coordinating unit that provides strategic support for cooperation between Finnish universities to address issues of global development. Though the list is not exhaustive, global development challenges range from water, health, sustainable energy, climate change and technology.

This post is a reflection on my 12 weeks internship period at UniPID. As a student of Masters in Research and Innovation in Higher Education (MARIHE) an internship is a mandatory part of the program to gain practical knowledge in the field of higher education.

A task that helped me to broaden my understanding of the various thematic categories of global development issues was attending the UniPID Planning Days on 18th -19th May 2017 in Hyytiälä. Traditionally, the global development issues are studied from three dimensions of social, economic, and environmental. However, there are some issues like health and gender that are not easy to categorize and fall under 'cross-cutting' theme.

My contribution to the Planning Days was to prepare a set of PowerPoint presentations for the Development of the Virtual Studies Program session. This session focused on the virtual studies courses in global development offered by the Finnish universities and coordinated at UniPID. The agenda of the session was to assess the thematic categories that have been covered so far in the virtual studies courses and if there were any possibilities to introduce new categories. I had to find a suitable category for each virtual studies course that has been completed so far at UniPID and create a series of PowerPoint presentations.

My next assignment is a good example of how at UniPID a task is created 'with' you instead of 'for' you. Working on the evaluation criteria for the virtual studies course proposal allowed me to apply my knowledge of higher education to UniPID. Unlike regular courses that are offered in a classroom setting the virtual courses are held in the virtual environment. While preparing the evaluation criteria, I noticed that some of the challenges of virtual courses were related to online teaching methodology and learning styles of the students. One of the objectives of the evaluation criteria was to address such limitations and ensure only the most suitable courses are offered for the virtual studies platform. The feedback from my internship supervisor also helped in customizing the evaluation criteria for UniPID's virtual studies courses.

My final internship task was to edit the FINCEAL+ section of the UniPID website. The FINCEAL+ project supports research communities across Finland, Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean in global development issues ranging from but not limited to, renewable energy, health and nutrition and climate change. This task not only gave me a deeper insight on FINCEAL+ project but I also learnt about website content management and content management systems like ProcessWire.

As I conclude my internship journey, I leave with a better understanding of UniPID and its contribution to global development issues through education, research, and social cooperation. Moreover, I look forward to resuming my study program with the newly-acquired skills and experiences at UniPID.

Anuradha Sroha (MARIHE-5)

(Photos by Johanna Kivimäki)