I say thanks, but not goodbye!

October 26, 2022
Johanna Kivimäki

After 10 years of coordinating and directing UniPID, Johanna Kivimäki moves to other tasks, but wishes to keep contact and continue collaboration with the UniPID community.

Dear UniPID community,

Johanna Kivimäki
Johanna Kivimäki

You have probably heard the news by now that I am no longer working as the director of UniPID. I have started a new position and will be off to Sao Paolo, Brazil, to serve as a counsellor for higher education and science policy, and as a new member of Team Finland Knowledge network, at the Consulate of Finland.

Working for 11 years altogether in UniPID offered me never ending opportunities for co-creating new initiatives to support Finnish universities’ global responsibility and partnerships with the Global South. I am happy I was there to help reinvent the network as needed and to prove the relevance and added value of UniPID in the Finnish higher education and research sector.

Throughout the years, we have proved our value, for instance, by developing concrete support for Finnish research partnership building with the Global South (FinCEAL+), by planning tools to better integrate migrants in Finnish higher education (SIMHE), and by designing a mechanism to facilitate concrete collaboration between researchers and development policy officers in support of research-based decision making (UniPID DPS). Over the years, UniPID has also gained an important role in supporting the bi-regional science policy dialogue and collaboration between EU and Africa. More recently, the network has been working with very exciting initiatives with relevance in the national and international discussions related to responsible and fair global academic partnerships. However, I can only take credit for a small part of UniPID’s actions, as really none of the achievements would have been possible without the committed professionals and thematic experts that have formed the UniPID team in changing constellations.

My work in UniPID was never boring and almost always inspiring! Throughout the years, the great variety of topics and types of activities that the network has been working on gave me the chance to constantly develop my own work, knowledge, and skills. The position provided a great vantage point to the internationalization and global responsibility of Finnish higher education and research sector. It also offered me opportunities to be involved and have an impact in the nexus of higher education, science policy, and development policy. But most importantly, I felt privileged for having the opportunity to work with and learn from so many wonderful colleagues and partners, both from the academic community and the wider stakeholder groups in Finland and internationally. I cannot express enough my gratitude to all the committed people I came across throughout my UniPID journey: A network is nothing without the people, who share the same interests and values and are ready to work for them with a collaborative and open mindset.

At the moment of my leave, UniPID holds a strong position and is ready for a new direction. It is always good to shake up the structures a bit and let in new ideas for the future!

At the same time, I am committed to bring with me to my new work the perspectives of global responsibility, societal impact, and equitable and fair partnerships, which surely are key components for global collaboration in research and higher education. I am personally also very happy to know that in my new position I will actually continue to collaborate with many of the same people as with UniPID! Hence, this is not a goodbye, but a “see you soon in other roles”!

Thank you so much for all the great collaborations! Keep UniPID strong!

Kind regards,



Photo credits: Jordan Wozniak, 2017, on Unsplash