The HelsinkiUNI International Talent Programme – UNITalent is where international talents from the University of Helsinki meet companies and organizations in the Finnish labour market.
The aim of UNITalent is to inform international talents about Finnish working life, including field specific information and the practicalities of finding a job in Finland. In addition, another important aim of the programme is to support the talents in building a professional network in Finland.
Host organizations play an important role in passing on sector specific knowledge and sharing networks. UNITalent consists of groups organized by the hosts.
The programme runs for 3 months in 2024, and includes 4-5 group meetings organized by both host organizations and career services. Both international MA students and doctoral researchers may apply
The project’s objectives were formulated in line with the objectives presented in the Talent Boost Programme (2017) by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Talent Boost is a cross-administrative programme designed to attract and retain international talent and help with immigration. It aims to make Finland better known and more attractive to international talent. The programme strives to make the Finnish labour market more open and attractive to international talent. Talent Boost is a national collaboration platform for the development of talent-related services.
The HITP programme was created within the “International talents boosting companies” project 2018-2021.
The programme was developed under the project’s third thematic aim, the employability of international talents (the first aim is attracting international talents, and the second is settling of talents in Finland). To make the transition to the labour market easier for international degree students, one measure was to scale and implement the International Talent Programme at Hanken School of Economics and introduce such a programme at UH. Following the project plan, the International Talent programme was conceptualized in 2019-2020, with the pilot starting in autumn 2020.
As a first step in creating a new international talent programme at UH, background research was conducted to initiate the conceptualization of the new programme and understand the current employability situation for international students as needed. The background research was carried out as part of a service design process run by Digitalist. There were interviews with representatives from different units and internal stakeholders at UH. The aim was to map the current situation in master’s degree programmes taught in English about the project aims. It was essential to understand the situation and hear the stakeholders’ and degree programmes’ thoughts and wishes, as the new talent programme needed committed stakeholders to succeed.
As a summary of this research, it can be stated that practical work training, networking, and being able to describe own professional skills were the factors that needed the most attention to make the international master’s students’ ability to enter the Finnish labour market smoother. Although not mandatory in all professions and not highlighted in all branches of science, the importance of learning the Finnish language must not be undervalued, especially when it comes to an international student’s ability to adapt to society and create social networks.
During the pilot programme of 2020-21, the programme attracted over 100 students, along with 12 mentor organizations. For six months, international students had first-hand access to Finnish working life from a specific field. After its first round, the University of Helsinki decided to continue this project by running HITP annually by career services.
-Written by Fransisco Rangel Bustamante, trainee at career services -22 and HITP- mentee-
|HITP in numbers|
|Mentors||12 (14 groups)||9 (11 groups)||8 (9 groups)|
From the autumn term 2023 onwards, the programme will open up to all international MA students and international doctoral researchers at UH.