Laurea-ammattikorkeakoulu – Laurea University of Applied Sciences – operates in the Greater Helsinki Region on seven campuses and units. It outstands in competences of service innovations, health, wellbeing and social integrity as well as coherent safety and security. Laurea carries out professionally oriented bachelor, master and different kind of continuing education. It concentrates on regional development of the Finnish metropolitan area with RDI activities. Laurea has 7000 Bachelor and 800 Master students and employs 550 personnel, which makes it the third largest UAS in Finland. Together with its strategic partners Haaga-Helia and Metropolia Laurea is even more powerful and attractive higher educator, developer, researcher and partner nationally and internationally. Laurea UAS is Finland’s most awarded university of applied sciences measured by quality and centre of excellence appointments in Finland. It has been nominated five times as a Center of Excellence by the Finnish Higher Education evaluation Council.
Learning by Developing (LbD) model is an innovative operational learning model based on key components of authenticity, partnership, experiential learning, creativity and research. Students’ learning is connected to authentic development projects that are rooted in the world of work. Learning by Developing model creates networks between education, working life and regional development. The goal of the LbD model is to produce new knowledge for all partners involved in the collaborative learning process i.e. students, teachers, working life partners, and their customers.
The students of the Bachelor Programme in Social Services are offered an option to study in the so called Creative Activities Track. The Creative Activities Track is unique in Finland, and it has been very popular among the students for more than 15 years. The Programme involves a social pedagogy and an applied art based approach to work. Creative activities can be used to reinforce the resources of individuals and whole communities. During their 3,5 years of studying students are engaged with different kinds of LbD projects with public, private, and third sector organisations, and groups of citizens. Creative methods are utilized by the students for enabling dialogue with clients, concretely specifying phenomena to be developed in collaboration with clients, and making the phenomena visible.
Understanding social problems on the level of individuals, communities and the society is at the core of the Bachelor Programme in social services. The students learn to enhance clients’ life management capabilities, and they learn ways of supporting clients’ life management. Laurea has strong know-how in marginalization, social rehabilitation and reinforcing social inclusion. The LbD model is a tool for understanding these themes and theories in practice. Students and lecturers are working in development projects, for example with mental health and substance abuse services or elderly care, where all actors are participating as equals, solving challenges or producing new competences and personal, professional growth in their varying roles and responsibilities.
Laurea aims to be an international developer of wellbeing and competitiveness of the Helsinki Metropolitan area in 2020.” In 2015, Laurea obtained the Certificate for Quality in Internationalisation from the European Consortium for Accreditation. The certificate was awarded to Laurea for having successfully incorporated an international and intercultural dimension into the purpose, function and delivery of its education
In HEISE project, Laurea University of Applied Sciences is represented by: