MFA of Finland and EDUFI: Centre of Expertise in Education and Development to help in resolving the global learning crisis
The Centre of Expertise, newly established under the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI), will strengthen Finland’s role in resolving the global learning crisis. The Centre will facilitate the deployment of Finnish education sector expertise in development cooperation and support efforts to strengthen equitable and inclusive quality education in developing countries. At the same time, it will also facilitate the engagement of Finnish actors in the education sector in development cooperation assignments.
The Centre of Expertise in Education and Development provides expert support for the development of systems in the education sector as part of other development cooperation related to education. It will work in close cooperation with Finnish higher education institutions, civil society organisations, and education specialists in both the public and private sectors. The cooperation will cover also contacts with developing countries, EU institutions, and other multilateral development actors.
“Education is a specific strength area where Finland has good opportunities to support sustainable development. The Centre of Expertise in Education and Development is an investment in the future, enabling a more extensive and long-term use of Finnish expertise in the education sector in development cooperation,” says Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari.
The activities of the Centre are funded from development cooperation appropriations administered by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Finland has allocated EUR 4 million for the purpose in 2021–2023. The Centre of Expertise will employ three experts and start operations at the Finnish National Agency for Education in autumn 2021.
The Centre pools Finnish expertise in education, forming a network of experts in education and development. The experts in the network may be, for example, officials specialising in education and development; experts specialising in assessment and quality assurance; experienced developers working in the field, who specialise in education, research and development in higher education institutions; or experts working in NGOs or companies. The Centre of Expertise will also provide training for experts participating in the network.
The Centre can also serve as a mediator and help experts in the network to apply for various tasks in the Foreign Ministry’s development cooperation projects in international organisations or developing countries. In addition, the Centre may provide short-term or part-time expert support for specific tasks for partner countries or multilateral actors engaged in development cooperation. Decisions on the allocation of support are made by the Centre of Expertise in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
“We consider it important that the importance of education in development cooperation is widely recognised and that investments are made in the sector. The establishment of a new Centre of Expertise is a good example of this. The activities of the Centre of Expertise will be developed in close cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the education sector and other stakeholders,” says Director Samu Seitsalo from EDUFI.