Aalto University: Pekka Lundmark hopes to see more international talent in Finland

Aalto University alumnus, the president & CEO of Nokia Pekka Lundmark is delighted to see the rise in both the number of international staff and students and the scale of diversity in universities. Things were different back when he studied at the Helsinki University of Technology, one of the three founding universities of Aalto.

Lundmark celebrates the fact that approximately a quarter of the master’s students at Aalto have an international background. ‘It is a testament to Aalto University’s standing as an international center of excellence in areas such as artificial intelligence, quantum technology, bio-based materials, future energy systems, business and arts and design’, Lundmark says.

Only half of foreign students stay in Finland after graduation
Nokia shares Aalto’s view that it is essential to attract the best talent from around the world in order to pursue excellence. ‘To be able to create technologies for the future and respond to global challenges, we need the best people, wherever they might come from’, Lundmark says. ‘Nokia is fully supporting the Finnish government’s goal of tripling the number of foreign students in Finland by 2030.’

Nokia is fully supporting the Finnish government’s goal of tripling the number of foreign students in Finland by 2030.

Pekka Lundmark
Lundmark points out that currently only half of the international graduates stay in Finland and he would like to see an increase in the number.

‘Around 75 percent of Finnish companies say that they are short of skilled employees. This is where Nokia aims to lead by example,’ Lundmark says.

‘Although the Nokia headquarters are in Finland, Nokia is an international company. During the past four years, in Finland alone, Nokia has recruited 1700 people, half of which are international talents with 59 different nationalities.’

Three steps to retain international talent
Lundmark proposes three actions that Finnish organizations need to take to increase the willingness of international talents to stay in Finland:

Strengthen collaboration between universities, business and the public sector to create innovations and exciting careers.
Ensure that the integration to Finnish society is as easy as possible, for example by simplifying the permit process.
Increase the number of students in critical fields such as chip and software design. There is a chronic lack of experts in the field both in Finland and globally.
We can solve the big global challenges by building bridges between academia and business, and by looking for new ways to collaborate.

Despite the cold, Finland does not sleep during winter
Enjoying a stay in a foreign country also involves other things than studying an interesting field. Lundmark encourages to get to know Finnish culture and gives winter sports, such as cross country skiing, as an example. He also points out that despite the cold, Finland does not sleep during winter.

’The Helsinki region is a hive of activity, where there are many opportunities to socialize and do interesting things, for example, try winter sports.’

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