Alongside Finland, Aalto University Aalto EE degree programs are available in South Korea and Taiwan. The countries now have thousands of Aalto EE alumni.
The partnership began in Korea back in 1995 when Veikko Jääskeläinen, rector of Helsinki School of Economics at the time, and Professor Dong-Sung Cho from Seoul National University and The Institute for Industrial Policy established in 1993 (IPS, the current aSSIST Business School) decided to collaborate.
I’m sure Jääskeläinen realized how much it meant to be present in Korea."
“I’m sure Jääskeläinen realized how much it meant to be present in Korea that is an important industrial player and consumer product manufacturer,” explains Hanna-Riikka Myllymäki, Business Area Director, Degree Programs at Aalto EE.
Collaboration began with Taiwan in the early 2000s, just after Aalto EE’s predecessor HSE Executive Education had established a unit and subsidiary in Singapore. Many western companies set up Asia hubs in Singapore and continue to do so today.
“We had some big customers there – Nokia perhaps most importantly – which was an important reason to have a subsidiary in Singapore at the time,” says Anu Vänskä, Executive Director of subsidiary Aalto Executive Education Academy Ptd Ltd.
The Taiwanese partnership stemmed from a determined search for new business operations.
The importance of local partners
Excellent local partners who understand the local culture, language, and business and educational field are an integral part of Aalto EE’s presence in Asia. Aalto EE currently partners with aSSIST in South Korea and Pan Asia International Education Center in Taiwan.
It’s also important to have employees who speak Mandarin Chinese also at the Aalto EE Singapore unit. Modules produced by Pan Asia for the EMBA program in Taipei are in Chinese. Simultaneous interpretation is always offered for modules in English.
The collaboration with aSSIST has now lasted for nearly thirty years, while Pan Asia is Aalto EE’s third partner in Taipei.
In Korea, we have more than 4,000 Aalto Executive MBA alumni and a highly efficient collaboration with our partners."
“In Korea, we have more than 4,000 Aalto Executive MBA alumni and a highly efficient collaboration with our partners. Aalto’s accreditations and ranking success are of interest to our partners, while the collaboration is critical for our business. It’s a win-win situation,” highlights Myllymäki.
The degree partnership is vital, creating a foundation for a range of educational cooperation.
“The degree programs are lengthy, requiring commitment both from participants and the partner,” says Vänskä.
Benefits of international collaboration
International collaboration is beneficial both to individuals and their organizations. Students and alumni from different countries get to know each other and international professors, and learn about new work methods and cultures.
Myllymäki mentions that collaboration has a wider societal impact.
Take LG Electronics for example – one of the Korean companies for which Aalto EE and aSSIST have implemented a tailored Executive MBA program – which decided to set up a research center in Turku, Finland in 2015.
“I can’t help thinking that over 400 top executives at LG having received training on the Aalto EMBA made a difference.”
The partnership between Aalto EE and aSSIST also came to the fore when South Korean President Moon Jae-in visited Finland in 2019 to meet Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö and visited also Aalto University.
Aalto EE doesn’t make customized programs in Taiwan but according to Vänskä, it’s easy to assume that the company has a huge impact on its customer companies indirectly.
“From some companies, we have new participants in our Executive MBA programs year after year. Also, some of the participants represent non-local companies. The latest program had three participants from Google, for example. In other words, we are an appealing option also among employees of US conglomerates in Taiwan.”
Aalto University Executive Education (Aalto EE) has collaborated with leading international business schools and universities since 1995. Through extensive partnership and collaboration network, we offer executive education and professional development services worldwide. Read more