Aalto University welcomes 80 Chinese students who will travel to Helsinki by train

Aalto University welcomes 80 Chinese students who will travel to Helsinki by train

The Chinese Tongji University is arranging an excursion to Finland in May. The visitors will be hosted by Aalto University. The group will consist of 80 students and some professors and representatives of the management of the university. The group will travel by train from Shanghai to Helsinki via Russia. The train has left Shanghai on May 4th and it will arrive at Helsinki railway station on Tuesday, May 10th at 18.01. Additional members of the group will arrive by plane, including professors and representatives of the management of Tongji University as well as heads of major companies.


The train journey of the Chinese students, Tongji on Tracks, is a return visit that was inspired by the Aalto on Tracks project initiated by Aalto University students about a year ago. At that time, 80 students, researchers and partners travelled by train from Helsinki to Shanghai in order to participate in the Shanghai World Expo.


– The fact that these Tongji University students and members of staff are travelling here to visit Aalto University is a great example of how bold initiatives can result in new and literally boundary-breaking activities. We expect this meeting to result in research cooperation and increased student exchange in both China and Finland,” says Hannu Seristö, Aalto University Vice President of Knowledge Networks.


In addition to deepening the cooperation between the universities, the Chinese group has also defined educational goals for the journey. Students will have the opportunity to attend seminars and lectures, study and perform project work during the train journey. They will also receive credits for their journey.


A variety of events will be arranged for the guests during their stay in Finland. Both the student union and Aalto University staff have participated in the arrangements. The Chinese professors will meet their colleagues working at Aalto University and visit the university’s schools. Finnish pedagogics will also be introduced to them. The students will have the opportunity to take part in events, meet students from Aalto University at venues such as the Design Factory and visit cultural sights, Finnish companies and the schools of Aalto University.


Part of the Aalto University Masters of Arts 2011 exhibition, which opens during the visit of the Chinese students, has been reserved for projects presenting Tongji University and the Tongji on Tracks project. The entire group of students will participate in the opening festivities of the exhibition on May 11th. On May 14th, the Chinese students and a group of Aalto University students will design a Chinese Pavilion for Helsinki to celebrate the World Design Capital 2012 theme year.

Tongji University is one of Aalto University’s strategic partners. It is one of the best universities in China and situated in Shanghai. Among the university’s main areas of expertise are architecture, urban and community planning, traffic and design. The number of students is approximately 50,000. About a year ago, Aalto University and Tongji University founded their Sino-Finnish Centre and the Aalto-Tongji Design Factory, the first phase of the Sino-Finnish Centre project. It is an international centre of innovative education and research based on cooperation between universities and businesses. It brings together students, researchers, non-governmental organizations and cities.

More information:
- If you wish to interview the Chinese students, please contact Aalto University Communications: eeva.lehtinen@aalto.fi, tel. +358 50 321 7034.

- Professor Yrjö Sotamaa, Executive Vice Director, Sino-Finnish Centre; Advisory Dean, College of Design & Innovation, Tongji University, tel. +358 500 503 868, +86 159 2175 6311, yrjo.sotamaa@aalto.fi
- Project Manager Viljami Lyytikäinen, Aalto-Tongji Design Factory, tel. +358 44 572 4467, viljami.lyytikainen@tkk.fi

- Masters of Arts 2011 exhibition: www.moa.fi