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University of Eastern Finland: The inspirational pulse of Europe

“To the prospective international student, I would like you to understand that the University of Eastern Finland is the best place to study and further your career due to its academic excellence and wide choice of programmes.” – Ndimyake Mwalugaja, MA Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Eastern Finland
With a diverse population of 15,000 students and a prestigious top 300 ranking from Times Higher Education, the University of Eastern Finland (UEF) is at the core of inspiration for international students around the world.

UEF represents one of Finland’s largest higher education providers, with campuses in Joensuu – a vibrant river city; and Kuopio – a city of outstanding natural beauty. As a multidisciplinary university offering comprehensive courses in 100 major subjects, UEF is a place where students from all four corners of the globe can develop specialist knowledge and hone their skills.

“I always wanted to study law,” says Tichaona Dande, MA student of Environmental Policy and Law at UEF, originally from Zimbabwe. “This, combined with my great interest in Environmental Management, led me towards the Masters Diploma Program (MDP) in Environmental Law and Policy. The programme accords me the opportunity to protect the environment and regulate human impacts through law.”

Tichaona is just one of a whole host of students who chose UEF Law School to make his professional dream a reality. “It’s one of the few programs in the world that combines Environmental and Climate Change Law and Policy,” he notes, claiming that the school’s extensive and multidisciplinary approach to education presented unparalleled opportunities in terms of saving the world from the ‘wicked problems’ of climate change – something all aspiring environmentalists are striving to achieve.

“The wide range of courses offered prepares me to be a leader and specialist who will guide climate change and decision making and champion sustainable development,” Tichaona adds.

“My postgraduate studies have empowered my career development and enhanced my understanding of the global politics in relation to International Environmental, Energy Law and Climate Change regimes,” he notes. “It has influenced my understanding that the world needs leaders of integrity, leaders who are capable of sacrificing their own personal interests for the benefit of current and future generations.”

Through a unique combination of focused group teaching and independent research, UEF’s Masters in Environmental Policy and Law provides all participants with the professional expertise needed to excel in this ever-changing industry.

“My aspiration before this Masters program was to become an environmentalist and be able to foster an appreciation of the natural environment and the values it provides to our daily lives,” says Ndimyake Mwalugaja, another second year student of Environmental Policy and Law, specializing in Environment and Climate Law.

“There are many factors that led me choose UEF, which include the quality of education that UEF is recognized for worldwide,” Ndimyake points out. “The… education system is flexible and stress-free… [and] Finland is a safe, multicultural country that also promotes democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

“I am expecting to graduate in 2017…[ when] I hope to be part of the emerging generation of ecologically conscious men and women who will lead the development of a new business model; [one]that regards proper stewardship of the environment as standard practice,” Ndimyake adds, and with expert instruction provided by some of the field’s leading experts, Ndimyake is set to make waves in the realm of Environmental Business Policy.

But through their specialised training for business, government and universities, all of which is provided directly thorugh the institution, UEF graduates are not solely making an impact within the professional sphere – they are also a great asset to academics worldwide.

“Since being introduced to the international environmental and climate change laws through the MDP, I am certainly more knowledgeable and well-informed on the topics,” says Raihanatul Jannat, another Environmental Law and Policy student, originally from Bangladesh.

“UEF has proven to be a hub of opportunities where I have met other individuals who are specializing in different areas such as energy law or water law, and it has been great mental stimuli to discuss a diverse range of issues with my peers… Upon completion of the MDP, I hope to further my research on climate change, and embark on a PhD within these areas.”

Raihanatul believes that UEF has a major part to play in sculpting her personal aspirations, laying crucial groundwork that allows her to delve deeper into climate change law. At the same time, UEF has encouraged her to believe in her own ability, urging her to pursue a research career so she can make a real difference not only in her home country, but in the wider world.

“I also think that the encouragement of the lecturers, professors and my peers within the MDP has given me the confidence to look towards further studies on this topic,” she adds. “Had I not gotten into the MDP at UEF, I would never realize that my greatest passion in life lies with research and academia!”

With Europe developing the most comprehensive, ambitious and binding environmental regulation over the past 40 years, driving significant improvement in the environment and quality of life, on top of spurring innovation, job creation and growth, there’s no better continent to study Environmental Policy and Law, as well as other subjects, such as International Economic and Resources Law. And while these postgraduates represent a mere fraction of UEF’s student success, there is no doubt that UEF’s Law School allowed them to realize their ambitions.

But in their own eyes, what exactly does it take for an international student to succeed?

“I would suggest a prospective international student to first narrow on an area that they find the most interest in, and then find the programme which correlates best with that interest,” Raihanatul concludes. “Just because a topic is novel does not mean that it can’t be ventured into. In such a scenario, it’s best to contact academics within the program, and ask for their kind guidance.

“In my view, such guidance can really help an international student decide on how to further their aspirations.”

You can connect with the University of Eastern Finland Law School on Facebook and Twitter.

Feature image via Eliel / Wikipedia, all other images via the University of Eastern Finland