Nordplus Higher Education
The NordBiz network – valued Nordic-Baltic cooperation
AUTHOR: Charlotta Edlund, Raili Ekholm
collaborating countries: Sweden, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania
The NordBiz network of higher education institutions from Nordic and Baltic countries has long roots of cooperation in the region. Up to date, the NordBiz network has, for example, organized yearly thematic intensive courses with contemporary themes. This cooperation is invaluable to the participating students and network’s institutions and has enabled the network to build sustainable relationships, develop courses and most definitely enhanced all participants’ intercultural skills.
History and scope of the NordBiz network
The NordBiz network started in 1993, when three higher education institutions from Finland, Sweden and Denmark, which thought that an international network would gain them a wider perspective, mutual understanding for the Nordic identity, and enhance learning and teaching through new methods and pedagogical solutions in the network schools. The network has expanded to eight universities in eight Nordic-Baltic countries.
This partnership has resulted in a successful and thriving cooperation in many fields, e.g. annual intensive courses at one of the network universities, a double degree programme, student and teacher exchange, deans’ meetings, and working groups for various development projects (digitalization of business education, incubators, mentors, work placement). It has also spurred the participating companies in giving them insights into the advantages of Nordic cooperation at different levels in terms of sourcing, logistics, management and the Nordic welfare models as part of macroeconomics.
Nordic-Baltic aspects in the NordBiz network’s intensive courses
The intensive courses’ objectives are to familiarize the students with the cultural and business practice differences of the neighboring countries, gain practical experience in working in multicultural groups, to create their own network of future business people and develop their personal competences in Nordic-Baltic understanding during the course. The themes vary yearly, and the groups not only produce country reports and cross-national analyses but also actual solutions to the participating companies from different areas of the business life.
The Nordic-Baltic Perspectives on Marketing intensive course (2004-2013) started from the idea to raise the Nordic marketing thinking to the same level with the dominant Anglo-American approach in teaching marketing. Being inspired by the success of the first intensive course, two more were planned and implemented: Business Strategies for Sustainable Development (2011-2013) and Business Ethics and Entrepreneurship (2014-2016).
“The course developed my knowledge about relationship marketing and it enhanced my understanding of cultural differences and their influence on bilateral trade, management etc. A course like this is good for your personal development, and I came home with a Nordic-Baltic network that I have benefited a lot from since the course.” Steen Fleck, BSc student in International Management
Aarhus University, Department of Business Development and Technology, Denmark
“No matter if you are an exchange student for one week or one year, this course will give you experiences that no other person has. Meeting people from different countries and hearing other students’ opinions and thoughts are things that challenge your own thinking and personal development. This course made me realize that the Nordic-Baltic countries are rather different even though the geographical distance is close.”
Emelie Linheden, MSc in International Marketing
Mälardalen University, Sweden
Continuity and trust
The outcome of this long-standing cooperation is active and genuine relations between teachers, students and deans from all partner institutions. This has enabled the network to develop and promote cross-cultural and interdisciplinary courses and also to add value to the existing education in the ever-changing global environment.
Name of project: NordBiz
Programme: Nordplus Higher Education
Mälardalen University, Sweden (coordinating institution) – Charlotta Edlund: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lahti University of Applied Sciences, Finland – Raili Ekholm: email@example.com
Aarhus University, Department of Business Development and Technology, Denmark – Jan Kvist Martinsen: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telemark University College, Norway – Per Isaksen: email@example.com
Reykjavik University, Iceland – Sverrir Arngrímsson: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia – Kaja Lutsoja: email@example.com
ISM University of Management and Economics, – Jolita Butkiene: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stockholm School of Economics Riga, Latvia – Aivars TImofejevs: email@example.com
Project period: 15.06.2015 - 1.10.2016
Web page: www.nordbiz.org