Meet Tina from Tianjin University of Technology
Associate Professor Haomiao Yu from Tianjin University of Technology, Tina by her Western name, has now worked for two months at TUAS. It's not the first time she is visiting Turku, but this time she will stay until spring with the aim to further enhance the collaboration between Tianjin University of Technology and TUAS.
Four years ago, Turku University of Applied Sciences (TUAS) established a so-called Visiting Students agreement with Tianjin University of Technology (TUT). TUT is located in Tianjin, a city of approximately 12 million inhabitants, which is also a twin city of Turku.
The collaboration concerns TUT Bachelor level Business Administration programme specializing in entrepreneurship management.
“The market is Asian oriented to an increasing extent, so we are happy to have this opportunity to develop our education export related cooperation with Tianjin University of Technology", says Partnerships Manager Kirsti Virtanen from TUAS.
The purpose of the agreement between TUT and TUAS is to promote the competence business administration of students at TUT and to benefit from the learning and teaching methods used at TUAS. In the framework of the agreement, Chinese students come and study at TUAS and at the moment, there are about twenty of them in Turku.
Already last year, TUT Business College sent 12 students to study business administration in Turku. The experiences of these students are being collected with the help of Associate Professor Haomiao Yu, or Tina by her Western name, from TUT Business College. She spends her autumn in Turku to collect the students' experiences and conducts her own research.
Tina says that she is impressed by the TUAS method of teaching business administration. Tina, with 20 years of experience in teaching, is particularly interested in innovation pedagogy.
“I represent a modern Chinese university and we wish to constantly develop our teaching. We have proposed a joint degree in business administration as a new form of collaboration. Your entrepreneurship studies, innovation pedagogy and BusinessAcademy are extremely attractive methods. A joint degree programme enables the introduction of these Finnish teaching and learning methods in Tianjin through TUAS teachers visiting TUT to teach Chinese students.”
English studies already at a young age
Tina explains how she became interested in the English language early; she practised pronunciation and imitated what she heard. She studied at Nankai University, which is regarded as one of the top universities in China. She got her PhD in Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, a top university in the field of finance and economics management in North China, where she worked as a lecturer.
“When I was younger and started to teach students, I felt very insecure. At first, I taught English and I was so nervous that I spoke too fast and ran out of things to say well before the time was up. So we sat in silence for 20 minutes and waited for the class to be over. I was only 22 years old, approximately the same age as my students”, she laughs.
According to Tina, it has taken long in China to start believing in their own competences, own dreams. After the Cultural Revolution, constant comparisons were carried out to other countries, the United States in particular. Tina graduated in 1998 and at the time, she didn’t want to work with international affairs even though that was something she had been dreaming of. The society has however changed and these days all internationality is a bonus.
More time available than usually
Tina is a modern mother who believes that her engineer husband and 12-year-old son will do just fine while she is away. It is good for them to learn how to do their laundry and cook dinner, she says. Her mother, a 75-year-old ex-teacher is a tai chi enthusiast and actively participates in all things possible.
Tina, too, has a tendency to keep herself busy. She goes for a walk, she goes dancing and swimming. Sometimes she and her colleagues dive into the swimming pool of the neighbouring university during their lunch break. The discussion veers to cultural differences.
“I’ve noticed that in Finland, people don’t necessarily want to get to know their neighbours. It seems like people prefer their privacy. In China, people knock on their new neighbours’ doors in order to welcome them within a week.”
“I live alone now and it’s quite relaxing. At the same time, however, it sometimes feels like I just come in and then go out, always on my own. Then again, I get to decide everything by myself while I’m here and spend my free time as I wish. Now I must get used to having so much me-time. So far, at least!”
Tina says that she often goes on a walk. The fresh and clean air outside doesn't lose its charm.