THE government of Finland aims to partner with local schools in Davao and Mindanao for scholarships and educational programs, said Antonio S. Peralta, Honorary Consul of Finland to Mindanao.

Peralta said on October 26 that the partnership aims to connect local colleges and schools with schools in Europe, particularly in Finland, not just for scholarships but exchange of educational programs as well.

“It will upgrade the level of teaching, the level of how courses are being designed and that's why the entire program of the European Chamber of Commerce is the education advocacy committee,” Peralta said during a media forum.

The main goal of the partnership is to deliver four programs which are joint research activities, visiting professor programs, exchange students programs, and sharing or exchange of culture and heritage.

“For Finland, in the coming six months, we should be able to touch base with a number of schools in Finland to consider Mindanao in the said program,” Peralta said.

Currently, the Holy Cross of Davao College and the San Pedro College has existing scholarships and are aiming for internationalization as their next step.

In 2021, Europe offered 232 scholarships to the Philippines but only less than 100 availed of the slots although a lot of students could easily qualify for the program, Peralta said.

Thus, they hope the partnership, along with the recent opening of a consulate of Finland in Davao City last August, could open up more opportunities for students and investors in Mindanao. ICM