The international team of ENRICHER hubs project met in Helsinki

Over three intensive days, representatives from nine higher education institutions made significant strides in starting a fruitful collaboration in the ENRICHER hubs project. The main objective of the project is to improve the learning methods of sustainable tourism at the universities of Georgia and Moldova through service design tools and innovative pedagogical solutions. 

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The kick-off event of ENRICHER hubs (Erasmus+ Capacity Building in Higher Education) project was held in Helsinki, Haaga-Helia Pasila campus 26–28 February, bringing three participants from each partner university to Finland: three universities from both Georgia and Moldova, and Ulysseus partner universities from Italy and Austria. 

The partners engaged in a dynamic exchange of knowledge, deepening their understanding of each university's unique contribution to the project. Building on this shared knowledge, the team fostered stronger connections, exchanged views, and collaborated on refining project work strategies. Together, they planned schedules and content, co-creating a comprehensive code of conduct for the project. Beyond the meeting room, participants had the chance to experience Helsinki. 

Exploring the exotic north 

On the 2nd day of the event, the team headed to the sea fortress of Suomenlinna, where they enjoyed a presentation about sustainable tourism by Tourism Specialist Milla Öystilä. At the same time, visitors were able to learn about the history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site through a visit to a museum.

The experience was almost exotic – in an arctic way – due to the foggy weather, yet very enjoyable for the whole team. Afterwards, some team members continued to the Allas Sea Pool, as others went to see Oodi Library and other popular destinations of Helsinki. 

Project Manager Nora Lappalainen is very pleased that the international project team met in person.  

– The meeting was particularly significant for building a shared understanding and trust. Simultaneously, we were able to make significant progress in advancing the project work packages through workshops led by the universities responsible for each work package. This sets a strong foundation for continuing our collaboration in this highly meaningful and intriguing inter-university cooperation project in higher education institutions, Lappalainen mentioned. 

Enriching tourism with service design tools 

The objective of the ENRICHER project (Designing Green Tourism Concepts Through Learning) is to improve the capacity of green tourism service development and experiential learning to better match the industry needs of future employees. The project will accelerate the twin (green and digital) transition to boost the recovery of the European tourism industry by identifying skills and competence mismatches between Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and the labour market in Georgia and Moldova. 
 
The project involves several trainings that use Service Design methods and tools, e.g., Design Sprint and Business Model Canvas. One of the main objectives of the project is to better meet the needs of the future of work and to strengthen the competences of graduates. The project also aims at increasing regional development and cooperation with the industry, of which European universities of applied sciences can provide good examples for Moldova and Georgia. During the spring, schools in the target countries will study the main gaps in the training and methods of sustainable tourism currently in use, so that these can be tackled in the upcoming trainings starting in the autumn. 

Text: Hannes Särkkä 

ENRICHER – Designing green tourism concepts through learning

Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences is the coordinator university in this 3 years project. The Haaga-Helia team; Project Manager Nora Lappalainen, Principal Lecturer Riina Iloranta, Senior Lecturer Annika Konttinen and Coordinator Hannes Särkkä hosted the kick-off event together. 

Project partners

  • Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland (Coordinator) 
  • MCI Management Center Innsbruck Internationale Hochschule, Austria 
  • Universita Degli Studi di Genova, Italy 
  • Caucasus University, Georgia 
  • Akaki Tsereteli State University, Georgia 
  • Iakob Gogebashvili Telavi State University, Georgia 
  • University of European Political and Economic Studies Constantin Stere, Moldova 
  • Moldova State University, Moldova 
  • Comrat State University, Moldova 
Contact
Nora
Lappalainen
projektipäällikkö
Project Manager
+358 294471686
nora.lappalainen@haaga-helia.fi