Learning Comes from Finland – Finnish expertise in educational materials also featured at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Finland is the Guest of Honour in 2014 at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s largest event in the book publishing sector. The guest of honour project Finnland. Cool. also presents a Finnish account of the importance of reading, learning and education and their accessibility on an equal basis.

”The greatest assets of the Finns are not in the forests or the mines – though they are needed, too. The Finns’ greatest asset is education, high standards of expertise, the ability to understand what one reads and to gain knowledge.”

It was in these words that Finnish Minister of Culture Paavo Arhinmäki summarized the foundations of Finnish skills and competencies at the Frankfurt Book Fair of 2013. He defined education to be the cornerstone of equality and democracy in Finland: Almost all children and young people participate in publicly funded high-standard basic-level education of a uniform type. Professionally skilled teachers, who are required to complete a broad-based university-level degree of high requirements, are a guarantee of high-standard teaching. According to Minister Arhinmäki, investing resources and effort in education and learning explains why Finland has been successful.

Focus on learning and education

”For the first time in the long history of the Frankfurt Book Fair the national exhibit of the Guest of Honour extends to two exhibition halls and features both general publishing and the publishing of educational materials,” notes Iris Schwanck, director of FILI, which is also the coordinating body of the project.

Finnish skills and competency in education is a success story, the results of which are confirmed by results of surveys carried out world-wide. Finnish teachers are among the best in the world and fluid cooperation in developing schools, from the highest level of government down to the pupils, is a significant asset for educational success in Finland. The Frankfurt 2014 project presents Finnish expertise in education and educational materials to international professionals in learning and education in a focused manner with broad scope. The strategic aim is to increase Finnish exports of educational solutions. The fair pavilion and the graphic aspects of the project were designed by students in association with Aalto University.

The Guest of Honour project is coordinated by the FILI organization for the export of Finnish literature. The Learning Comes from Finland section presenting educational materials is by the educational materials working group of the Finnish Book Publishers Association. Department for Higher Education and Science Policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture has also granted seprate funding for this purpose.

This is the largest cultural export event of its kind held by Finland and its programme will be prepared in association with Finnish publishers, other literature experts and leading ministries and cultural actors. Owing to Finland’s status as Guest of Honour, Finnish literature and solutions in educational matters will be the subject of a great deal of attention at the Book Fair and throughout the year in German and international media.

For more information, please contact:
Iris Schwanck / FILI – Finnish Literature Exchange, Tel. +35840 5080 331,
Teuvo Sankila / Educational Materials Working Group of the Finnish Book Publishers Association Tel. +358 50 3737474,