Opinsauna - Learning Spaces

Opinsauna is a project launched at the Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology of the University of Eastern Finland in the autumn of 2015.The project develops, pilots and evaluates activities of Liberal Adult Education that support integration. In practice, this means, for example, the development of self-motivated and hobby-oriented learning opportunities for people with different backgrounds, for the benefit of individuals seeking asylum, immigrating to Finland or belonging to the native population.

The Finnish name of the project, Opinsauna [sauna of education], is derived from a poem by Hemminki Maskulainen, strongly related to the Finnish education history. In the poem “Teinien ilosta” [About the joy of teenagers], those “bathing” in the blissful sauna of education learn new ways and skills (see Grotenfelt, 1899). The English name of the project is Learning Spaces.

The implementation of the project is mainly carried out by the staff and students of Education and Adult Education at the University of Eastern Finland in cooperation with Liberal Adult Education actors, various organisations, and residents and staff of nearby reception centres. The Ministry of Education and Culture has granted funding for the Opinsauna – Learning Spaces project for the period 2017–-2019. The project is also a part of the work of the Freedom and Responsibility of Liberal Adult Education network.

Collaborative hobby-oriented studies and projects offer opportunities of interaction as well as contacts and meaningful things to do for those who have moved to the country for whichever reason and for native population. The model of project and service-learning invites students to develop practical activities, gain valuable work experience and find topical themes for their theses. For the Liberal Adult Education providers, the project provides support for the development, implementation and evaluation of new operating models. Furthermore, it collects and distributes good practices.


Further information:

Professor Jyri Manninen, tel. +358 2 94 45 2200, jyri.manninen(at)uef.fi


Grotenfelt, K. (eds.) 1899. Väinölä: Helmivyö suomalaista runoutta [Pearl-belt of Finnish poetry]. Porvoo: Werner Söderström. (Online version: http://www.loyalbooks.com/download/text/Book-18998.txt)