Learning from Successful Educational Policies: Bridging ADB and Education Finland


Learning from Successful Educational Policies: Bridging ADB and Education Finland

01 June 2021

 9:00 a.m., Frankfurt (10:00 a.m., Helsinki; 3:00 p.m., Manila)


A webinar on Applying Finnish Educational Experience in Developing Asia and the Pacific


The Asia and Pacific region, home to almost 4.5 billion people, has significantly increased access to education and achieved the related targets under the Millennium Development Goals. But the quality of education, particularly the attainment of learning outcomes, remains a challenge. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been working with its developing member countries for more than 50 years to expand and improve education at all levels. ADB has allocated cumulatively about $15 billion in loans and grants for the education sector with $1,349 billion in 2020. For 2021 and 2022, the amounts are estimated to increase to $2,9 billion and $2,2 billion USD respectively. ADB’s school education support focuses on three main areas: quality and relevance, systems and governance, and equitable access.

In order to improve the quality and relevance of education, ADB has worked intensively with its developing member countries to improve learning outcomes. Today, Finland’s education system is considered to be a successful one in many ways. Since the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) began in 2000, Finnish 15-year-olds have consistently done well. Conducted every three years by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), PISA tests the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students in dozens of countries in order to evaluate education systems worldwide. In the results released in December 2019, Finland lived up to its reputation, and also seems to show a good balance between academic achievement and life outside of school.

On this webinar, Finland shared their experience and expertise on education in many developing countries with successful outcomes and has long been a staunch advocate in ADB for its work on education.
This interactive conversation created an information bridge between leading members in the education sector in Finland and ADB project teams. To demonstrate how entities can get on ADB’s project ladder in practice, the webinar also introduced Digizen, a Finnish technology company, currently working in Papua New Guinea jointly under the ADB funded Regional: Strengthening Financial Sector Operations in Asin and the Pacific and Regional: Supporting Finance Sector and Private Sector Development in the Pacific technical assistance programs. Digizen shared their experience in how the partnership with ADB evolved from a virtual hackathon to providing hands-on digital identity cards in remote villages in Papua New Guinea.

Target audience: ADB staff from headquarters and resident missions and Finnish firms providing education services.



Welcome by Ms. Michiko Suga, Deputy Representative at the European Representative Office of the Asian Development Bank
Opening remarks by H.E. Mr. Juha Pyykkö, Ambassador of Finland to the Philippines
Introduction on ADB’s involvement in the education sector and ADB’s partnership with Finland in the education sector by Mr. Brajesh Panth, Chief of Education Sector Group, Asian Development Bank
Presentation by Mr. Jouni Kangasniemi, Programme Director of Education Finland, on Finland’s education system with a reflection on why other countries are aiming to replicate Finland’s system and introducing what types of education services Finnish firms can offer in this endeavor
Presentation by Mr. Kimmo KoivistoDigizen CEO, about working with ADB as a small Finnish firm
Question and Answer session moderated by Ms. Michiko Suga
Closing Remarks by Mr. Jukka Tulivuori, Social Sector Specialist, Asian Development Bank

Program and Learning Materials: 


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