EAS ajakirjas Life in Estonia
Kati Kõrbe / Department of Logistics and Transport, Tallinn University of Technology (TUT Logistics)
Margot Ots / Estonian Logistics and Transit Association (LTA)
Summer schools promoting cultural exchange and mutual understanding, and creating networks essential for cooperation are rather popular around the world. Though several European and US universities provide logistics- and transport-themed summer courses, such an international summer programme was not previously found in our area.
There are numerous reasons for launching a logistics summer school in Estonia at this time, and particularly in partnership with the Logistics and Transit Association (LTA). Alar Kolk, Pro-Rector of the Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) in charge of Innovation and International Affairs, has mentioned that drawing foreign students to Estonia would increase the research potential, and financial and human resources of our universities, and the success of such involvement would increase the general export success and economic growth of our country.
According to Kolk, about 3,000 international PhDs in Estonian universities, if distributed in the right way, would yield at least one thousand internationally oriented newstart-up companies and provide a foundation for a boost in development to the existing ones. That, in turn, would translate into a remarkable increase in GDP and national wealth within the next decade. The logistics sector is a branch of the economy with great potential for growth, accounting for 10 to 15 per cent of the GDP. According to the Bank of Estonia, logistics services make up the largest percentage of the export of Estonian services, accounting for 40 per cent of the total export capacity of Estonian services.
This June, TUT Logistics and the LTA are planning to launch a course in the format of a summer programme focused on international logistics, supply chain students and practitioners in logistics sector companies. The objective of the programme is to teach logistics and supply chain management and, at the same time, to introduce Estonia as a potential partner country, emphasising our geographic advantages, with visits to infrastructure providers and local enterprises.
Alar Kolk has suggested a potential formula for success for entrepreneurs: Estonian exporter + an Indian (or Chinese) MA programme student of the TUT = best product development today + best sales representative in India (or in China) in two years’ time. Expanding on this idea and including people already employed in the companies, the formula might be as follows: Estonian logistics entrepreneur + employee of an international company attending the summer school of the TUT = best
relationships and higher awareness of our investment climate and the advantages of our transport corridor.
The summer school programme, intended for anyone interested in professional development or in expanding their horizons, is planned to run for 10 days, of which intensive teaching would be offered for seven days. In addition to the intensive training, it would be possible to provide interesting non-academic activities prior to or after the intensive school days.
In organising and convening the study group, special attention would be given to inviting students from Asia, the Americas, the European Union and Russia, creating a solid mix and synergy of cultures, regions and countries.
In the same way as the advantages of Estonia’s geographic location have enabled us to evolve into a corridor of different trade routes and transit trade, the experiences stemming from that very geographic location enable us to introduce students to the specialities of different business cultures and entrepreneurship.
Both the TUT and the LTA hope that, due to the summer school programme, it will be possible to state in the future that we now literally have a friend in each “harbour”.
For more information, see www.ttu.ee/logistika