Director’s Welcome

Welcome to the Future Tech Lab, Windhoek,

and the first-ever overseas campus of any Finnish university.

The University of Turku is here for getting inspiration from the challenges of the Global South, for co-designing research-based solutions to the most wicked problems threatening our planet and everyone living on it, and for learning hard whatever it takes to reach inventive answers for the critical questions.

A European university came to Africa primarily to learn. For example, the African absence of legacy information systems, like those in health care, gives freedom to explore and create, these far unknown, technologies in Africa, to be later spread to the Global North. That is the reason we call our campus Future Tech Lab (that should travel Faster Than Light as my student told me).

We want to work based on what we have rather than what we do not have. That opens the gate to share. In my own field, interaction design, I am very thrilled about what we can learn from African, highly interactive concerts, in designing technology that matters and calls every user to contribute and feel being together. What can we learn from collaborative art in designing our remote presence technology?

Our campus offers, among one of the first, an opportunity to study a European MSc degree in an African setting and at African living costs. Any eligible candidate with a relevant BSc degree from anywhere in the world can apply. Based on the contextual demands, we decided to start from software engineering; an area that has also attracted the Finnish software industry’s attention and interest to expand their network and employment to Africa, using our base in Windhoek.

We are based in Namibia because of the 150 years’ long walk together. We have learnt how to collaborate and trust between Namibians and Finns. The decades have taught us how to take the extra mile to understand each other. We have seen how education has taken both countries further and released the potential of the oppressed.

For the next 150 years, we open our collaboration to everyone that has passion, will and determination to use their mind and resources to make the world a better place, as the universal task of academia always has been.

Whether you are a student looking for your next steps, an experienced researcher curious about a novel challenge, a business leader or an entrepreneur looking for academic partners for innovation, new markets or talented employees, feel most welcome to join us in research that transforms, in learning that inspires, and an impact that unites the local with the global!


Erkki Sutinen
Director of the campus, Professor of Computer Science, University of Turku @ Windhoek