International cooperation 

International library cooperation 

We promote library services and international cooperation and interaction between libraries. We work particularly closely with public libraries in other Nordic countries. 

International networking is an important means of improving the standard of library services and the competence of library staff. We promote international networking between libraries by 

  • organising educational visits focusing on current themes of importance each year, 
  • hosting Nordic and international seminars, 
  • publishing information about international funding instruments, training courses and conferences, and 
  • following the development of library services elsewhere in the world. 

International sports cooperation 

The Finnish Sports Decree gives Regional State Administrative Agencies the right to engage in international sports cooperation as agreed with the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.  

International youth work cooperation 

We promote the international education of young people and provide international partnership and networking opportunities for youth work professionals. We have our own bilateral relationships with partners in other countries as well as a wealth of international connections through the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

International educational cooperation  

International cooperation is bread and butter for Regional State Administrative Agencies’ education experts. We want to promote international competence to benefit people all over Finland. It is important for us to know about schools’ and nurseries’ international activities as well as linguistic and cultural diversity.   

We want to help the nation to understand foreign languages and cultures and to shape attitudes. We want to strengthen networks that can promote international cooperation and identify individuals who have the right attitude, competence and will to interact with international partners both in Finland and abroad.  

We can also contribute to education providers’ international projects by, for example, speaking about our work at their events.  

Regional State Administrative Agencies are committed to helping schools, nurseries and other educational institutions to engage more readily in international relations. We work closely with the Finnish National Agency for Education to keep education professionals informed about international opportunities presented by programmes such as Nordplus and Erasmus+. Promoting international mobility and cooperation is ultimately the responsibility of the Finnish National Agency for Education.  

What are Nordplus and Erasmus+?

You can also email us if you would like details about Erasmus+ and Nordplus seminars in your area. 

[email protected] 

Southern Finland: Virve Smarzoch  

Eastern Finland: Johanna Albert  

Lapland: Kari Torikka  

Western and Inland Finland: Toni Saarivirta  

Northern Finland: Sirpa Kova, Linda Mård and Jyri Ulvinen 

Nordplus offers financial support for development partnerships in the area of lifelong learning.   

The participants include eight countries and three autonomous regions in the Nordics and Baltics:  

  • Iceland  
  • Latvia  
  • Lithuania  
  • Norway  
  • Sweden  
  • Finland  
  • Denmark  
  • Estonia  
  • Faroe Islands  
  • Greenland  
  • Åland Islands  

Nordplus programmes:  

  • Nordplus Junior  
  • Nordplus Higher Education  
  • Nordplus Adult  
  • Nordplus Horizontal  
  • Nordplus Nordic Languages                                                                      

Objectives of Nordplus:  

  • To strengthen and develop Nordic educational cooperation and contribute to the establishment of a Nordic-Baltic educational region  
  • To support, develop, draw benefit from and disseminate innovative products and processes in education through the systematic exchange of experiences and best practice 
  • To contribute to the development of quality and innovation in the educational systems for lifelong learning in the participating countries by means of educational cooperation, as well as cooperating with workplaces, about development projects, exchanges and building of networks  
  • To strengthen the language comprehension for the Nordic languages, especially among children and youth, primarily for Danish, Swedish and Norwegian 
  • To promote Nordic languages and culture, as well as mutual Nordic-Baltic linguistic and cultural understanding 
  • To encourage the interest in, knowledge of, and understanding of the Nordic languages   

Visit the Nordplus website  

Read more about Nordplus on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education (in Finnish)


Erasmus+ is an EU programme to support education and training and promote cooperation between European schools and nurseries as well as student and staff exchange.   

Countries participating in Erasmus+: 

  • EU member states  
  • Norway  
  • Iceland  
  • Liechtenstein  
  • Turkey  
  • North Macedonia  
  • Serbia  

Funding is available for children’s nurseries, primary and secondary schools, sixth form colleges, special schools, art schools and vocational schools.  

Erasmus+ in the European Union:   

  • School education staff mobility (KA101)  
  • School exchange partnerships (KA229) and strategic partnerships for school education (KA201)  
  • Erasmus in schools   
  • eTwinning 

Read more about Erasmus+ on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education.  


Other international partnerships

The education team of the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland is currently running a three-year project called Out in the World Together under the Erasmus+ programme’s Key Action 1: Mobility of individuals. The main goal of the project is to build relationships with schools and nurseries in the target countries. The project consortium consists of 70 individuals mostly from North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. The project has an assistance budget of EUR 245,960. The EU’s assistance towards the project is paid through the Erasmus+ programme and coordinated by the Finnish National Agency for Education. 

Involved in the project are 

  • 9 local authorities,  
  • 7 children’s nurseries,  
  • 8 schools, and  
  • 4 Regional State Administrative Agencies.  

Local authorities participating in the project in North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu: 

  • Haapajärvi  
  • Hailuoto  
  • Kärsämäki  
  • Merijärvi  
  • Nivala  
  • Paltamo  
  • Pudasjärvi  
  • Pyhäntä  
  • Tyrnävä  

Regional State Administrative Agencies involved in the project:  

  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland (coordination)  
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Western and Inland Finland (services in Swedish)  
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Southwestern Finland  
  • Regional State Administrative Agency for Southern Finland  
  • Target countries: 
  • Germany  
  • Spain  
  • Italy  
  • Ireland  
  • Sweden  
  • Greece  

Further information 

Sirpa Kova and Linda Mård, the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland

Regional State Administrative Agencies coordinate cooperation between schools and nurseries in Finland and the German state of Baden-Württemberg. The primary aim is to find twinning partners for schools and nurseries in North Ostrobothnia and Kainuu. A delegation from the Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland visited Baden-Württemberg in 2019 to learn about the local school system there, and the plan is to deepen the relationship between the two regions in the coming years through reciprocal visits. 

Further information

Sirpa Kova, Regional State Administrative Agency for Northern Finland