Digital Competence | April 19 - Mai 27, 2022

The inspiring programme "Digtal Competence" consists of lectures and collaborative online teamwork with an intensive week in Helsinki, Finland.

Digital Competence BIP will be offered jointly by Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, University of Applied Sciences Würzburg-Schweinfurt (Germany), Kärnten University of Applied Sciences (Austria) and VID Specialist University (Norway).

Programme content


  • Online Learning & Digital Competence Frameworks: GDPR, Copyrights & Creative Commons, Open digital resources, Accessibility/Universal Design for Learning
  • Design Thinking
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Virtual Reality
  • Digitalisation in Health and Social services


Learning Outcomes

  • apply design thinking principles
  • become aware of future technologies
  • acquire digital competence in social and health care
  • understand ethical principles
  • work in transnational teams


Learning Methods

Collaborative online teamwork with lecturers and 1-week intensive program in Finland.


  • Kick-off workshop 19 April 2022 at 10:00-12:00 Austrian/German time and 11:00-13:00 Finnish time
  • Teamwork in Howspace
  • Intensive Programme in Helsinki, Finland 9-13 May 2022
  • Teamwork in Howspace
  • Final workshop 27 May 2022

Intensive Week in Helsinki May 8-13

9-13 May 2022 at 9:00-16:00

Evening activities on Monday (18:00-20:00) and Tuesday (16:30-20:00).
The detailed programme will be available in Howspace.

Campus location
Kyläsaarenkuja 2, FI-00580 Helsinki, Finland

Learning activities
Hackathon, lectures, field visits

Other activities
Helsinki sightseeing, get-together, farewell dinner.
Participation in these activities is voluntary.

Participants will take care of their own housing arrangements. For the students from te partner institutions, Diak will reserve a quota of rooms in the Hotels Diana Park. Instructions will be sent to all participants after the nomination.

Public Transportation
Tram 6 takes 30min and goes every 10 minutes from the city centre to Diak campus. We recommend downloading the HSL app to buy tickets. This app can be used also for the train from the airport to the city centre.

For staff and students from partner institutions, participation is supported by the Erasmus+ Mobility grant.

Imagevideo BIP an der Diak in Helsinki

BIP “Digital Competence” in Helsinki

Symbol picture Helsinki

After the students of the BIP “Digital Competence” spent three weeks studying online, the excursion to Helsinki took place from May 9th to May 13th, 2022. During this short-term mobility the student groups met personally for the first time at one of the partner universities, the Diak in Finland. Students of three universities were participating in this BIP: of Diak, FHWS (now THWS) and FH Kärnten. Here you can read about the start of the BIP. The participant Laura Issing, the lecturer Prof. Ulrich Gartzke, and one of the organizers Stefanie Witter gave some insights about the BIP and the time in Helsinki.

Innovative learning formats

During the intensive week in Helsinki, a tight programme awaited the students. After an introduction lecture every morning, students started into their group works. For the whole week the work was designed as a Hackathon to find creative solutions to problems in the fields of social work and healthcare. Participant Laura Issing was especially surprised by how great the final results of this week were: “Nobody knew exactly what we were doing. It was said, we will be doing a Hackathon, but I had no idea about what to expect from that. It really surprised me how well we did in the end. The topic was digitalisation which was a bit foreign to all of us. We were surprised in the end how closely social work and digitalisation are connected.”

“Intensive” describes it best

Intensive is the word associated with the BIP a lot. Still participant Laura was enthusiastic about her time at the BIP and especially about the time in Helsinki. She was overwhelmed by the partner university Diak where the intensive week took place: “One could see that they are very advanced when it comes to digitalisation. The classrooms also did not have any fixed tables and places, but everyone had a rolling office chair with a desk attached to it. It was very dynamic if there was group work during a lecture and you could work in a group without having to move thousands of tables.” And also the other students experienced the DIAK as really modern, clean and bright. Stefanie Witter said that the organisation of the BIP by the partner university was remarkable: “Accommodation, time and facilities, as well as the support of the students was managed to everyone’s utmost satisfaction from my perspective. This was impressive and I am very glad that we have such a close partnership with Diak”.

New teaching and study experience

Prof. Gartzke approved this type of format and would be glad to also integrate the connection between international online-teaching and short-term mobility in other contexts. “I was able to learn a lot from my colleagues of the other universities. The BIP was also a huge learning effect for me.” Also, Prof. Gartzke was impressed of the work of the students: “The cooperation went pretty smoothly. One also has to consider that this is the first bigger course in person since Covid. The students are not used to presence teaching. Engaging with each other, respecting each other and working on tasks together worked very well.”

Personal growth

Participant Laura also did not just gain content knowledge from the group work: “Personally, I learned a lot regarding conflict management in groups. This happened everywhere and I thought it was interesting to see, that it is possible to approach people about this and resolve it instead of getting quietly upset about it”. Instead of just talking about problems within the group they instead talked about it and found a solution. “In this situation I had the feeling I am personally growing with the task.”
She also found the benefits of the BIP enriching especially after spending a long time in online classes due to the Covid-pandemic. “During the flight back, we talked a lot about how important this experience was for us. We all started studying during the pandemic, we mainly only had online classes so far and many of us knew no one or just one or two people from our study program – and then this was like a class trip!” Now, the 15 participating students know each other quite well and get along very well. “For this, it was also worth it and a good experience, to finally directly get to know your classmates for a week”, Laura states.

Altogether, the intensive study experience of the BIP did not just bring theoretical knowledge, but also several learning experiences. Beside group work, knowledge transfer through digital platforms, international inputs, establishing social contacts, getting to know a different country and its culture the BIP offered multifaceted experiences and adventures which all involved people can draw on for a long time. Stefanie Witter is already organising the next BIPs: “I am excited for the next BIP in August! In October we will have another Blended Intensive Programme at THWS. This will be exciting as well because we will be the inviting university then.”

Clear recommendation for the BIP

Looking back now Laura would sign up for a BIP again, if there would be the possibility and is recommending the participation anytime, despite the workload. Also, her motivation to go abroad for one semester increased and she is hoping to be able to spend a semester at a partner university during her studies. Also, Prof. Gartzke would recommend other lecturers to conduct a BIP themselves and is generally interested to offer another BIP: “Especially students can profit a lot from this learning experience, and I think they should be given the opportunity to participate in formats like this. I was able to establish lasting contacts to other lecturers and universities that can be used again in the future”. All in all, the extremely positive impression of the partner university, the good organisation and support, as well as the impressive programme offered to the participants will probably remain lasting. And so will the contacts, not only to students or to other lecturers that exceed just studying and working. For Laura she will especially remember one certain moment: “When I realised that I truly became friends with one of the Finnish people in my group. When I realised, this is not just a work relationship, but we get along on a personal level as well and will also stay in touch afterwards. I found that a very beautiful moment.”

Impressions of the first BIP in Helsinki

Exterior view of Diak
Exterior view of Diak
Students during lectures
Students during lectures
Students during group work
During the hackathon also the digital compentences of students were trained
Students during studies
Every day started with 15 minute kick-off sessions
Students of the FAS
Group picture of FHWS
Group picture in front of Oodi
All participants in front of Oodi library
Symbol picture Europe
Participants from Finland, Austria and Germany joined the BIP
City tour through Helsinki
The students also joined a city tour through Helsinki
City tour through Helsinki
Th students had to solve riddles throughout Finlands capital
Cathedral of Helsinki
Helsinki is offerings a lot of sights like its cathedral
Cathedral of Helsinki
During the city tour students had to participate in group challenges as well
Joint dinner in Helsinkis harbour
Awarding of the city tour winners
Helsinki harbour with view to the cathedral
Coordinators and students talking
International friendships were found

Further planning…

During the current summer semester another BIP is taking place in the bachelor studies of ‘Social Work’ at FHWS, the responsible lecturer here is Vera Taube. More of these BIPs are planned in the upcoming semesters at FAS to give students and lecturers more flexible options of going abroad. BIPs give lecturers the opportunity to teach transnationally, involve short-term mobility into their semester and carry out their courses within an international team. For students, this format provides the unique opportunity to learn transnationally during the courses at their home university and also to travel during periods of short-term mobility. This course teaches not only valuable content but also necessary competencies, expands the horizon and certainly holds a memorable time in store.