What is the meaning of Innustame?
"Innustame" is an Estonian word that means "We Encourage".
At an international high school in India, my Estonian student, Hanna Eliis often talked about her country, its history and education.
Estonia was formerly a republic of the Soviet Union and joined the European Union in 2004. We would talk under the stars about higher education destinations and the lack of knowledge of international students on higher education universities around the world. We talked about Estonia and the fantastic university options, and the need for guidance highlighting universities in eastern and central Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Middle-East. When I decided to start this university guidance platform, my Estonian student came up with the name Innustame, "We Encourage", to highlight the importance of university guidance and learning opportunities in multiple parts of the world today, not just the west.
Some of the reflections that came up in our dialogue were related to:
- What higher education learning means in western countries, and also developing countries with emerging economies.
- Choosing our own passport countries and how we build on the value of our country’s education while drawing the interest of international students from around the world.
- How we value our own educators and the progress so many minds within developing countries have fought for - to be free, to choose and innovate.
- Building dialogue, legacy and innovation in multiple countries. There are interesting links and connections that international education does between countries. Aung San Suu Kyi studied in India, as Mahatma Gandhi studied in South Africa or Filipe Nyusi, the President of Mozambique who studied in the Czech Republic. It is far-reaching to see how shared values and ideas cross borders.
- There is a tendency among students to want to go to the most internationally diverse campuses which are often promoted by media to be in the top western countries. But, we forget that diversity, migration and innovation exist in every country.
- A part of my current PhD focus, as an international student in Prague, is bringing to light forgotten stories and relationships of higher education migration from Asia, Africa and Latin America to Czechoslovakia, current Czech Republic.
Higher Education migration trends are changing in a good way. More students are looking at a range of university destinations in multiple countries, opening up dialogues for furthering internationalization. There is a power in the realization that opportunity and growth in innovative learning come from knowledge and access to multiple countries for higher education.