Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design
Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design (IKATA), founded in 1953, is one of three colleges governed (since 1997) by Länsi-Pirkanmaan koulutuskuntayhtymä. The college is situated 55km north-west of Tampere but it attracts students from all over the country. IKATA has a long tradition and strong profile as education provider for various fields in the arts, crafts and design sectors.
Several of the programmes taught at IKATA, such as gunsmithing, accordion building and string instrument building, are not taught anywhere else in Finland. IKATA is also the sole provider of IVT in glassblowing, stained glass techniques and model building. The 17 different crafts programmes in IKATA are considered to be in the vanguard of development of versatile and flexible educational methods and structures in Finland.
In 1998 Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design was awarded the price of College of the year. A key motivation for this price was the long-term commitment on internationalization of both students and staff IKATA has had. So far IKATA has annually been awarded in several Leonardo da Vinci, Comenius and other EU funded projects as well as Nordplus projects funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers. In the past two years the college has participated in 4 Leonardo da Vinci placement projects, 1 Leonardo da Vinci exchange of experts, 4 Comenius language projects as well as annual Nordplus Jnr (funding provided by the Nordic Council of Ministers) exchanges to Sweden and Norway. IKATA has also successfully participated as a partner or a promoter in several development projects funded by both various EU programmes and the National Board of Education in Finland.
Most recently IKATA has been the promoter of e.g. Näyttö käyttöön -project that created materials for the national implementation of demonstration based evaluation in the crafts sector which was followed by a dissemination project Kulttuurinäyttö. IKATA has also focused on the development of support for entrepreneurship in the crafts sector in projects such as Käsitä työsi that developed career and recruitment services for crafts people and recent graduates and Hand made Business that created a module on entrepreneurship for crafts students. The aim of this module is to allow the student to start their own business while they still are studying and thus lower the threshold of starting their own business after graduation. Currently Ikata is the promoter for CRAFT NET project funded by the European Comission. The aim of the project is to develop on-the-job learning and demonstration based evaluation with its National and European partners. The project also supports the future vision of Ikaalinen College of Crafts and Design as the leading provider of IVT in the field of crafts on national level with excellent relations with education providers and crafts businesses on both national and European level.