- Mercator Network
With more than 64 000 students, 1,800 doctoral students and 5,000 employees, Stockholm University is one of the largest universities in Sweden and the region's centre for higher education and research in the sciences, humanities, law, social sciences and teacher training.
Among its internationally well-known core and excellence areas, the study and research on bilingualism, language contacts, ethnicity and migration have long traditions. Also the Department of Finnish (earlier, now part of the Department of Baltic languages, Finnish and German), has long experience of education of and in Finnish (and Meänkieli), also as a minority language. The Finnish section is one of the largest higher education and research institutions of Finnish outside of Finland, and the leading one in Sweden, also embracing a full Ph.D. programme.
Mercator Stockholm/ The Section of Finnish deals with language instruction (Finnish as a first and a foreign language), Finnish and Sweden Finnish culture/literature, teacher training, bilingual education and issues related to minority language policies. Its study programmes cover all levels from beginners’ language courses to a full Ph.D. programme, at present with a language profile. The Section of Finnish was established in 2007 as a result of a merger of the three departments of Baltic studies, German and Finnish, after having been a more or less independent unit for more than 70 years. The primary objective of the section of Finnish in its capacity as the largest higher education unit in Sweden for Finnish is to study, teach and inform about the linguistic, cultural, social and political conditions, which influence the position of Finnish as a language in Finland and Sweden, and the Finnish-language literature of the two countries. Though it attempts to develop and increase knowledge about Finland and Finnish in Finland, it in addition has an established position for the study and comparison of Sweden Finnish and its culture, with the national and international development of other regional and minority languages. It was also ground-breaking for the development of interpretation education and studies of Meänkieli. A major dimension of the task of studying and promoting minority languages is to study and inform about both specific and general characteristics of the increasingly multilingual situations in which Finnish-speakers live. The Section of Finnish aims at improving its international networking at a European level. It has arranged several international and national conferences, recently (fall 2011) on language revitalization. It has produced conference volumes and other research reports, and has its own series of dissertations, another on advanced research and it houses a journal on Finno-Ugristics in Sweden. It cooperates with Swedish authorities, with cultural institutions, with NGO’s and organizations in the field of minority policy, and with the Finnish section of the Language Council of Sweden. It has extensive contacts with institutions and universities in Finland, the Nordic countries and Estonia. It participates in a handful of international projects. It has a longstanding cooperation with the Sweden Finnish media. Many of the students are second- or third generation Finns from most part of the country, but are still mostly enrolled from the Larger Stockholm region.
Stockholm University will organise and host the second workshop in 2014. It will subsequently write the second position paper including suggestions for policy guidelines. Other tasks of Stockholm University are to contribute actively to the overall Network management and coordination, to the evaluation meeting and to the progress and final report. Moreover, Stockholm University will provide input for the website and for the eNewsletter. Finally, an important task of Stockholm University is to draw on its network of national and international contacts to disseminate information about the network and its results.
Prof. Jarmo Lainio was the head of the Centre for Finnish Studies of the Mälardalen högskola of Eskilstuna from 2003 to 2011, where he now is a Guest Professor. Since 2008 he holds the chair of Finnish at Stockholm University. Research: sociolinguistics, language variation, bilingual studies/education, sociology of language, minority languages, language policy, educational linguistics; resource for NGO’s regarding minority language promotion. Career: Senior lecturer Centre for Research on Bilingualism Stockholm University 1998-2004, Senior Researcher National Science Council 2001-2006, Visiting Research Fellow Univ. Ottawa 1991-1992 Dept. of Linguistics, Board member National PhD programme on Educational Studies since 2007; since 2005 SE member Council of Europe Committee of Experts for European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. He supervised PhD works in SE, FI, NO and Karelia/Russia on minority language. He has published about 70 scientific items, and about 30 more popular articles. He has a working knowledge of four languages and additional knowledge (productive and/or receptive) in another five languages.
MA Markus Lyyra: Lyyra has a Masters of Science education from Uppsala University (2007), where he also wrote his MA degree essay on Language Immersion. He also took courses in Communication at Tampere University, Finland, and Leadership at the School of Education in Stockholm. Other courses have covered the situation for National Minority Languages in Sweden and Swedish as a second language. He has more than a two-year experience of being a pre-school teacher in Sweden. From Feb 2008 has been working full-time as the Secretary General of the Sweden Finnish Youth Organization, after having been its Vice President for one year. He is also the Chairman of the Board of the Sweden Finnish Archives since fall 2011 (member since 2008), and member of the Steering Committee of the international organization NPLD (Network to Promote Linguistic Diversity), since June 2010. He is a member of the Sweden Finnish cultural association and of its steering committee, since May 2008. He is a member of the steering committee of Sweden Finns’ Delegation since March 2009, a roofing organization for all Sweden Finnish associations. He has a working knowledge in Finnish: mother tongue, Swedish: excellent, and, English: excellent. He also has good knowledge in data processing, SPSS, Windows Office and Internet.