Sweden keen to boost student exchanges with Qatar: envoy
February 28 2016 09:43 PM
Swedish Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson, accompanied with ambassador Ewa Polano, during a visit to
Swedish Minister Helene Hellmark Knutsson, accompanied with ambassador Ewa Polano, during a visit to

By Joey Aguilar/Staff Reporter

Sweden is expecting more exchange visits and collaboration on various areas of co-operation with Qatar, particularly on education and research, after the Swedish minister’s state visit last week.

Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson, along with 21 high-level representatives from top ranked universities in Sweden, met with top education, Qatar Foundation (QF) and university officials in Qatar.

In a press statement, the Swedish ambassador in Doha, Ewa Polano, said they invited HE the Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohamed Abdul Wahed Ali al-Hammadi to visit Sweden later this year.

Discussions will include research co-operation on various areas such as food security, road safety, and information technology, among others.

Earlier, the two ministers discussed a joint research co-operation on road safety, traffic medicine and “Interdisciplinary Centre of Material Sciences.”

“The ‘Exceptional Proposal’ (EP) being developed since the International Traffic Medicine Association conference in Doha last year between Qatar University (QU), Lund and Uppsala universities, together with the Swedish National Institute on Road Traffic Research, is now very close to be presented to Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF),” said Polano.

She added that the Qatar government and QNRF had given road safety in the country “a very high priority,” which forms part of the National Vision 2030.

The envoy said that another joint research programme between Lund University’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, QU, and London School of Economics will be signed in April.

Lund University officials and two experts on management and entrepreneurship will be back in the country on March 14 for a follow-up visit. It is offering tailored-made courses for Qatar on innovation and entrepreneurship.

Minister Hellmark Knutsson, who lauded Qatar’s impressive development in the field of education, wants to increase student exchanges between Sweden and Qatar.

While encouraging Qatari students to study and take their master's degree at Swedish universities, she said Swedish students have also expressed interest to study at universities in Qatar.

According to Polano, QU president Dr Hassan Rashid al-Derham had been invited to come to Sweden.

This spring, interior design students from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCU-Q) led by assistant professor Dr Johan Granberg are also planning to visit Swedish universities.

“We are very happy with the constructive co-operation between the VCU-Q and the Swedish embassy. It is a rewarding bilateral investment in our future generations,” Polano stressed.

The Swedish delegation and QF officials also discussed topics on joint research on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, information communication technology and environmental technology.

The meeting also tackled ways on how Swedish universities such as Karolinska Institute and Lund can participate in the upcoming World Innovation Summit for Health in November.

Last updated: February 28 2016 09:50 PM

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