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Health Innovation is the theme in the exchange between Halmstad University and the Brazilian university UFRGS. The collaboration will again be funded by the Linnaeus-Palme programme, and education is in focus. A new exchange between Halmstad University and Ethiopia has also received funding this year.
The exchange creates opportunities for both Swedish and Brazilian teachers, as well as students, to collaborate across borders with an education in health innovation. Future health innovations will require knowledge and skills from many different areas, both in Sweden and Brazil, as well as a wide range of occupations, such as nurses and engineers. Exchanges between teachers and students from various academic disciplines are examples of how health innovation can be promoted.
This partnership with Brazil started last year, and just before Christmas a number of researchers and lecturers from Halmstad University visited the Brazilian university. In May this year, professors from the Institute of Informatics at UFRGS (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul) will visit the School of Information Technology here at Halmstad University. In this way, both universities will learn from each other, and can plan for future collaborations now that the funding is established.
– In Brazil, we met professors in computer science and discussed possible exchanges between teachers and students. We also met the Vice-Chancellor, professors and students working at their college of health sciences. Together, we discussed the theme health innovation, as well as the possibilities of establishing a further exchange project to their nursing programme that focuses on health innovation, says Wagner Ourique de Morais, a research engineer at Halmstad University.
In the long term, the idea is that the collaboration will strengthen the education programmes and research in computer science and health technologies at both universities. One main target is that UFRGS will add their own health innovation themes to their programmes, as done at Halmstad University.
– For the students at Halmstad University, this creates, among other things, the opportunity to study in Brazil as a part of their education programme; therefore, gaining new experiences of, for example, a different culture, ways of teaching, and language. In this way students get a broader understanding of international issues and grow as global citizens.
The agreement for a continued collaboration between the two educational institutions was made by Wagner Ourique de Morais and Nicholas Wickström, senior lecturers at Halmstad University, together with Edison Pignaton de Freitas from UFRGS. Five years ago, Edison was Halmstad University's first doctoral student in computer science and engineering. The fact that there is already such good collaboration is one major reason that the Sida-funded Linnaeus-Palme programme has decided to support health innovation investment with a further 123,000 SEK. Already this autumn, teachers from the various universities will be able to spend time with each other. The next step is student exchanges.
The Department of Construction and Energy Technology at Halmstad University has received funding for the planning of teacher and student exchange together with EiABC (Ethiopian Institute for Building Construction and City Development), from Addis Ababa University. It is the result of a visit to EiABC made by Bengt Hjort, assistant professor of structural engineering, and Kristian Widen, senior lecturer of innovation science specialising in construction engineering.
– Planning exchange trips is the first step in the collaboration of education and research concerning the distribution of innovation in a construction environment from an African context, says Kristian Widén.
In September, Kristian Widén and Margareta Bergström, assistant professors of building physics, will travel for one week to Addis Ababa and later in the autumn or spring, two representatives from EiABC will come to Halmstad.
– It is fantastic that our researchers receive funding from the organisation Linnaeus Palme for their international collaboration for the development of society´s new and innovative areas, says Ulf Ivarsson, international strategist at Halmstad University.
– Developed global community collaboration is one of the main keys in attracting excellence and talented international students, which together make important contributions to achieve research and educational quality of a high international standard.
Text: KRISTINA RÖRSTRÖM
Linnaeus-Palme is a Sida-funded exchange programme for teachers and students, either at undergraduate or advanced levels, at universities and colleges. The programme aims to strengthen Swedish higher education institutions´ partnerships with universities from the developing countries. The agreement is that a Linnaeus-Palme project will be mutually beneficial for both parties, and not to be considered as aid. Projects may be subsidised for up to eight years.