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Halmstad University has received nearly 1.5 million SEK to develop both teacher and student exchanges with universities in five developing countries. The money comes from the Linnaeus-Palme programme that is funded by Sida (the Swedish International Development Cooperation).
Halmstad University submitted nine applications and was granted six of them. The countries where exchanges for the academic year 2015/2016 apply are: Albania, Ghana, Brazil, Burma (Myanmar) and Argentina.
– We are delighted that the interest in applying for funds has been greater than ever this year with more than twice as many applications compared to last time. We have a wide choice, both geographically and in terms of subject; therefore, we have approved projects from all four schools, says Ditte Sörensen, University coordinator for the Linnaeus-Palme programme.
The exchange is arranged in three stages. The first year you can apply for money for a planning trip, followed by a teacher exchange and finally, from the third year, you can receive financing for both student and teacher exchanges.
The University had three planning trips granted, which means that teachers have their trips to exchange countries funded in order to plan for future collaborations.
One of these involves a new exchange within the field of health innovation with a university in Brazil: the University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS). The funds allow for planning trips for two teachers from Sweden who can now visit the University, and naturally vice versa.
– We want to create opportunities, not only for Swedish and Brazilian teachers, but for students as well, to collaborate in cross-border education projects in health innovation. To create future health innovations requires both collaboration between different disciplines as well as experiences from different cultures and markets, says Wagner Ourique De Morais, research engineer and one of the people behind the applications.
One aim of the project is to support UFRGS in the startup of a theme similar to Halmstad University's health innovation theme in its education programmes.
– This could eventually lead to common curricula that can really help long-term exchanges and collaborations between the two universities, says Wagner Ourique De Morais.
The other two planning trips refer to a new exchange with Albania concerning sustainable tourism, and another with Brazil in marketing and business administration.
One approved application is only for teacher exchange, which applies to teacher education and exchanges with Burma (also known as Myanmar). Two projects are for exchanges both for students and teachers: Argentina (sociology programmes) and Ghana (marketing and business administration programmes).
– These are established partnerships and it will be exciting to see their continuation. During the past few years, we have seen good examples of how initial project collaborations have been broadened, deepened and developed to now include research collaborations. Research collaborations are not really an aim for Linnaeus-Palme; however, it proves that relationships and collaborations are strengthened and continue, says Ditte Sörensen.
For student and teacher exchange:
For planning trips:
Linnaeus-Palme is a Sida funded exchange programme for teachers and students at both undergraduate and advanced levels at universities and higher education institutes. The programme aims to strengthen Swedish education institutes' partnerships with universities in the developing countries. The outset of the funding is that Linnaeus-Palme projects will be mutually beneficial to both parties, and not to be considered as aid or relief. Projects may be supported for up to eight years.