MDU is gearing up its efforts in the international market
This year marks the 20th anniversary of research cooperation initiatives between Rwanda and Sweden. Fourteen Swedish and six African higher education institutions are involved, together with Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency) and will work together to educate Rwandan researchers in a number of areas. MDU is included in this cooperation and is now boosting its efforts ahead of the next phase: to develop female leadership in Africa.
Rwanda has enjoyed positive economic growth in recent years, but poverty is not decreasing at the same rate as before. At the same time, there is a huge need for higher education in the country.
On behalf of Sida and Rwanda's ambassador, Martin Hellström, Vice-Chancellor at MDU, and Sara Arvidson, Communications Director, will meet with the Government of Rwanda this week, to write a letter of intent between MDU and Rwanda.
“I am delighted that we have the opportunity to meet several ministries and key organisations in Rwanda, to highlight common issues such as peace and conflict research, AI development from a gender mainstreaming viewpoint and future energy supply. MDU is a high-profile collaborative University and we are now taking the next step by collaborating with Rwanda, which will be a pilot for how we can be involved in driving development in Africa,” says Martin Hellström.
Sara Arvidson stresses the importance of supporting female researchers and leaders in a patriarchal environment:
“MDU is involved in leading a network for female researchers in Rwanda, Women in Science & Leadership. This issue is interesting not only for Africa, but for the whole world, given the war in Europe, the de-democratisation and the spread of propaganda and false facts. MDU can make a difference here together with our collaborative partners in Mälardalen,” she says.
Exploring new relationships
Johanna Teague, Sweden's Ambassador to Rwanda, is proud of the results thanks to the research cooperation between Rwanda and Sweden and the capacity that has been built over the past twenty years.
“It's exciting to follow how universities are building and exploring new relationships to promote innovation and entrepreneurship," she says.
International focus for MDU
Collaboration, knowledge dissemination and internationalisation are issues that are at the top of MDU’s agenda.
“The problems we currently face in society are complex and we cannot manage them ourselves, they need to be addressed at a global level. We need to meet, discuss and address the challenges facing the world together. Therefore, we are now working in various areas to bolster MDU as a partner not only regionally and nationally, but also internationally,” says Martin Hellström.
Research cooperation in numbers:
- 14 Swedish and 6 African higher education institutions are working together with Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency).
- 89 recently graduated Rwandan researchers, active at the University of Rwanda, are educated in Sweden in areas such as peace and conflict, the environment, sustainable development, health and innovation
- In the ongoing research education programme, a total of 80 new doctoral students are currently being educated. Half of them attend their doctoral education studies locally in Rwanda.
- The programme will run until 2026.