Professor Merga Bekana, the ambassador of Ethiopian, visited the University of Skövde on Wedensday. The program featured a presentation of the University and a description of the ongoing collaboration with Addis Ababa University.
The last time that Skövde University had a visit from an ambassador was in 2016. On Wednesday it was time again.
“It is always fun when the University is attentive in this way, and our business is raising international interest,” says Lena Mårtensson, Vice President.
Ethiopian ambassador, Professor Merga Bekana, who has a studied at Uppsala University, evolvs what led to the visit:
I want to build bridges with the Swedish institutions of higher education, so that the cooperation already exists between Swedish and Ethiopian universities will be further strengthened, and in the long run developed into more universities in Ethiopia.
Appointed as Ambassador in 2017
Merga Bekana took office as Ethiopian ambassador in Sweden at the end of 2017. After visiting Uppsala and Lund University, Skövde was his third visit as an ambassador to a Swedish university.
I am very impressed by the University of Skövde, and what has been achieved since 1977 here all through the relatively short period as a college. There is quite a high international dimension that attracts foreign students as well as researchers. In my research background, I have collaborated with a few European universities and think that Skövde University stands well in this competition.
University cooperation since 2015
Throughout the day, the delegation was given a tour of the college environment and the institutions of the University presented their education and research. In addition, the focus was on telling more about the collaboration that exists today between Skövde and Addis Ababa University. Since 2015, the Information Technology Department has collaborated with the Ethiopian University, where nearly 50,000 students have their education.
“Largest and Best in Ethiopia”
The cooperation has been a so-called Linnaeus-Palm project which grants funds for collaboration with universities in developing countries. At the University of Skövde, Jiangu Ding is the associate professor of computer science and he is key player. He has been a visiting professor in Addis Ababa University since 2011 and believes that the University of Skövde can make effort for the whole countries education sector through the exchange program.
The university is the largest and best in Ethiopia, and one of the starting points for the whole country’s higher education. Those who educate themselves there will rarely be professors at other universities in the country. Courses that are subsequently carried out elsewhere also start there. By making use of, and contributing what we can do right here, we make a difference to the learning as a whole in Ethiopia, he says, and continues:
In addition, it makes the University of Skövde known, and establishes us as an alternative for talented Ethiopian students and researchers seeking exchange or cooperation in Sweden.