First day at work!

On monday I had my first presentation about Malmö University at 13:00, but I couldn’t sleep the night before!! Nervous or jet lag or dry air? Finally I fell asleep around 4am (1am swedish time).
It was my first day at work, the plan was that Nune (my contact person) present Northern university, she would also translate my presentation.
I arrived at uni few minutes before 13, we went directly to the rector office. Entering his office made me the feeling of going back in time, the room had one big oval table with many chairs around it, the rector desk did not have a computer on it!  There was a secretary just before the entrance of the office. After greeting each other  and leaving my jacket and bag, we went up to the fifth floor.
I entered the room of the presentation, this look like any other meeting rooms, a big round table, a projector screen and a projector on the table. The room was full with people and they were all watching at me! I was so excited that I did not take any picture during the whole day! Hopefully I will do that the coming days! On the table there were plates with sweets, juice water and some other stuff. Nune presented to me all the people around the table, she had also invited  some students from the language department. I presented the general Malmö university english presentation plus some slides of TS faculty and english programmes at our faculty. When I show the slide “questions?” there were really many questions! I have never got so many question on a presentation (except when I defended my PhD thesis). That was actually fun, the audience have been listening to me with interest and were curious about the Swedish system! I got the following questions (I probably have forgotten some questions):
  • Salary of teachers (embarrassing question!)
  • Students paying a fee, (I explained the system with credits and that the students have to pass a certain amount of credits in order to get their salary)
  • Students trying to stay longer at university because they get a salary
  • Percentages of students finding a job
  • How many percent of students are good
  • Business incubator (from a student, I had to google to know what it is!)
  • Students dropping out, and why
  • Why do we have so many students (do we?)
  • Why are we successful (are we?)
  • Main income /product in Sweden
  • How is research funded
  • How many universities are public, and private
  • How would the Swedish government react if Armenia would start Swedish courses?
  • What is the goal of my trip
  • Why did I choose Armenia
  • What am I going to do here
  • Why did I move to Sweden
We had some discussion about gender, they have the same problem in IT with gender inequality.
During my presentation I heard some bells ringing, at 14:00 and at 14:15. I guess it was the break between lectures, it reminded when I was in primary school. Actually the whole university reminded me of an elementary school I attended in Italy, simple,  the rooms are with few furnitures, just small desks and chairs. the entrance door is small.
A classroom of Northern University
A classroom of Northern University
After my presentation, many left, so it was decided to skip Nune’s presentation for the day.
We went to the rector office again, where I was offered armenian wine and cognac. We sat around the table, me, Nune, the rector and vice rector and another man (do not remember his role). The secretary prepared the glasses with the water, and cognac (or wine).  We toasted to “the small countries”, the rector wanted to find a similarity between Armenia and Sweden. We talked about history of Armenia and todays world history and economy (very challenging for me!) and the hope that Armenia will become again a successuffull country like it has been before the genocide in 1915.  The rector excused himself for not knowing English, he said that when he was young he thought that armenian would become a big language.
They asked me if Sweden has diaspora (i.e. if many swedes are living outside Sweden). I answered that there are swedes living in other countries but it is not a big phenomena. Just for information, Armenia has 3 million inhabitants, but there are 10 millions armenian living in other countries (since the genocide in 1915).
After chatting a bit,  I got a book from the rector about quality assurance at the Northern university, then we sayd good bye.

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