The Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research hosted in collaboration with Malmö University this two-day international conference where 200 delegates from 23 different countries participated. The program
addressed the latest Bologna Implementation Report which indicates somewhat disappointingly that the reform has not been embraced by as many European countries as anticipated. However, many of the presentations were all in accordance that the policy framework and guidelines available for recognition of prior learning (RPL) are sufficient and well designed for purpose. Interestingly, many good examples from various European countries were given on well established practices and toolkits for admissions based upon RPL.
Noteworthy was the French national system which recognises prior learning even for accreditation of academic degrees. In the concluding remarks,
I and the Vice-President of ESU, Liva Vikmane were in strong agreement that the main task for Higher Education Institutions is now to be brave, committed and confidently systematically implementing RPL. Politicians need to direct funds to HEIs for RPL and for collection of information on impact of validation outcomes.
Malmö University took vigilant the opportunity to once again promote that Universities take on the role as drivers for social mobility and transformation.
Pro-Vice-Chancellor Global and Challenge Based Learning
On the 31st of May, Malmö University was honored to host two ambassadors from Africa, H.E. Dr Joseph Sang from Kenya and H.E. Zaake Kibedi from Uganda, and Brig. General Emeldah Chola from the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Water Development in Zambia at STORM.
Around 25 researcher and international students from Malmö University participated together with our African guests in a two hour Round Table Dialogue with the theme ”Learning Together for Sustainable Innovation”, led by senior lecturer Magnus Johansson.
The topics approached were :
(1) Challenges and visions for urban sustainability
(2) Communication for social change
(3) Leadership and education as drivers for social change
(4) Societal transformation through socialinnovation.
It was emphasised that collaboration, education, communication, leadership, and investments, all play a pivotal role in realising an innovative and sustainable future outcome. The Branding Africa roundtable discussion brought many ideas and visions for African countries and Swedish perspectives to the fore. It also highlighted the challenges that are facing many African countries. The call for increased funding to enhance exchange and mobility of researchers and students between Malmö University and African universities is strong but needs to be addressed in relation to the risk of “brain drain” from African countries.
The challenges are many and they transcend national borders, which is why collaboration in education, research and innovation, between different stakeholders is a must, in order to achieve sustainable solutions.
It is extremely valuable that Malmö University already has a great number of researchers involved in African collaboration. We see therefore additional need for supporting crossdiciplinary projects and targeting of global challenges.
Cecilia Christersson Pro-Vice-Chancellor Global and Challenge Based Learning