International cooperation between higher education institutions and world-class teacher training programmes were in focus when Swedish Minister for Higher Education and Research Helene Hellmark Knutsson visited Indonesia and Singapore on 3–6 October.
In Indonesia, Ms Hellmark Knutsson met Minister for Technology, Research and Higher Education Muhammad Nasir to discuss international cooperation on higher education and research. She also visited a university, and met students and representatives of the Indonesian Academy of Sciences and other actors in research and innovation. The trip was a follow-up of the State Visit in May 2017.
“There is a lot of interest among Indonesian students to study in Sweden! Many wanted to talk about it after the lecture I held in Jakarta about Sweden and how we as a country chose to invest in higher education and research to meet both competitiveness and society challenges,” the Minister commented via social media.
“I’m visiting Indonesia along with several of our universities with the aim of increasing cooperation between our countries. We need to collaborate more across national borders to meet global challenges such as antibiotic resistance and climate change. But also to strengthen Swedish companies operating in a global market with tough competition. As a tool for this, I signed an agreement with Indonesia’s Minister for Research on increased cooperation in research, innovation and education. Indonesia is the world’s fourth largest country seen by the number of inhabitants and with a rapidly evolving economy. Increased cooperation can give us many benefits and create new jobs in Sweden!”
Singapore’s teacher training programmes, meanwhile, are outstanding, and the country tops international assessments of student achievement. There, Ms Hellmark Knutsson met Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung and visited the National Institute of Education to learn about Singapore’s work on teacher recruitment and lifelong learning, and the reform efforts behind these. She also met the Science Council of Singapore and visited the prominent Nanyang Technological University, where Swede Professor Bertil Andersson is President.
The Swedish minister travelled with a delegation consisting of the Swedish Research Council and representatives of six Swedish higher education institutions.