(MENAFN- Gulf Times) The visit of 25 Swedish university representatives to the country early next year will open more collaboration between Qatar and Sweden in various areas, especially education and research, Swedish ambassador Ewa Polano told Gulf Times yesterday.
Speaking on the sidelines of Swedish Institute (SI) director general Annika Rembe's visit to Qatar, the envoy said the delegation from Sweden would participate in a research conference in Doha.
"We have concrete plans. What we are discussing here is the preparation for this very important big delegation of Swedish representatives representing at least 10 Swedish universities," she noted. "This is also a follow-up of Qatar's Information, Communication and Technology Minister HE Dr Hessa Sultan al-Jaber's visit to Sweden in May."
Polano said they had seen a paradigm shift of Qatar and a very strong interest in focusing its economy on innovation entrepreneurship and development of small and medium entrepreneurs.
She noted that Sweden is highly ranked in many indexes and in various areas especially in innovation entrepreneurship.
Rembe said her visit aims to enhance research co-operation with Qatar Foundation and Qatar University. She expects further collaboration not only within the areas of research but also in business in future.
SI is a government agency which aims to strengthen knowledge and relations, understanding, and dialogue between Sweden and the rest of the world with institutions and individuals.
She added that Swedish universities can offer very interesting programmes that could very well compete with the US or the British or other programmes.
"One of my prime targets would be to see how to actually open the eyes of Qatari students for Sweden as a location for studies preferably in masters programmes," Rembe said, adding that she had seen an increasing number of students from the Gulf region. "It is important because it gets Swedish students to meet with the Qatari students and other international students in Sweden as well."
All the masters programmes in Sweden are taught in English, opening up a large variety of other programmes, according to Rembe.
Rembe and Polano met with Virginia Commonwealth University assistant professor John Granberg (Swedish) officials yesterday together with a few Interior Design Students to discuss a project creating a 'House of Sweden' in Doha.
The Swedish officials also met with QF vice president for research and development Dr Hamad al-Ibrahim; Katara € the Cultural Village's marketing and international relations department manager Darwish Ahmed; Katara's international affairs director Mariam al-Saad; QU president Dr Hassan al-Derham; Qatar Museums acting CEO Mansour bin Ibrahim al-Mahmoud (also adviser to QM chairperson HE Sheikha al-Mayassa bint Hamad al-Thani), Doha Film Institute CEO Fatma al-Rumaihi; Qatar National Research Fund executive director Dr Abdul Sattar al-Taie; Silatech country operations director Rula Shunnar; and other Qatari government officials.
Rembe also met with personalities in Qatar who have been educated at Swedish universities. These individuals are part of a network called 'Alumni Sweden in Qatar' and 'Colleague Ambassadors for Sweden-Qatar Relations' being formed by the Swedish embassy.
Dr al-Taie said they were in the process of establishing a steering committee not limited to collaboration. It will be on a bilateral basis covering many organisations.
"What we would like to nurture to really take advantage of the great advancement in innovation," he noted.
"We would like to start certain initiatives with them to promote innovation in early stages in our schools because this will be really linked to the overall Qatar National Vision 2030."
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