24 new 'Global Swedes'
On Monday 7 May a diploma ceremony was held for 24 foreign students studying at higher education institutions in Sweden. They have all distinguished themselves in areas related to innovation and entrepreneurship. Minister for Trade Ewa Björling presented diplomas and the students received the Global Swede award. It is hoped that after completing their degrees, they can become excellent ambassadors and promote a positive image of Sweden.
During their stay in Sweden, the students have distinguished themselves in various ways in areas related to innovation and entrepreneurship. They are all now close to completing their master's degrees. This was the second consecutive year that the diploma ceremony was held at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and, like last year, Dr Björling spoke about the hopes and aim of the Global Swede initiative.
"Not even in today's globalised world are contacts, trade and investments across national borders completely free of obstacles. This is where the Global Swede concept comes in. Strengthening ties with people born abroad who have studied, lived or worked in Sweden is an excellent way of creating good relations with other countries," said Dr Björling.
The hope and idea behind the concept is that in the future, the students will be good ambassadors and promote a positive image of Sweden, and also act as important contacts for the Swedish business sector abroad. As Donnie SC Lygonis of KTH Innovation said in his speech at the ceremony:
"Go out and conquer the world, but do it with a little bit of Sweden in you."
One of the students who received a diploma today was Diana Chernetska from Ukraine. She is enrolled in a master's programme in innovation at Halmstad University. One bit of knowledge that she will take with her from Sweden is the awareness of how important personal networks are.
"I chose to study in Sweden because it is such an innovative country, it suits my education. It is small but quite open to accepting students from other countries," said Ms Chernetska.
Global Swede is a joint initiative between the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Swedish Institute. The concept can be seen as a complement to the Government's Kosmopolit project, which aims to make use of the unique skills of people born abroad to increase foreign trade, create more jobs and generate higher growth.