SANORD – Southern African – Nordic Centre, is a university network founded in 2007. The members include universities in Scandinavia and South Africa. Uppsala University was one of the eight universities that formed the network, and now the number of member universities has risen to slightly above 40, indicating the attractiveness and viability of the network. The goal of the network is to promote cooperation between universities in the Nordic region and Southern Africa, and assist member universities to address global and local needs. SANORD has a joint meeting (Council) once a year, which alternates between meeting locations in the north and in the south every other year. During the meeting, a conference or a symposium takes place, and I (Eva) have since last year a place on the board of SANORD. This year the conference was hosted by the University of Malawi, and the theme of the conference was: “Contributions of universities towards attaining the millennium development goals”. I was invited to give a keynote during the first day titled: “Strategic Management and Higher Education Financing”.
The second day, Maria Teresa Bejarano , Peter Sundin and Sten Hagberg gave presentations on the topic “Does Uppsala University make the world a better place?”. After their brilliant presentations – “Antibiotic Resistance – React”, “International science program” and “Forum for Africa studies” the unanimous answer was: Yes!
When we are travelling, we try to use the time as well as possible by discussing agreements, cooperation and other issues. We often arrange some type of alumni event. Here in Malawi we organized a popular reception for our African partners on Monday evening together with Lund University. Thanks to Ulrica Ouline and Erika Dabhilkar from our International Office who arranged and coordinated the event for Uppsala University.
SANORD gives us opportunities for new partnerships and strengthens existing ones with universities in Southern Africa. The next SANORD meeting will be in June next year, and the place is a little closer to home – in Karlstad. The theme of the symposium will be “The impact of globalization on the Southern Africa region and the Nordic region in a period of 10 years from now”.
In 2015 the meeting will be held in Namibia, and in 2016 we have the pleasure of welcoming our SANORD friends to Uppsala University.
I’m now on my way home from Malawi, full of impressions and strengthened in my conviction that our international cooperation helps us contribute to a better world.