The second part of our trip to Australia focused on Sydney. An exciting city with several interesting universities and strong ties to Uppsala. Together with my colleagues Catharina Svensson, Kerstin Rydbeck, Erika Dabhilkar and Kay Svensson I visited the University of Sydney, Macquire University and the University of New South Wales. Our visit coincided with Orientation Week. It felt like in Uppsala in August–September – a great mixture of expectations, ambitions and curiosity. The difference however was in the number of international students. Here more than 25 per cent of the first-year students come from abroad!
On the Thursday evening we invited alumni, friends and exchange students to a reception like the one we had in Melbourne. And just like our first event it was a great success. Here too there was a large group of exchange students who had just arrived in Sydney. They have a whole year ahead of them in this fascinating environment. We wish them all the best of luck and hope they make the most of this opportunity. They seemed to be well on their way.
At Macquire we met an old friend from the Matariki Network, Jim Lee. He was recruited as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of international issues from Queens University in Canada, just over a year ago. We also got the chance to meet Folke Tersman from Uppsala. He has a research period at the University of Sydney and gave us an opportunity for deeper reflection on Australian education and research.
In medicine, Catharina Svensson discussed several interesting projects. Among other things we visited the Hearing Hub at Macquire University – a unique collaboration between health care, research, patient organisations and industry that can offer interesting possibilities in several areas. Kerstin Rydbeck (and the whole group) also got to see their newly built library which is fully automated. An interesting future scenario.
We also had time for an inspiring look at an ambitious project called PACE that works with internships, society and field work at Macquire University. It whet our appetite and was interesting input to our own thoughts about internships and volunteer work among our students.
During our visits we received greeting to Fred Nyberg and Peter Wallensteen from colleagues we met. We now head back home to Sweden with both bags and heads full of new impressions. There is much to learn from and be inspired of in Australia. And that feeling is mutual, there is a lot of interest in Uppsala. One result of this is the fact that Macquire University will be visiting Uppsala this month. A big thank you to Erika Dabhilkar who organised nearly all parts of this trip!