Ambassador Dr Joachim Bergström visits UTAR

From left: Prof Goi, Prof Ewe, H.E. Dr Joachim Bergstrom, Prof Faidz and Dr Lai

His Excellency Ambassador-Designate of Sweden to Malaysia Dr Joachim Bergström made a personal visit to UTAR Sungai Long Campus on 26 October 2021.

His Excellency was welcomed by UTAR President Ir Prof Dr Ewe Hong Tat along with UTAR Vice President for R&D and Commercialisation Prof Ts Dr Faidz Abd Rahman, Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science Dean Prof Ir Dr Goi Bok Min, Division of Community and International Networking Director Assoc Prof Dr Lai Soon Onn and Division of Corporate Communication and Public Relations Director Ms Ong Soo Weon.

Visiting UTAR for the first time, His Excellency expressed in his speech that he is very impressed with the richness and diversity of the degree programmes that UTAR is offering. His Excellency had himself prepared for an academic career prior to becoming a diplomat. Therefore, he feels closely affiliated with the university environment and cause.

His Excellency added that, “South-East Asia is a completely new working field for me, but I feel this is a wonderful opportunity to be in this part of the world right now - to understand the future - 20 or 30 years from now. South-East Asia will have a large role in the world going forward.”

His Excellency elaborated that, “The Embassy of Sweden in Kuala Lumpur has several different focus areas and the main ones are deepening the bilateral relations with Malaysia and looking after its Swedish interests, whether it is for individuals, organizations and institutions or Swedish enterprises.  Swedish enterprises with ventures here create job opportunities both in Malaysia and Sweden. We also try to promote values as we see them as an important part of the global future. Values such as democratic transformation, gender equality, care for the environment, sustainability, youth empowerment and education - all of these values that we feel are advantageous to everyone. With regard to gender equality, Sweden has a project coming up with UTAR Faculty of Arts and Social Science on gender equalities in November. I hope that going forward, we can find avenues of cooperation on sustainability, waste management and recycling, gender equality; environmental protection, and youth empowerment. I look forward to working with UTAR and exploring what can be done together for better education and better development.”

UTAR President Prof Ewe welcomed His Excellency and said that UTAR is honoured to have H.E. Dr Joachim Bergstrom visit UTAR Sungai Long Campus. Prof Ewe mentioned that the previous Ambassador of Sweden to Malaysia, His Excellency Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt also paid a courtesy visit to UTAR Sungai Long Campus in November 2016 for the first time. Subsequently, two webinars on Sweden, including studies in Sweden, were held for UTAR staff and students who enjoyed the informative and educational videos.

Prof Ewe added that, “We look forward to more collaborative opportunities with universities in Sweden especially in relation to R&D projects, cultural. academic and student exchanges. When international travels are allowed, we welcome students from Sweden to our campus and we also hope for our students to visit Sweden as well.”

Prof Ewe elaborated that UTAR has about 500 MoU university and industry partners for R&D projects, internships, training and student exchanges. Before the pandemic, there were about two thousand students each year participating in the inbound and outbound student exchange programmes. During the pandemic, these activities continued virtually with increased participation from international students.

The visit ended with a campus tour, especially the engineering and architecture labs, and the Mary KUOK Pick Hoo Library.

UTAR staff and students wish His Excellency Dr Joachim Bergstrom a successful and memorable attachment as the Ambassador-Designate of Sweden to Malaysia.

Prof Ewe (left) and H.E. Dr Joachim Bergstrom (right) delivering their speeches

Prof Ewe (left) presenting UTAR souvenirs to H.E. Dr Joachim Bergstrom

Department of Architecture & Sustainable Design Lecturer Ts Yeow Kah Niam (right) showing students' projects to H.E. Dr Joachim Bergstrom. Head of Department of Laboratory Management and Safety Administration Ts Dr King Yeong Jin (middle) assisted with the campus tour

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