SASNET visit to University of Gothenburg, 27 May 2011

On Friday 27 May 2011, SASNET’s deputy director Lars Eklund visited Gothenburg, in order to learn about two interesting projects with strong relevance to South Asian studies at the University of Gothenburg, firstly the flourishing International Visiting Professors Programme at the university’s School of Business, Economics and Law (SBEL); and secondly a collaboration project with universities in Nepal, set up by researchers primarily at Sahlgrenska Academy within the framework of University of Gothenburg’s new Global University programme.

NarayanswamyIn the morning, a meeting was organised at the School of Business, Economics and Law by Professor Ramnath Narayanswamy (photo), one out of three Indian researchers currently based there as part of the Visiting Professors programme. Prof. Narayanswamy, otherwise a Professor in the Economics and Social Sciences Area at the Indian Institute of Management in Bangalore (IIMB), first came to Gothenburg in 2009 and like the other visiting professors he spends approximately two months a year in Gothenburg, involved in both teaching and research. His areas of interest include Business and Society, Spirituality and Self Development, Entrepreneurship in the Creative Sector and Creativity and Innovation. When in Gothenburg, Prof. Narayanswamy spends 50 per cent of his time at the Business and Design Lab, and the rest of his time at the School of Executive Education (organized as a central unit within the School of Business, Economics and Law).

At the Business and Design Lab, headed by Professor Ulla Johansson, Prof. Narayanswamy carries out research on exploring the arts-management interface, spirituality-management interface and the design-thinking-management education interface. He also contributes to a course on Strategy, Innovation and Design and am currently conceptualizing a new course on creativity as a collaboration venture with the Arts School in Gothenburg. Along with his colleague Anna Rylander, he plans for a project on exploring the reasons behind the success of Swedish firms in India, as there is little close to nothing in the literature on this subject.
HandelshögskolanProf. Narayanswamy is also involved in collaboration with another colleague, Dr. Per Olof Larsson, the CEO of SEBL, on The Value of Social Cognitive Theory and Global Executive Education.
Apart from this, he directs two five day modules of the EMBA program of the University of Gothenburg every year in January in Bangalore. One module is devoted to Doing Business In India and the other is devoted to Embedding Leadership Excellence. He also contributes and participates in executive education with Volvo and other companies.

Previously, Prof. Narayanswamy has been Visiting Research Fellow in the Center for Russian and East European Studies of the University of Birmingham and a Reader in the Center of Eurasian Studies of the University of Bombay. He has also been Visiting Professor in the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris, the Federal Institute of East European and International Studies in Cologne, McGill University in Canada, The Management School, Lancaster and HEC Montreal and now at University of Gothenburg. More information about Prof. Narayanswamy’s research.

International Visiting Professors Programme

Meeting at SEBL, from left to right: Ingela Palmgren, Robin Biddulph, Sara Stendahl, Ramnath Narayanswamy, Lars Eklund and Ashok Tampy.

The School of Business, Economics and Law runs its International Visiting Professors Programme for the period 2009–13. The programme contributes to a concious strategy of improving the international profile and competitiveness of SEBL by increasing the share of international researchers within the faculty. It is also part of a long-term internationalisation strategy which involves building deeper relations with a number of esteemed universities and business schools around the world.

Visiting Professors serving on the programme are typically contracted for a three-year engagement, and typically work at the School for one month per academic term.
The Professors contribute in a wide variety of ways across all institutions and at all levels of research and education at the School.

On the research side many have been involved in organising international conferences in collaboration with faculty members at the School, have established new collaborative research projects, and have co-authored academic articles with researchers at the School. At PhD level visiting professors have contributed both to teaching and supervision of our PhD candidates. The VPP is located administratively in the Graduate School at SEBL and most of the visiting professors have either designed or delivered Masters courses at the Graduate School.
By mid-2010 there were 22 visiting professors contracted to the programme and this will rise to about 30 by mid-2011. The programme has been made possible thanks to generous contributions from the business community in West Sweden, including Volvo and SKF. More information on the International Visiting Professor Programme.

Besides Prof. Narayanswamy, another two Indian visiting professors have been posted at the School of Business, Economics and Law, namely Associate Professor Ashok Thampy – also from IIM Bangalore; and Dr. Subhashish Gangopadhyay, Director for the India Development Foundation, a much appreciated lecturer at SEBL since many years. In 2006, Dr. Gangopadhyay was awarded Honorary PhD at the School of Business, Economics and Law.

Dr. Ashok Thampy also participated in the meeting with Lars Eklund on 27th May. So were also the International Visiting Professor Programme coordinator, Dr. Robin Biddulph; the Vice Dean of the Graduate School, and Head of the International Visiting Professors Programme at the School, Dr. Sara Stendahl (also Research Director, Department of Law); and Ingela Palmgren, Director, Corporate Relations, School of Business, Economics and Law. They presented the programme and its positive effects for University of Gothenburg, and discussed with Lars what role SASNET could play in disseminating information.

Collaboration project with Nepal part of Gothenburg’s Global University programme

Nepal project
Meeting about the Nepal project, from left to right: Alexandra Krettek, Lars Eklund, Göran Bondjers and Julia Velkova.

From the School of Business, Economics and Law, Lars Eklund proceeded to the Nordic School of Public Health (NHV) located in the western part of Gothenburg, this time accompanied by Julia Velkova, currently working on a project basis for SASNET. They went to NHV in order to meet Dr. Alexandra Krettek, Associate Professor of Cardiovascular Prevention at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg (and Senior Lecturer at NHV since 2007); and Professor Göran Bondjers, former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Sahlgrenska Academy (and NHV Vice Chancellor during the period 2006-2010).

A meeting was organised to present University of Gothenburg’s new collaboration project with three partner universities in Nepal – Kathmandu University, Tribhuvan University, and Patan Academy of Health Sciences.
The project is entitled ”Collaboration between GU and Nepali Institutions: Strengthening Health Education, Supporting Research, Monitoring Health”. It is based on previous Linnaeus Palme exchange programme experiences with Tribhuvan University (more information), but is much wider, including additional Nepali institutions and programmes, and extending its focus to both education and research. The exchange programme has also been extended to include administrative staff and PhD candidates.
It is one out of a number of new international projects initiated by University of Gothenburg as part of a long-term ambition to create a profile as ‘The Global University’. This notion is based on the university’s action plan for internationalisation 2008-2012.
The plan focuses on the development of exchange, at all levels, with universities in other countries where special attention should also be given to developing a long-term and sustainable strategic collaboration with partners in for example South Asia. The cooperation efforts should be clearly linked to values of international solidarity and global responsibility, and must be of a different character than traditional student mobility. More information on The Global University.

Associate Professor Alexandra Krettek heads the Nepal project that was approved in November 2010.
The other project members are Professor Göran Bondjers and Associate Professor Göran Kurlberg from the Sahlgrenska Academy; Associate Professor Ulla-Britt Engelbrektsson and PhD candidate Susanne Åsman, Social Anthropology, School of Global Studies; Lecturer Jonas Öberg, Dept. of Applied IT; and Professor Emeritus Jan Bärmark, Dept. of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science.
More information about the Nepal collaboration project

India project

Another project approved by University of Gothenburg within the Global University framework deals with India. The project, entitled Go:India willl run for three years (2011 – 2013), and aims at building a platform for co-operation within the areas of research, teaching and education between researchers at University of Gothenburg’s Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts, the Sahlgrenska Academy and the Faculty of Social Sciences, and departments at the university’s Indian partner universities/institutes. More information about the Go:India project.
On 7–9 June 2011 the Go:India project will arrange its first joint event in Gothenburg, a Kick-off conference where representatives from all the partner institutions will meet to discuss and plan the details of the planned activities for the coming three years, including, among other things, joint conferences, writing of joint research projects, teacher and student exchange. Representatives from other Swedish universities have also been invited. Lars Eklund, Anna Lindberg and Julia Velkova will represent SASNET at the three-day meeting.

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SASNET - Swedish South Asian Studies Network/Lund University
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Last updated 2011-08-23