Challenging their perspectives
Challenging their perspectives
 
Student competitions using web and digital media is a relatively new method for recruiting international students and for placing Sweden on the map as a study destination. According to Niklas Tranaeus, at the Swedish Institute, “we need to make Sweden more commonly known as a study destination and there is fierce international competition. Trade shows are important but do not always reach all categories of student. Online competitions have proven to be an effective way to recruit qualified international students.”

 
From India to the USA
 
The approach, with three universities working together with a common goal, was first tested in India in autumn 2011. That competition, Challlenge Yourself India, was initiated by the Swedish Institute and students competed to secure scholarships at KTH, Chalmers and Lund. The competition reached an estimated 192,000 students, the site received more than 12,000 visitors and some 2,000 people entered the competition.
 
The Swedish Embassy in Washington DC
 
The initiative for this year’s competition in the USA came from Sweden’s embassy in Washington, which is making a special effort to raise the profile of Swedish education, research and innovation.
 
Competition within political science, international relations and the environment
 
This autumn’s competition in the USA challenges students’ knowledge and motivation in the areas of social science, international relations and the environment; subjects in the US associated with Sweden. The competition allows the three universities to both support each other and benefit from Sweden’s brand, under the name ‘Challenge Yours Perspectives: The Swedish Scholarship Awards 2013’.
 
Stockholm University is offering a scholarship for its International Master’s Programme in Political Science, whilst Lund and Uppsala are respectively offering programmes in environmental management & policy and development studies.
 
Susanna Lindberg from the Department of Political Science notes “it feels exciting to test this new way of marketing our programmes with digital media in a foreign market like the USA. We look forward to seeing the results later this fall and it will also be interesting to see the wider effects on the University.”
 
Communication via the Web and digital media
 
A new webpage is being developed and the competition is being marketed by Student Competitions with the support from the Swedish Institute, the Swedish Embassy in Washington as well as by the universities. This is being done principally through social media, as well as through traditional media and roadshows etc.
 
Entrants are required to answer 30 questions, which are compiled by each university, and to write an essay. The students’ entries are evaluated by Student Competitions with the universities themselves reviewing grades and eligibility. The scholarships awarded to the finalists are at first conditional, due to the Swedish admissions system, with the finalists then applying through the ordinary process on www.universityadmissions.se.
 
More Information
 
For more information about Challenge Your Perspectives: The Swedish Scholarship Awards 2013 visit www.challengeyourperspectives.com.
 
Contacts
 
Yvonne Lilliedahl, Communications Office, Stockholm University, yvonne.lilliedahl@su.se   

Susanna Lindberg, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University, susanna.lindberg@statsvet.su.se