‘At Malmö University you become part of a global network’

Did you know you can study at Malmö University, no matter where in the world you are? The Local finds out more about the school's 'Glocal classroom' concept and how it brings a top education to your doorstep.

'At Malmö University you become part of a global network'
Photo: Kentaroo Tryman/Folio/

Sweden has frequently been ranked among the world leaders in higher education. And with a focus on independent and creative learning, it’s no surprise Sweden is also one of the most innovative nations.

Malmö is no exception. With more than 250 international partner universities and selected lectures being live-streamed around the world, Malmö University can bring Swedish education to your doorstep – wherever that doorstep is!

 Senior lecturer Tobias Denskus is on a mission to make his master’s programme as accessible as possible.  Communication for Development brings together students from around the world via Malmö University’s Glocal classroom – where lectures and seminars can be live streamed alongside an interactive chat facility to allow and enhance participation.

“One student may have just woken up and had a cup of coffee in New York; another might have just gotten back from work somewhere in Europe; and then we have the Asian evening crowd. We get that global dynamic, which is reflected by a 24-hour clock,” Denskus says.

Last year, for instance, one student was a staff member of the Asian Development Bank in Manila, who streamed lectures on his phone while sitting in traffic jams each day.

“We also have a Somali refugee who lives in the far north of Sweden, and a student living in a very remote part of the Italian Alps,” Denskus remarks.

Read more about studying at Malmö University

The school has designed its own live-lecture platform, which consists of a video screen and a chat function.

“We get a very multi-faceted learning experience,” Denskus explains. “While there is a lecture going on there can also be side discussions, with students asking questions and other students answering them – it is not just a teacher-student dynamic.”

The idea of a “glocal” classroom is that personal, high-quality teaching can take place anywhere in the world. Malmö University’s Glocal classroom offers a low-stream broadcast which can be watched with a 3G phone connection as well as higher-quality streams.

It also makes studying more flexible. Students who enrol in the programme often are already working in the field of international development, many within organisations such as the UN. Why uproot yourself if you can fit studying in seamlessly around your life?

For others, it might be a question of needing to study at home: the programme also attracts a number of parents and other caregivers.

Find out more about Communication for Development

“It is very rewarding that by default our students are very much immersed in the ‘real world’, and  they can bring that into the classroom,” Denskus says.

“We get a lot of positive feedback. Students like the kind of classroom environment that we provide and say they studied like a ‘real’ student. Throughout the two years of part-time studies, an active community is evolving alongside engagement from teachers. People really feel part of a study experience.”

For some students, the Communication for Development programme online is a gateway to offline experiences: “They start as distance-learning students, but then they get excited about the Swedish education system and come back for more courses.”

But even when students study on campus in the city of Malmö, the global element remains. It’s a remarkably international campus – and every student is encouraged to spend at least one semester studying abroad at one of Malmö’s partner universities.

“The attraction for international students is that Malmö – as a space and place – is basically a laboratory in itself,” Denskus says.

“The way the city of Malmö is changing in terms of infrastructure, buildings, economic opportunities and new forms of employment – Malmö University is at the core of that.”

Malmö is still a relatively young university – and that gives it a more flexible ethos, he adds. The school doesn’t bear the weight of long-standing tradition, and can instead focus on innovating.

“We come without that baggage and have the opportunity to try out new things, new partnerships, and that has proved to be very exciting,” he says.

“We are creating lots of global connections through this programme and the alumni network – many long-lasting connections in distant places When you study at Malmö, you will become part of a global network.”

Learn more about Malmö University's programmes in English

This article was produced by The Local and sponsored by Malmö University.


Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime