MDH students won first prizes in an international competition

May 11, 2016 | Student Education

For the fifth consecutive time, students from Mälardalen University (MDH) won first prizes in the annual international Euroweek conference, which this year had representatives from 17 countries.

Prime Networking is a network of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Europe, which includes MDH, and the Euroweek conference is one of the network’s biggest activities. This year the conference was arranged at ECAM Brussels Engineering School in Belgium.

The students in the participating HEIs are required to develop projects directed towards particular issues within the theme of the conference. This is carried out in small groups of six students from three HEIs under the leadership of their teachers. During the week the students can compete and win three different prices: “best project paper”, “best project stand” and “best project presentation”.

All written project reports are assessed by an independent jury of academics at the arranging HEI and one winner is appointed. Best project stand is assessed by all present academics from all countries, where they vote for the project who manages best to sell their project idea at an exhibition. For best project presentation three projects can win since the competing projects are divided into three different jury “tracks”. A jury consisting of academics from five different HEIs assesses each project, taking into account its academic content, presentation ability and the interactive discussion. This year 16 projects participated.


MDH won three first prizes

This year’s conference theme was “Creativity and Entrepreneurship: Facing the Megatrends”. MDH participated with three different projects. For the fifth consecutive year, the representatives of MDH managed to win three first prizes!

Two of them, for best project paper and best project presentation (jury track 2), was announced to the project, ”Startup Companies Facing Global Megatrends - What language and cultural skills will young entrepreneurs need?” and it was Johanna Westerlund (IMF-program) and Leanne Johnstone (International Marketing) who could bring home home the winning trophy. The project also had students and academics from Portugal (Instituto Politécnico de Coimbra) and Finland (Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences).

– Euroweek was such an amazing experience as it has given me insight into the world of international conferences and working across temporal, spatial and cultural boundaries. The project itself was challenging and at some points we all went a bit crazy, however it was all worth it. Our team had such a wonderful bond and we all used our various strengths to ensure the project was a success by helping each other in our times of need, says Leanne Johnstone.

The third win, for best project presentation (jury track 3), was given to the project: ”International Education – the shape of things to come” and it was Krista Porthén (IMF-program) and Alice Öqvist (Analytical Finance) who received the prize.
– Our project is about the Megatrend International Education and the increasing driving force for international education in an increasingly globalized labor market. We looked at what difficulties there are for students who want to study abroad, which benefits there are for both students, the host university and society as a whole, as well as allusions to how future international programs could be structured and constructed. Many of the things we address in our project, such as the importance of international and cultural understanding, I think we have experienced during Euroweek, says Alice Öqvist.

Satisfied supervisors

Charlotta Edlund and Angelina Sundström, supervisors for the projects, are of course very happy and satisfied.

– The students have put a lot of time and energy into these projects. My main goal as a project leader is to create and encourage the team from day 1. The students managed to build a fantastic team spirit from the first Skype meeting in December, which could clearly be seen in the results. Two of the projects manage to go all the way to the first prize, says Charlotta Edlund.


Winning projects

Winning project: ”Startup Companies Facing Global Megatrends” by Johanna Westerlund (IMF-program) and Leanne Johnstone (International Marketing) received first prizes for Best Project Paper and Best presentation in track 2.

Winning project: for best project presentation (jury track 3), first prize was given to the project ”International Education – the shape of things to come”, and it was Krista Porthén (IMF-program) and Alice Öqvist (Analytical FInance) who received it. The project also had students and academics from Italy (Università Carlo Cattaneo) and USA (Molloy College). Unfortunately the team from the US couldn’t join Euroweek due to the terrorist attacks taking place in March in Brussels.

The third project: ”The New Angels of Life” addressed a very current and complex subject. The students Gino Nano and Lewend Mayiwar (IBM-program) worked hard together with students form Norway and Belgium in their project, which dealt with the globalization and increasing refugee crisis. Focus was on health care and the doctor-patient relationship. The project came second for Best project paper.