MDH students won first prize in international project competition

Apr 27, 2012 | Student

Four students from Mälardalen University have won the first prize in an international project competition at Euroweek in Holland. Altogether 118 students from 19 countries took part and the students from MDH came first in two out of three heats in the competition.

MDH students that participated in Euroweek

PRIME Networking is a network of higher education institutions in Europe, and the Euroweek conference is one of the network’s largest and most widely-broadcast activities. This year the conference was arranged in Groningen, Holland, and the theme was Fair Trade. During the conference an international project competition took place, with 20 competing student teams. The highest marks of all the contributions were awarded to two projects written and presented by students from Mälardalen University.

In Jenny Nissinen’s and Pauline Nordlund’s project they, together with four other students from Germany and Norway, investigated how the concept of Fair Trade is primarily an idea of the Western World, an idea which does not always work without problems in developing countries, which have other laws, regulations, norms and social structures.

- We were very happy but also surprised about winning, since the competition was tough. It’s been both difficult and fun to work with students from other countries. We started with contact online and then later met to finish the project during Euroweek, Pauline Nordlund tells us.

- It’s incredibly educational and challenging for the students to work in these multicultural projects. They’ve all got different backgrounds and knowledge, says Birgitta Schwartz, Reader and Senior Lecturer in Economics at MDH, specialising in sustainable development, and supervisor of the project.

At Euroweek all the students had to present their projects to a jury and to the other competitors. What the members of the jury assessed was the academic content of the essay, the actual delivery and presentation of the essay, and how the group interacted with the audience during the delivery.

In the other winning team, which included Nadia Hussain and Linda Söderholm, they looked more closely at Fair Trade products from a consumer perspective. For four days they tried to buy only foodstuffs that were Fair Trade labelled, and with their German and Norwegian teammates they made a video diary via Youtube. Among other things they investigated how many products there were, whether they were easy to find in the store, and the staff’s knowledge of the products.

- Often the Fair Trade products were difficult to find and the staff not so knowledgeable – so this has resulted in our producing a marketing plan for Fair Trade products. We’ve put a lot of work into the project and it’s been fun and rewarding working with students from other countries, says Linda Söderholm.

- They are intensive days during Euroweek and the students spend a lot of energy making presentations which attract interest, and here the students from MDH have succeeded really well, says Charlotta Edlund, Lecturer in Marketing at MDH and supervisor of the project.