The recently started Master's programme has been asked for by Swedish as well as international students for many years. It's a spin-off from the IPPE Bachelor's Degree, the International programme in Politics and Economics. The programme is designed for students who are interested in advanced studies of international politics.
This programme was the obvious choice for Marc Dunnink. For some years he had worked as an advisory consultant in public sector transformation in South Africa and Kenya. He felt it was time to broaden his experience and further is knowledge through pursuing his Master's.
– I looked at programmes in South Africa, England and the Netherlands, but this master's programme at University West was best suited to my needs, and offered exciting learning opportunities, says Marc Dunnink. Many South African governing institutions hold Swedish Public Policies in high regard so I jumped at the opportunity to study Politics in Sweden.
- Furthermore, the cooperation between University West and the University of the Western Cape in Cape Town enables me to apply my understanding to a South African and African context.
Framework for African integration
Marc's earlier studies at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, gave him a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations, Sociology and Anthropology. After completing his Post-Graduate Studies in Business Administration, at Wits Business School, he was employed by Ernst & Young and worked as a management consultant for some years.
When it comes to future plans, Marc has a clear ambition to contribute to development in Africa and the empowerment of people on the continent. He believes that strong regional integration in Africa is a promising way to achieve this.
- As the European Union faces Brexit and a push towards protectionist policies, and America gives power to Donald Trump, Africa needs to unite and strengthen. The EU is not perfect but there are many valuable learnings Africa can take from it as we embark on regional integration, I hope to build a framework of how this can be done successfully in the African context.
– I also want to be able to contribute to the betterment of my home country. Unfortunately economic growth is slowing, unemployment is increasing, social gaps are widening and the legacy of apartheid is still very present. South Africans have a challenging future ahead of us, but with strong leadership and sound judgement, we can prosper.
Mix of students
Marc sees great value in studying with people from different cultures and with completely different backgrounds.
– You learn to understand how people from different countries think and you can appreciate their world view, and it will most certainly lead to interesting discussions. It's also exciting to study at a relatively new and not so large university were you can influence and interact to a greater extent than what is possible at larger and more traditional universities.
He has just moved in to a flat with another student and he looks forward to getting to know many new people.
Curious about Sweden
– There is a strong sense of community and lifelong friendships are being made among the students. To me, it has been interesting to move from the city of Johannesburg (with a population of over 10 million people) to the smaller town of Trollhättan. I'm looking forward to discover the town and the Swedish culture. I've found myself a bike and it's really easy to get around in town.
– My plan now is to find a small lake where I can take a sauna and a cold plunge. In addition I want to go snowboarding and see the northern lights.
Text and photo: Christina Axelson