Press Release from Umeå University

New scholarships for master's in public health programme students

[2012-12-21] The Erling-Persson Family Foundation has granted SEK 10 million in funding to Umeå University's Master’s Degree Programme in Public Health. Thanks to this generous donation, 14 international students each year for five years will receive scholarships that cover tuition fees.

When Sweden introduced tuition fees for students from outside the EU/EEA area, the number of international students decreased dramatically throughout the nation. This was rather challenging for the educational programmes in Public Health at Umeå University, which recruit many students from Africa, Asia and Latin America; countries where there is often a shortage of skilled labour in the field. Professor Lars Weinehall is the Head of the Epidemiology and Global Health unit at Umeå University.

“The donation from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation creates new opportunities. Our courses and programmes are global, and they are primarily focused on recruiting students from low- and middle-income countries. Their experience improves the quality of education and creates a diverse learning environment. In 2011, Sweden introduced tuition fees for non-European students and the number of applicants from these countries is 90 per cent.”

“Thanks to this new donation, we have new opportunities to enrol students from the very countries where health efforts are greatest. We know that these recent graduates contribute very actively to positive health development in their home countries, where problems of infectious diseases, child and maternal mortality and chronic diseases are major health threats,” continues Lars Weinehall.

Umeå University offers both a one-year master's degree programme and a two-year master’s degree programme in public health with instruction entirely in English. This year, the Master’s Programme in Public Health at Umeå University was the only in Sweden in that subject which received the highest evaluation of quality by the Swedish National Agency of Higher Education. The curriculum and training is closely linked with Global Health, a strong research environment at Umeå University.

“We have a number of research collaborations with universities in low-income countries, and even with the World Health Organization (WHO),” says Lars Weinehall. “Some of the master’s degree students will also continue as doctoral students in research projects.”

The programme prepares students for the international market in health care, relief work, research and public service.

Since its inception in 1991, the programme has attracted students from more than 30 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe (including Sweden) and North and South America. This global recruitment has become an important influence on our teaching and research, with Swedish and international public health professionals learning from one another.

“It is imperative for Umeå University to continue to attract students from around the world to enhance the quality of education,” says Anders Fällström, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education. “The master’s programme in public health is a high priority. Therefore, this is very good news.”

Details about the scholarshipsRead more about the Master's programme in Public Health (2 yr.)Read more about the Master's programme in Public Health (1 yr.)

Applications for the master's programmes in public health are currently open. The deadline to apply is 15 January 2013.

For further information, please contact:

Lars Weinehall, Head of Epidemiology and Global Health
Phone: +46 ( 0)70-564 46 52

Anders Fällström, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education at Umeå University
Phone: +46 (0)70-493 85 27

Editor: David Meyers

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