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Fast Track for Researchers with Refugee Background

The University of Gothenburg is the first university in Sweden to start a “Fast Track” for researchers with a refugee background. The aim of the programme is to provide knowledge about the Swedish university system and to contribute to a faster entry for newcomers into the Swedish labor market.

This autumn eight newcomer researchers have entered the programme “Inclusive Internationalisation” at the University of Gothenburg. The programme runs on a fifty percent pace during one semester, aiming to provide knowledge of the Swedish university system to newly arrived researchers with completed or interrupted PhD-studies.  

Building on expertise 

The programme also provides coaching, counseling, mentorship, and placement at a department that matches the participant´s research background. After the programme, the participants will be able to apply for positions as researchers or teachers at universities or colleges.  

“It will be mutual learning, building on the expertise the newly arrived researchers possess and supplementing with current research and knowledge. All parts of society must take responsibility for integrating newcomers into the labor market”, says Karolina Catoni, International relations officer at the University of Gothenburg and coordinator of Inclusive Internationalisation. 

First of its kind  

The programme is a collaboration between the Swedish Public Employment Service, University West, University of Borås, Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg, and it is the first of its kind in Sweden. It is funded by the participating universities and STINT (The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education). 

Five of the eight researchers are placed at the University of Gothenburg. One of them is Jawad Abudaia from Palestine, who worked as a urologist on the Gaza Strip for six years and subsequently researched in China on the treatment of Prostatitis.  

Understanding of academic system 

Jawad Abudaia came to Sweden three years ago and is now preparing for his Swedish medical exams in order to get his Swedish medical license. Abudaia applied for the fast track Inclusive Internationalisation to get an understanding of the Swedish academic system.
“I do not have any experience from research in Sweden, and there may be great opportunities here. I would like to be a part of a research group”, Abudaia says. 

He hopes to be able to do specialist training, ST, within urology and surgery.
“I know I have to work hard to get there. Working as a surgeon is my dream job.” 

“Feels very good!” 

Helwah Hussain Jansson has been in Sweden for only six months. She is from Jordan and has a Ph.D. in special education and learning disabilities. Through Inclusive Internationalisationshe has now received a placement at the University West.
“It feels very good! I am new in Sweden and do not know how everything works, but with this education, it feels like someone has taken my hand and led me in the right direction”, Hussain Jansson says. 

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