“The SI scholarship has changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined.”

Mustafa Nizamul Aziz is currently the chairperson of the SI alumni network in Bangladesh. He studied in a master’s programme in Information Systems at Uppsala University between 2011 and 2013 with an SI scholarship. This is his story.
Portrait of Mustafa Nizamul Aziz

I’d like to introduce myself as a university lecturer from Dhaka. I also run the Swedish Institute (SI) alumni network in Bangladesh. With all support from SI, I was able to found this regional network in 2018. The network fosters communication and ties among SI alumni from Bangladesh and builds a network between Sweden and Bangladesh.

It was eight years ago I began my master’s studies in Sweden. I wanted to pursue a master’s degree because I had a strong belief that my master’s studies would allow me to diverse my field of expertise for the greater good of my country. Being home to the Nobel Prize, Sweden is renowned for its academic excellence. The reputation Sweden has for sustainability, equality, innovation, etc. made me attracted to Sweden. There is also a huge amount of innovation in Sweden. Stockholm is the start-up capital of Europe. Apart from being the oldest university in all the Nordic countries, Uppsala University (UU) is a leading research university and associated with eight Nobel laureates, and numerous royalty, and public figures. Also, the SI scholarship provides variety of benefits including financial support as well as membership to strong and unique networks. Therefore, it seemed like an ideal choice to apply for an SI scholarship to study for a master’s degree at UU.

The SI scholarship has changed my life in ways that I could never have imagined.

I went to Sweden with the goal of getting a master’s degree. Two years later, I left Sweden with so much more than I could have ever imagined myself gaining. The Swedish Institute has equipped me, and till today continues to support me, with all that I could have needed to take on the real world challenges.

From the endless trips around Sweden that made me fall in love with the nation, to the bonding within the community that made up for the homesickness, to the familiar faces in every part of the world that I now have, Sweden and the Swedish Institute has given me some of the best gifts of my life. This list includes the best thing: a sense of purpose to make the world a better place.

I could not have imagined myself as a public speaker trying to speak of my own experience until I was invited to hold the alumni speech of the year 2017 at the SI Diploma Ceremony. SI has helped me developed as a leader and shown me how to make the best use of the resources and opportunities around me.

In my opinion, the most valuable opportunity the scholarship provided for its scholarship holders is the membership of the SI Network for Future Global Leaders (NFGL) – a platform helps us to grow professionally and build networks while in Sweden, and after the scholarship period, the membership of the SI Alumni Network – a platform for continued networking and further professional development. I think this is the most important thing and it makes the SI Scholarship unique. As an SI alumnus, almost everywhere I look at in the world, I find my friends. This network is one of its kinds with its unique nature and most active members striving for progress in all sectors.

So, why should one apply for SI scholarships? State of the art Education, research opportunities, start-ups in Sweden, as well as the benefits covered by the SI scholarship, memberships to the amazingly vast and diverse global networks for both scholarship holders and the alumni are basically the reasons why you should apply for an SI scholarship. You will not only be taught by the best but also will have the best environment to learn or innovate.

currently I am the chairperson of the SI alumni network in Bangladesh. Through this entity and in collaboration with the Embassy of Sweden in Bangladesh, we arrange seminars and workshops for the alumni for their personal and professional development. We also organise different public events. The knowledge that is spread through these events does help in achieving the goal of bringing a change in the society.

I see myself contributing to sustainable development in terms of quality education and reducing inequality. I try to provide my students with practical and experience-based knowledge along with the academic one. While forming academic or other groups, I always try to make sure that the groups are balanced.

There has also been a change in the way I see things now, because of what I learned during my time in Sweden. Instead of putting weight on grades only, I value knowledge, insights, and inner peace more.

As a citizen of the world, I truly believe that the promotion of equality and human rights should be prioritised. As a teacher, I consider it a duty of mine to promote the ideals of compassion and justice to my students and peers. In long run, I want to become a better change agent. I hope to share the insights, experiences, things I brought back from Sweden with my students and thus motivate the young minds with all positive energy for the betterment in society.

Find out more about the SI scholarships.