Sweden aims to create ‘Nordic knowledge hub’

Government inquiry on internationalisation also calls for increased outbound mobility 

February 9, 2018
Swedish parliament
Source: iStock

An inquiry established by the Swedish government has set out an ambitious strategy for internationalising its higher education institutions.

The recommendations include a proposal for Sweden to “create closer collaboration among Nordic higher education institutions and further develop an internationally competitive knowledge region in northern Europe”.

It also calls for the proportion of Swedish students spending time abroad to increase to at least 25 per cent by 2025; just 14 per cent of students graduating in 2016-17 had spent three months abroad, it says. 

Other proposed initiatives focus on double and joint degrees; a more “strategically managed” approach to the use of English in Swedish universities; and improving access for refugees and other recent arrivals.

The series of recommendations, which have been put forward as a strategy that will run from 2020 to 2030, aim to help the country “improve its capacity to receive foreign expertise and contribute to the collective knowledge of the world”.

According to the report from the inquiry on increased internationalisation of higher education institutions, Sweden receives slightly less than 1 per cent of the world’s internationally mobile students and produces slightly more than 1 per cent of the world’s research publications.

Incoming student numbers had declined from 46,700 in the 2010-11 academic year to 35,900 in 2016-17, while international researcher mobility is lower in Sweden than in other strong research nations, it added.

matthew.reisz@timeshighereducation.com

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