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New internationalisation index reveals potentials of researcher mobility

A new and globally available Internationalisation Index, developed by the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education – STINT - in cooperation with Elsevier, captures international collaboration carried out by Swedish Universities as well as international experience of intuitions at several levels.

A follow up report entitled:  Researchers Mobility in Swedish Higher Education Institutions, maps how researchers move between institutions and reveals notably positive effects on their productivity and research quality that is measured in field-weighted citation impact. Under the premises that mobility is crucial to internationalisation, the study’s data captured researchers’ academic experience abroad and findings show:

  • Mobile researchers to attain higher citation rates and exhibit above average productivity
  • The category of ‘Sedentary researchers ‘- those having published at a single institution - show the lowest productivity in combination with publication quality. This category reflects the youngest of researchers though.
  • Conversely, ‘Transitory Researchers’ – those banking one or several mobility periods at different institutions- are most productive with the highest publication quality.
  • Researchers with short term mobility held doubled the citation rates in relation to the world average

The report, indeed data intensive, includes 28 higher education institutions and shows how mobility patterns differ between them at national, International and overall level. 50.4% of the examined institutions’ research faculty was found to have spent time abroad. Perhaps a more sombre finding was that larger institutions or ‘The Big 10’, while having less mobility at the national level, exhibited higher international mobility over their smaller peers.  The so called ‘brain circulation maps’ generated for all institutions in the sample drew on Scopus publication data for all actively publishing researchers in the period 1996-2015.

The Internationalisation Index draws on publicly available data and studies six key dimensions of internationalisation: 1. Research collaborations using international co-publications 2. Student mobility Incoming and Outgoing 3. International PhD students 4. Education offer in English 5. Staff’s international academic experiences  6. Leadership’s international academic experiences

The STINT index addresses the need for improved methods and data that comprehensively capture the state of institutional internationalisation. The report reveals the importance of cross-border exchanges an experience to raising researchers’ potential, and opens the doors for further investigation into the theme.  

Researchers Mobility in Swedish Higher Education Institutions -Full Report