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Sweden explores a new internationalisation strategy

In Sweden, a new strategy for the internationalisation of higher education is in the making. The government has appointed Agneta Bladh as the chief ‘inquirer’, i.e. the head of a small group of persons who will produce a report containing a proposal for the new strategy. Agneta Bladh is a person of high renown in Swedish higher education. She is currently the President of the Board of the Swedish Research Council. Earlier, she was the General Director of the former Högskoleverket (Swedish National Agency for Higher Education), the Rector of University of Kalmar, as well as member of the High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education. The stage of an ‘inquiry’ forms an integral part of any law-making or adoption of major policy documents in Sweden. 

One of the key aims of Ms. Bladh’s report is to suggest how more students than today can benefit from an international dimension.  This is to include measures usually referred to as “internationalisation at home”, for which the report is to identify “examples of good practice”.  But it is also to be achieved by international mobility for students and staff, to gain qualifications necessary for an increasingly international labour market. Swedish higher education enjoys already a high degree of internationalisation, but there are, according to the government, apparently important differences between institutions, making the removal of barriers and support to prioritize internationalisation and the provision of mobility opportunities at some institutions necessary.

The mandate for the inquiry also includes proposing measures to increase Sweden's attractiveness as a study destination and knowledge nation. The inquirer will submit a proposal for an integrated system for registration and tuition fees, recruitment, admissions, examination of the residence permits and receipt of fee-paying students. The inquiry will also look at how higher education institutions could have the possibility of offering funding support to third-country fee-paying students in their education.

The final report is to be handed to Swedish Government by end October 2018, upon which the Government’s own proposal will follow.

Swedish Government – Press release (only in Swedish)