In March 2017 the Swedish Government
established an inquiry on increased internationalisation of higher education institutions (HEIs)
. A first part of the results has now been released and, among other things, it includes a proposal for a national strategy for internationalisation.
The results of the inquiry stress the need to integrate the international dimension in all aspects of higher education policy at the national level, as well as into the core activities of HEIs. It is proposed that new wording regarding internationalisation be added to the Higher Education Act in order to reflect the increasing importance of internationalisation and international cooperation to HEIs and to society as a whole.
Another proposal regards a trackable national strategy for internationalisation of HEIs encompassing their education and research activities and the inherent task of cooperating with the community. The purpose of the strategy is to improve conditions for the internationalisation of HEIs by indicating a direction for internationalisation initiatives at various levels. The primary target groups are the Government, HEIs and other related government agencies.
The strategy for internationalisation is based on the following fundamental premises, values and assumptions:
- Internationalisation is primarily a tool for achieving higher quality and national and global sustainable development, not an end in itself.
- Each HEI’s work with internationalisation should proceed from the specific prerequisites of the institution.
- Swedish competitiveness and development are based on access to knowledge and expertise outside Sweden, where the majority of knowledge production takes place.
- International cooperation between HEIs benefits from and contributes to all of society’s international cooperation, development and diversity.
The mandate of the inquiry also includes the proposal of measures to increase Sweden's attractiveness as a study destination and a knowledge nation. The inquiry will submit a proposal for an integrated system for the registration and tuition fees, recruitment, admissions, examination of the residence permit and receipt of fee-paying students. This part will be presented by 31 October 2018.