The National Agency for Higher Education in Sweden has completed two substantial evaluations of the internationalisation of higher education in Sweden and cooperation with the surrounding community. The two reports provide a picture of the current state of affairs where various aspects of internationalisation and cooperation are concerned.
Below are key findings and recommendations of the report “The Internationalization of Higher Education in Sweden”:
- A major increase in the number of international students at higher education institutions in Sweden has been accompanied by the development of courses and programmes taught in English. Nearly three hundred master’s programmes offered in the medium of English recruit large numbers of international students, and these numbers are increasing rapidly.
- There has been a falling off in the numbers of students leaving Sweden on exchange. To expand exchange programmes the higher education institutions should review their strategies and the information they offer.
- Developments in higher education in Sweden point to an increase in strategic partnerships. International networks are expanding.
- Far too many higher education institutions have opted to wait for indications from the government on implementation of the Bologna Process. The higher education institutions should take better advantage of the possibilities open to them, particularly in the areas where no central initiatives are required. The government should, in its turn, make decisions about the actions to be taken in Sweden concerning various aspects of the Bologna Process. There is a great deal of evidence for the importance of the role played by teachers in internationalisation and it is important to improve their possibilities of exchange.
Highlights from the second evaluation report “Higher Education and Cooperation with the Surrounding Community” are:
The Internationlization of Higher Education in SwedenHigher Education and Cooperation with the Surrounding Community
- We have been able to determine that cooperation with the surrounding community is an approach that is soundly integrated into research and teaching. It is important for the higher education institutions to be open to the community and to cooperate with local authorities, public agencies, companies, schools, the general public, trade unions, politicians, international organizations etc.
- Cooperation to enhance democracy - The efforts devoted by the higher education institutions to research communication and popular education provide people with the knowledge that enables them to influence the directions taken by research. We consider that it is legitimate to demand that citizens should be given information about the way in which state funding for research is used.
- Cooperation for the development of knowledge and growth- The higher education institutions develop new knowledge together with the commercial and public sectors. National authorities should allocate resources in ways that will increase the incentives for cooperation. Funds could, for instance, be allocated on the basis of how successful the cooperation of a higher education institution is in relation to its own objectives.