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Establish a platform for internationalisation

A platform is needed where public agencies, higher education institutions and other actors can collaborate to make higher education, research and innovation more international. This the the conclusion of a new report from the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR), the Swedish Research Council, and Vinnova.

The purpose of the platform is to create better preconditions for higher education institutions (HEIs) to become more international. Higher education is facing many joint challenges, and active international collaboration is important, both for individual HEIs and for Swedish society as a whole.

The idea was originally put forward by the Internationalisation Report, as one of several proposals for making Swedish higher education and research more international. At the Government’s request, UHR, the Swedish Research Council and Vinnova have developed the proposal further. The work has been done in dialogue with higher education institutions (HEIs), via the Association of Swedish Higher Education Institutions (SUHF), and the public agencies and other actors involved.

Collaboration between several actors

In the report, which is published today, the agencies propose that the collaboration on the new platform should be organised as a steering group, a secretariat and several working groups, where public agencies, HEIs and other actors can participate.

To begin with, four working groups are needed, to be responsible for 1) mobility of students, researchers and personnel, 2) Sweden as a knowledge nation, 3) monitoring and analysis of the world around us, and 4) responsible internationalisation.

Five public agencies create the platform

The Swedish Institute, UHR, Swedish Higher Education Authority, Swedish Research Council and Vinnova have been proposed to jointly create the platform. These public agencies will also be part of the steering group, together with a research funding body and also representatives from three HEIs and from the Swedish National Union of Students (SFS).

“The Swedish Research Council has well-established collaboration today with other research funding bodies in relation to international calls. With this platform, we can also collaborate on other activities and policy issues,” says Stefan Törnqvist, who heads the Secretariat for International Coordination at the Swedish Research Council.

Chairing in rotation

According to the proposal, UHR shall coordinate the secretariat and host the platform, while the chairing of the steering group shall rotate between the agencies, starting with UHR.

The new platform shall have a broader mandate than the current public agency collaboration in the Forum for Internationalisation, which has been in existence since 2008. This forum will be closed down when the platform is established.

 

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