We regard the suggestion to increase trend analysis and presence abroad as very positive. STINT’s response is therefore focused on our role as an intermediary and knowledge resource in supporting the strategic efforts made by higher education institutions.

The world is rapidly changing and emerging countries are aiming to become knowledge economies. Knowledge production takes place across borders and in global networks. Students and researchers are internationally mobile, but universities are also establishing campuses in other countries. The Swedish higher education sector will not remain unaffected by such global developments. This sector is central to Sweden’s future competitiveness and it is therefore positive that the government, through the Internationalisation Inquiry, has taken a long-term approach to higher education and research in a global context.

The report suggests increasing trend analysis and presence abroad through the establishment of foreign offices. We regard this as very positive, because knowledge and networks with the rest of the world are central if Swedish higher education institutions, research funders and other actors are to develop their own competitive internationalisation strategies. Internationalisation has become more complex, and the need for strategic internationalisation is therefore greater than ever.

The report describes STINT’s establishment in Shanghai, with a Swedish-based component, as a model for the pilot offices suggested by the Inquiry. As the report states, our position as independent actor and knowledge resource in the area of strategic internationalisation enables STINT to play an intermediary role, while higher education institutions and other public actors face more restrictions in their capacity as public authorities.

STINT’s establishment abroad has allowed us to become one of few actors with experience of supporting strategic efforts at higher education institutions through expert information gathering, trend monitoring and analysis, as well as strategic relationship building. We are of the opinion that it would be more cost-effective and considerably quicker to task STINT with establishing the suggested pilot offices than to develop new structures for the piloting process.

The Swedish government’s homepage for the Internationalisation Inquiry and responses. (In Swedish)