I am delighted to report that STINT is continuing to expand its overseas activities. A little over a month ago we established a presence in North America, which complements the overseas office opened in China just over a year ago. The aim of this initiative is to contribute to the knowledge and networks of Swedish higher education institutions (HEIs) and research funders in the area of higher education and research developments in Canada and the USA. STINT’s representative in North America is Dr Niklas Kviselius, who has extensive experience of trend and policy analysis as well as strategic relationship building in research and higher education in Japan and Korea.

An understanding of the research and education systems of North America is easily taken for granted. However, the federal structure of the USA – in which states and individual HEIs enjoy considerable autonomy – can make the landscape difficult to navigate for Swedish actors, but it also provides opportunities when these can be identified. Canada currently seeks new international research partnerships and concentrates research funding to a number of areas that on the whole resemble Swedish strengths, thus creating new opportunities.

Trend analysis and strategic relationship building are increasingly important. Globally, the space for democracy is simultaneously shrinking. Vital aspects that have to be taken into consideration include risks, security issues, ethics, judicial systems, and political and socio-economical contexts. STINT is therefore working on a project on responsibility in international partnerships, together with Karolinska Institutet, KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Lund University. I am looking forward to writing more on this in the next newsletter when this report is launched.

Since the previous newsletter, I have also submitted STINT’s input on the government’s upcoming Research Bill. STINT’s input includes suggestions on what the Swedish knowledge system can do to increase Sweden’s international competitiveness and attractiveness in higher education and research.

On 18 February, we are organising a panel session as part of the annual AIEA conference in Washington on the topic of “Rethinking internationalization of research in an increasingly complex world – Developing a framework for strategic internationalization.” 

We have also recently published a report on academic collaboration between Sweden and Pakistan, a country from which Sweden has received many students.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to several current calls: Strategic Grants, Grants for Double Degree Programmes, Grants for Teaching Sabbaticals, Initiation Grants and the calls we present for the Japanese funder JSPS.

To conclude, I want to wish you a merry Christmas and happy New Year!

Andreas Göthenberg