Foreign Policy and internationalization of Swedish higher education. The Swedish Institute and the academic exchange 1945-2010

Foreign Policy and internationalization of Swedish higher education. The Swedish Institute and the academic exchange 1945-2010

The Swedish Institute (SI) was founded in 1945 with the aim to inform about Sweden and to raise sympathies for the country abroad. SI is a typical example for an institution for a cultural diplomacy institution. One central task of the institute are scholarships for foreign students and researchers for visits to Swedish universities. SI is an institution where foreign and educational policy meet and has played an important role for the academic internationalization from 1945 until today.

This project deals with the SI-scholarhips and the foreigners receiving them and wants to analyze the relationship between cultural diplomacy and the internationalization of Swedish higher education. Starting point is the Swedish interests founding SI focussing the political and economical tasks assigned to it and wether these changed with changing Swedish foreign policy. A quantitative statistical analysis of the incoming foreigners will trace wether changing foreign political and economical interests can be seen in the recievers of scholarships. Important factors are of course country of origin or working field and if this has changed over time. This analysis also gives a picture of the internationalization of the Swedish universities. The project ties together foreign policy and the educational sector, two areas normally not related to another. It will show how foreign policy affects international academic mobility and the Swedish university landscape from an historical perspective.

Collaborators: Andreas Åkerlund
Funding body: Swedish Research Council

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