Internationalization idea 5: Proposals for student organizations

This is the fifth and final part of SFS's blog series about the Internationalization Inquiry. Also read the previous posts about residence permit, establishment abroad, internationalization at home and official language.

The Inquiry's recommendation: That the higher education institutions work together with student unions and other student organizations to promote an international dimension in activities outside the teaching situation.

This proposal is interesting. Many unions already organize activities in connection with their studies. The activities can often be an important meeting place for Swedish and foreign students. The unions make no difference to different students. But the law does: exchange students are not counted as students at Swedish universities. The unions still support them, both in matters related to the studies and the social. But if the expectations of the unions increase, it is important that they have the conditions to live up to those expectations. UKÄ has shown that the unions are already finding it difficult to achieve their mission with today's conditions.

The inquiry does not provide much detail on what such a collaboration could concretely look like. But it has a clear connection to the part of the investigation that is not yet complete: To propose measures to increase Sweden's attractiveness as a study destination and nation of knowledge.

In the next part of the investigation, we will also have a review of the system for registration and tuition fees. This is an important, in many ways crucial, issue. In this the blog series' first post we mentioned that tuition fees are the biggest obstacle to recruiting foreign students to Swedish universities and colleges. We will see how the inquiry proposes to overcome that obstacle.

SFS has already met with the inquiry and discussed some of the issues to be addressed in the next report. We will continue the dialogue and follow the investigation.

The inquiry will report the rest of the assignment on 31 October 2018.