SFS has commented on various occasions The Internationalization Inquiry during the course of the investigation. In the spring of 2018, we commented interim report in a series of blog posts, and at the end of the year came the investigation's finalists. Here we collect all material in one place.
The first blog post addressed the issues surrounding residence permits. If the application process is too complicated and slow, there is a risk that foreign students will choose countries other than Sweden. A number of things have happened in this area later in the year, not least because the Swedish system must be adapted to the EU's student and research directives. SFS wrote a consultation response on the proposal for what the adaptation should look like.
The second blog post was about establishing a foreign country, ie the possibility for Swedish higher education institutions to establish branches abroad but also for foreign higher education institutions to establish themselves in Sweden.
The third blog post was about the internationalization of education in Sweden, above all the inquiry's proposal that all higher education programs must contain an international dimension. The post also took a slightly broader approach to the value and need for internationalization.
The fourth blog post was about language rules, more specifically the inquiry's proposal that higher education institutions should not be limited by the same language rules as other authorities but should have greater opportunities to use English or a second language in addition to Swedish in connection with decision-making.
The last part of the series was about the inquiry's proposals for student organizations. It was about what the unions can do and encouraged cooperation with the universities. But also touched on some issues that would be developed in the latter part of the investigation.
In the final report, the inquiry also addresses the problem that students from countries outside the EU / EEA and Switzerland need to pay fees to study at Swedish universities. SFS commented on it in one debate article, with the requirement that tuition fees be abolished.
The final report also contains proposals on how international students can gain more influence in the education, among other things by giving exchange students a stronger status as full-fledged students at the Swedish higher education institution. For SFS, this has been an important issue and it was raised in another blog posts, about international students and student influence.
At the time of writing, the final report is out for consultation. As soon as SFS has submitted its consultation response, it will be linked here.