Education is key to achieving all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Quality education offers the tools that are necessary for building a sustainable society and take advantage of the opportunities of the century ahead. International collaboration is a prerequisite for solving global sustainability challenges and finding innovative solutions. International collaboration to increase student learning and achievement must be at the core of the sustainability agenda. At OSI we want to promote the internationalization of higher education to strengthen Sweden’s competitiveness and capacity to co-create innovative societal solutions together with India.
On the 31 of October, the Nordic Centre India (NCI) and National Institute of Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA) organised the first Nordic-India Higher Education Summit. The event brought together researchers, university officials and policy makers from the Nordic countries and India, focusing on the internationalisation of higher education. Collaboration between the Nordics and India with in the higher education and research field has been characterised by a growing number of joint research projects, co-publications, visiting academics and student exchange programs.
At the summit, our Counsellor Dr. Fanny von Heland spoke about cross-border mobility of students and bilateral research cooperation between Sweden and India. Looking at the statistics for 2018, the largest sending country of international students to Sweden was Germany, followed by Finland, China, France and India. This makes India is the second largest sending country of international students from outside the EU to Sweden. Looking at the total numbers of free movers, students who are not part of an exchange agreement, the biggest sending country is India. Most Indian students are enrolled in master programmes. This indicates a strong interest in Swedish higher education and creates opportunities to further strengthen our collaboration.
From the Swedish side, we were delighted to see a strong presence from the Swedish universities. Representatives from the University of Gothenburg, Linnaeus University, Karlstad University and Lund University participated in the Summit, shared experiences and discussed strategies to strengthen international exchange. The Summit served a good opportunity for Nordic participants to meet and network with their Indian counterparts.
We would like to extend our thanks to the NCI and NIEPA for making the Summit possible. It provided a valuable platform where we could all contribute in promoting bilateral cooperation between the Nordics and India. It was enlightening to hear people from different universities and institutions sharing their best-practices, perspectives and ideas – a source of inspiration that will help us at OSI to develop our own work and collaboration with higher education institutions across both Sweden and India.