New action plan to promote internationalisation of Örebro University
Örebro University will have a new action plan for internationalisation beginning 2021. Among the goals for the next four years are participation in the for European Universities initiative, increased support for applications external funding of internationalisation projects and a more international environment at Örebro University.
“With this action plan, the emphasis is on the operational efforts to be conducted over the next four years. The goal is to increase internationalisation activities in education, research and collaboration and thus contributing to increased quality in our operations,” says Åke Strid, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Internationalisation at Örebro University.
The action plan for internationalisation is based on close collaboration with the university management, all faculties, and schools as well as administrative departments. The Örebro Student Union has also participated in this work.
“There are a number of activities where the faculties, schools or specific administrative departments are responsible for implementation. Then it is up to each faculty, schools, and department to develop goals and activities that suit their activities,” says Åke Strid.
More international students
Among the priority goals for Örebro University in its internationalisation efforts is participation in the consortium that applies for funding within EU’s European Universities initiative and that the proportion of external funding for internationalisation projects will increase, primarily in education. Another goal is to increase the number of freemover students – international students who independently apply for studies at Örebro University.
“Recruitment of freemover students has been a shortcoming at Örebro University and an area where we must continue to commit efforts. We see in follow-ups with these students that over 50 per cent stay in Sweden, and over 20 per cent in the Örebro region, where they contribute with their skills, often in professions where such workers are needed. Staff, teacher and researcher mobility is another area where Örebro University is inadequate in comparison to other Swedish universities, something we should be able to improve in the coming years,” explains Åke Strid.
One of Örebro University’s strengths when it comes to internationalisation is research. The university is ranked 127th in the world in terms of citations in the latest Times Higher Education ranking.
“In general, the university’s strong research is – by definition – very international, which in turn contributes to it maintaining a very high quality in an international perspective. Something we look forward to continuing with,” says Åke Strid.
Corona pandemic and internationalisation
Work on the action plan began before the corona pandemic broke out and was adapted during the autumn to prevailing circumstances that mainly affect mobility.
“Due to the pandemic, the action plan provides more freedom when certain activities are to be carried out. It is therefore also desirable that work that can be done at home is done so as early as feasible during this period of restrictions. That way these things will be ready until we able to travel again,” says Åke Strid.
If you look ahead to 2024, what will activities at Örebro University look like, from a perspective of internationalisation?
“I hope that we have increased the proportion of international students and the proportion of outbound students. I believe that, by continuing our collaboration between schools and departments, we can find solutions and processes that make internationalisation efforts easier than it is today. We want to chip away at the many existing obstacles. These efforts are well underway, and I believe we have a real potential to carry these through too,” says Ida Andersson-Norrie, international strategy officer at Örebro University.
Text: Jasenka Dobric
Translation: Jerry Grey
Photo: Jonas Classon