The partnership, which involves four world-class research institutions according to the release by the Institute of International Education, —the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, and the Karolinska Institutet, has been nominated for providing “a model for global leadership in higher education, research collaboration, and public engagement.”

Positive impact and knowledge bridge

INSPIRE partnership is described as a success for its positive impact on students and faculty at each institution, and on the state, commercial, and civic societies of the state of Illinois and the country of Sweden. “INSPIRE has created a stable infrastructure and lowered administrative barriers for ongoing exchange of students, faculty, and staff. It has served as a "knowledge bridge" connecting the broader societies of the state of Illinois and the Stockholm region and has led to sustained collaborative research projects across many scholarly disciplines. In Illinois, INSPIRE has contributed to internationalization on the UI campus by forging ongoing interactions between faculty research groups and students, including public lectures by visiting Swedish faculty as well as an online “virtual student exchange” program.”

Increased student mobility and collaboration activities

International Conference - Heritage of Death: Landscapes, Sentiment and Practice
International Conference - Heritage of Death: Landscapes, Sentiment and Practice

The pilot project, which started in 2012, is also said to have increased student mobility to Sweden sevenfold, with more than 100 Illinois students engaging in innovative, high-quality learning-abroad experiences in Sweden, and a similar number of Swedish students coming to UI. Research symposia, leadership summits and study visits have been organised within the partnership. In addition, new courses have been developed, for example one inter-disciplinary learning-abroad course focused on climate change and its effects on the cultures, geographies, ecologies, and economies of the Arctic.

“University of Illinois is an important strategic partner for Stockholm University, and we also particularly appreciate the cooperation with KTH and KI in this alliance”, says Stockholm University Vice-Chancellor Astrid Söderbergh Widding in a comment.

More information

Press release about the announcement

INSPIRE website