In accordance with Stockholm University’s long-term internationalisation plan, “Global Engagement”, the university will be working to increase its visibility and presence on international research and education arenas. A needs analysis of support for increased internationalisation, conducted at the university during the period 2017-18, revealed considerable interest for expanded contacts among researchers, teachers and students. Many respondents also expressed a desire for improved global engagement and capacity-building projects.  In 2018, the university management visited a number of countries in Latin America in order to initiate new collaborative ventures and to maintain existing ones. In 2020, the management will visit countries in Africa as part of an initiative to improve SU’s global presence and visibility in the region.

Regional studies on Latin America and Africa

A regional study on Latin America was previously presented and now a corresponding study on Africa has been produced, “Stockholm University collaboration with African institutions of higher education” (2019)”, with a long term focus on the region. Work on this regional study has involved the Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) and a number of institutions with collaboration projects in the region, e.g. the Department of Computer and Systems Sciences, (DSV) the Department of Mathematics and Science Education (MND), the Department of Ecology, Environment and Plant Sciences (DEEP) and the Stockholm Business School (FEK). External organisations, such as STINT, UD, the Nordic Africa Institute and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) have provided valuable input. 

“The aim of the visit to Africa is to strengthen existing collaborations and to initiate new ones, which if possible should build on existing educational and research efforts. The study presents existing collaborations, student exchange arrangements, Sweden’s relationships with and presence in African countries, descriptions of countries and recruitment opportunities”, Maria Wikse, Head of international affairs and the Global Engagement Team at the Research Support Office, says.

Research and education collaborations

“The study focuses on sub-Saharan Africa and primarily on the eastern part of the continent, which is due in part to long and good relations between Sweden and the region. There are also linguistic reasons, since student recruitment activities and to a certain degree also research collaborations, are easier to carry out with the English-speaking African countries. Most of Stockholm University’s research collaborations are now with universities in South Africa and Tanzania, and there is also some interest in investigating the prospects for collaboration with higher education institutions in other countries. With Stockholm University’s European network, CIVIS: European Civic University Alliance, working strategically with Africa and the Mediterranean region, there will be further opportunities for collaboration in the region”, Karin Helmersson Bergmark, Senior advisor to the President for international affairs, says.

“There is also considerable interest among Stockholm University’s students in conducting so called Minor Field Studies in African countries. In addition to South Africa and Tanzania, students are keen to visit Rwanda, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia. We do not know as yet which countries we will visit – that will be the subject of planning in the autumn”, Maria Wikse concludes. 

The study was compiled by the Global Engagement Team at the Research Support Office in collaboration with staff from the Student Office and the Collaboration Office.

Seminar about collaborations

A seminar on collaboration with countries in Africa will be organised for staff on 9 October, please click here for more information.