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A high degree of international awareness

Linnaeus University strives to be one of the leaders nationally when it comes to internationalisation and it offers teachers, researchers and students rich opportunities to gain international experience.

All co-workers and students should have the opportunity to establish lasting international contacts with the aim of maintaining diversity and contributing to sustainable development. Our knowledge environment stimulates openness and promotes exchanges of knowledge between different countries, cultures, ages and scientific disciplines.

Our goal is that all our educational programmes will include the opportunity to study abroad and that more of our courses will be taught in English. Many courses are open to both foreign and Swedish students. Teaching will be carried out by both Swedish and foreign lecturers and researchers. This means that all our students have an increased international awareness and are well equipped for the future job market.

Linnaeus University strives to be an international university, a springboard to worldwide knowledge for both students and employees. All students are to be offered the opportunity to get international experience through, for instance, studies abroad or internship abroad.

The Office of External Relations coordinates, administrates, and quality-assures international university wide exchange agreements and programmes such as Erasmus+. The mission involves competitive intelligence and the spreading of information on opportunities and conditions for international mobility, various types of collaborations, and funding sources.

The International Office within the Office of Student Affairs is responsible for the mobility of outgoing and incoming exchange students, coming from or going to the university's partner universities. The slightly more than 1,000 incoming exchange students that study at Linnaeus University each year also receive support and guidance during their studies.

The Committee for International Affairs

Internationalisation Policy

Linnaeus University's Erasmus Policy Statement

Linnaeus University has been assigned the Erasmus Charter for Higher Education ( EChE ) for the period 2014-2020 by the European Commission. EChE is a prerequisite for higher education institutions to participate in the Erasmus+ program. More information about Erasmus+ and Erasmus programs for education, youth and sport for 2014-2020, are available at utbyten.se and at the European Commission's site for Erasmus+

Please describe your institution’s international (EU and non-EU) strategy. In your description please explain a) how you choose your partners, b) in which geographical area(s) and c) the most important objectives and target groups of your mobility activities (with regard to staff and students in first, second and third cycles, including study and training, and short cycles.) If applicable, also explain how your institution participates in the development of double/multiple/joint degrees.

Global values, which includes internationalisation, diversity, and sustainable development, is one of four strategy areas at Linnaeus University. The Committee for International Affairs, chaired by the Vice-Rector, has established an Internationalisation Policy, developed under the presumption that the internationalisation of higher education strengthens community by contributing to democracy and diversity. The committee has a budget to carry out the implementation of the policy and to facilitate internationalisation activities at faculty level.

The Internationalisation Policy focuses on five areas:

Teaching:

The development of an international mindset among students and staff and to stimulate learning processes that enable students to act in a globalised world is central. An international perspective should be a conspicuous part of the content of all degree programmes and courses. Therefore, it is also important to work with Internationalisation at Home. The goal is to increase the proportion of teachers with international experience, and that all first- and second-cycle students should be provided with the opportunity to come into contact with international students and to spend part of their study time abroad.

Research and postgraduate research training:

Internationally prominent research environments attract eminent researchers and gifted students and are essential in order to attract external funding. Participation in international, externally-financed cooperative projects should increase, as well as the number of scholarly publications in internationally-renowned journals, and the degree of active participation in international conferences. It is a priority to work systematically and with a long-term perspective with the internationalisation of postgraduate research training, with regards to planning, administrative support and financial assistance. Special university funds are offered to third-cycle students wishing to go abroad for a period of time.

Organisational and administrative support:

International expertise of administrative support staff should be utilised; staff training mobility is facilitated with external and university funds. It is recognized to have efficiently-administrated systems to systematically document, evaluate and follow up.

Management:

University executives are important role models, but teachers meeting undergraduate students, and researchers supervising PhD students, also have significant roles in the internationalisation process. The incentive structure should encourage achievements, and the involvement of colleagues and students in the internationalisation process should be highlighted and rewarded in order for organisational learning opportunities to arise. In order to ensure the highest degree of commitment possible, internationalisation initiatives will be organised in accordance with the proximity principle, which means that responsibility rests at the lowest effective level in the organisation, with top-down administrative support and facilitation.

Knowledge environment:

An international knowledge environment is characterized by the integration of international students, teachers and researchers into the organisation. The format for the physical and digital environment is as important as social and intellectual proximity.

When working with international partnerships/agreements, the university works according to an administrative quality system, in order to evaluate new and existing international partnerships. The Office of External Relations provides the faculties/departments with support and quality assurance documents to be used when evaluating new, and updating existing, agreements. Each faculty/department is responsible for the approval and monitoring of its own agreements. The monitoring is done continuously. When monitoring agreements and international partnerships, the level of activity is crucial, but also reciprocity in activities is an important factor. “Activity” includes both student and staff mobility as well as joint projects.

Linnaeus University offers a wide range of partnerships; there are more than 700 agreements in Europe, Asia, North America, and Australia. As a result of funding from Linnaeus-Palme, a nationally-funded programme that aims to stimulate cooperation between Swedish universities and developing countries, a number of partnerships with developing countries have emerged, especially in Africa, Asia, and South America. University-wide investments towards different geographical areas have also been made, in order to establish new collaborations with these areas. China is one example, and today the university operates an office in Shanghai. Recently a university-wide approach towards India was approved.

Linnaeus University offers a couple of double degree options, in business and engineering. There is an interest in developing some of these double degree arrangements into joint degree programmes.

Please describe your institution’s strategy for the organisation and implementation of international (EU and non-EU) cooperation projects in teaching and training in relation to projects implemented under the Programme.

The university has not had an established strategy for the organisation of international cooperation projects. Cooperation projects have been carried out on the initiatives of individual staff members, with support from the faculty. Having realised the importance of working more systematically with international cooperation projects, on an institutional level, the university administration is now investing in order to build up an expert competence, including budget and finance support to the faculties. This is done in order to become more able to promote project calls internally and to become better able to support any initiative to coordinate and/or join as a partner in a project application. This will also help connect project coordinators within the university, as well as the dissemination of projects internally.

Please explain the expected impact of your participation in the Programme on the modernisation of your institution (for each of the 5 priorities of the Modernisation Agenda) in terms of the policy objectives you intend to achieve.

To increase number of HE graduates:

For the university this priority means recruiting a more diverse student body. The Internationalisation Policy of the university states that all degree programmes should offer a mobility period. With an increased number of graduates and a more diverse student body the university needs to adapt the promotion and support of student mobility in order for it to serve all students. However, not everyone can, or wishes to, study abroad for a full semester. Therefore, an emphasis on Internationalisation at Home will be crucial, including teaching in the “International Classroom”. Incoming mobility, students and academic staff, participating in regular courses will also be important, and to offer joint intensive programmes, which can facilitate shorter periods abroad together with students from other countries.

To improve the quality and relevance of teaching and researcher training:

The university has recognized that internationalisation is crucial in quality assurance. To reach this goal teachers and researchers must establish/join international networks, which include participation in international conferences, as well as an increase in the number of scholarly publications in internationally-renowned journals. Other activities required in order to ensure high quality in teaching and training are to recruit internationally, to encourage teachers/researchers to participate in joint programmes, and to work actively with staff mobility (both incoming and outgoing).

To provide more opportunities for students to gain additional skills through study and training abroad:

Participate in and coordinate more joint projects/programmes, as a complement to traditional credit mobility. Offer more students work placement opportunities.

To strengthen the knowledge triangle:

As of 2013, the offices of International Relations, Grants and Innovation, and Collaboration outside the university are gathered into one unit called Office of External Relations. This was done in order to promote and more effectively strengthen and link the knowledge triangle.

To create effective governance and funding mechanisms:

1% of the direct government funding for undergraduate education is earmarked for internationalisation activities. The Committee for International Affairs allocates the funds by ratios based on mobility, courses offered in English etc., and grants for staff (academic and administrative) mobility outside the participating countries.

All the above are proposed activities that are supported and prioritized in the Internationalisation Policy of the university, determined by the Rector.

FAQ

Why Linnaeus University?

Linnaeus University is the result of a merger between Växjö University and University of Kalmar. By establishing Linnaeus University, quality, attractiveness and potential for development will be enhanced for teaching and research at our new seat of learning.

Who was Linnaeus?

Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) is probably the most internationally renowned of Swedish scientists. He is most well-known for his approach to ordering nature in his classification system put forward in 1735 in his book Systema Naturae. Linnaeus was innovative and pioneering, and his work paved the way for the new scientific paradigm of his times. Linnaeus was also known as a great teacher who stimulated his students to cross both geographical and mental boundaries.

Where are we?

Linnaeus University is situated in the cities of Kalmar and Växjö, in southern Sweden. Teaching and research is conducted at both sites. The distance between Kalmar and Växjö is 110 km and the journey between the two cities takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes by train. Students and staff usually travel by train between the two cities.

What are the advantages for our partner universities?

Linnaeus University is a comprehensive university, offering over 300 courses and programmes in a wide range of disciplines. The new university increases opportunities for co-operation between disciplines and between different levels of study.

Will exchange students need to commute between Kalmar and Växjö?

When applying to Linnaeus University, students will be asked to specify their choice of study location and will undertake their studies at this location during their exchange term. Students staying for a full academic year may, if they wish, change study location in their second term.

Can exchange students choose courses offered at both locations?

Exchange students are strongly advised to follow a degree programme / course at only one study locality. While it is possible to study a single course at the other site, students are responsible for travelling costs when travelling between study locations as well as ensuring that no timetable clashes occur.

Linnaeus University has agreements/cooperation with universities around the world. The agreements can include a wide range of activities, such as teacher exchange, student exchange, and research cooperation. Many of the agreements only include cooperation within specific subject areas.

For information about existing agreements at Linnaeus University, please email
intrel@lnu.se