When: Wednesday–Saturday 1–4 June
Venue: Wenner-Gren Center, Stockholm
Hosts: Young Academy of Sweden and Wenner-Gren Foundations

Academic mobility

Photo: Stephanie Klepacki

Seats are available, you are welcome to contact WG-symposia@swgc.org. We look forward to seeing you at the symposium. 

The meeting will start in the evening of June 1 with registration and an informal “Get-together” buffet dinner. The symposium will finish with lunch on Saturday, June 4. You are also welcome to a dinner boat trip through the Stockholm archipelago on June 2, and a guided tour and dinner at the “Vasa Museum” on June 3. We anticipate that all participants are fully vaccinate against covid 19.

The Wenner-Gren Foundations are committed to promoting scientific excellence through international exchange. Among other activities, the Wenner-Gren Foundations organize international symposia, aiming to bring together leading experts in selected fields of science. Almost 200 such symposia have been organized to date. This symposium is organized in collaboration with the Young Academy of Sweden.

Internationalization of academia and mobility of researchers and students have often been cited as important drivers of research excellence and a key ingredient for scientific progress. The aim of this symposium is to critically assess this assumption, exploring the goals of internationalization and academic mobility, identifying new opportunities and challenges, and re-examining old dilemmas of internationalization and academic mobility through the prism of ongoing changes in today’s society.

Bringing together researchers, representatives of funding agencies, associations and higher-education policy makers, this symposium investigates the benefits and costs of internationalization and academic mobility through a focus on recent developments such as climate change, globalization, the corona virus pandemic, digitalization, and artificial intelligence. We also re-examine long-standing dilemmas of internationalization and mobility from the perspective of societal change, e.g., how may internationalization impact academic freedom and gender equality, and do scholars from various socioeconomic backgrounds and different geopolitical contexts have the same possibilities to mobility?
The vivid debates around the relationship between academic mobility and research quality, and on the solutions developed to tackle existing impediments for internationalization, show that the subject of internationalization and academic mobility is a complex one, shaped by economic, social, political, and academic aspects, in diverse contexts across the world. By recognizing such complexity, this symposium seeks to obtain new insights into the internationalization of higher education and academic mobility in a global perspective and expand existing understandings of how internationalization and mobility may change as a result of societal changes.

Wednesday, 1 June
18:00-21:00 Registration and welcome buffet dinner, 23rd floor

Thursday, June 2
Internationalization and mobility: Setting the terms
8:30-8:45 Registration

8:45-8:55 Prof. Britt-Marie Sjöberg, CEO of the Wenner-Gren Foundations

8:55-9:00 Opening remarks Young Academy of Sweden

Session 1: Defining internationalization and mobility: Trends and terminologies

New strategies for strengthened internationalization in higher education and research
Agneta Bladh, author of the white paper on internationalization (internationaliseringsutredningen) commissioned by the Swedish Government
9:30-9:40 Questions

The effect of internationalization on higher education systems
Marijk van der Wende, distinguished professor of higher education, Utrecht University

10:10-10:30 Coffee break

Beyond Mobility: The Internationality of the Academic Profession
Ulrich Teichler, professor emeritus, University of Kassel

11.00-11:30 Q&A and discussion

11.30-11.40 Leg stretcher

Academic mobility and scientific excellence
Future directions for promoting excellence through internationalization and mobility

12:20-13:15 Lunch break (23rd floor)

Session 2: Perspectives on internationalization from stakeholders
Internationalization and mobility: Changes and continuities

Changing patterns of mobility in science
Stina Gerdes-Barriere, senior analyst, Swedish Research Council (VR)

14:15-14:25 Leg stretcher

Experiences of academic mobility in national and international contexts
Ellen Lust, professor of political science, University of Gothenburg
Internationalization, Academic Mobility, and Learning Organizations
Heiko Droste, professor of history, Stockholm University

15:10-15:55 Q&A and discussion

15:55-16:20 Coffee break

Session 3: The benefits of international collaboration and mobility
Does mobility in science raise scientific productivity?
Vincent Larivière, professor of information science, Université de Montréal

Session 4: Internationalization and mobility as possibility and dilemma
Experiences and outcomes of academic mobility: Variations of gender, discipline, and context

17:20-17:50 Q&A and discussion

18:00 Departure for dinner boat trip

Friday, June 3
New challenges and old dilemmas of mobility

Session 4: Internationalization and mobility as possibility and dilemma


The impact of mobility and international collaboration on career development among PhD graduates
supported by Swedish development aid in Africa

Måns Fellesson, researcher, Nordic Africa Institute

11:30-11:45 Q&A and discussion

11:45-13:00 Lunch break (23rd floor)

Session 5: Sustainability, ethics, and academic mobility in times of crisis and risk
Internationalization and mobility in the Anthropocene
Debbie Hopkins, Associate professor in human geography, Oxford University

Internationalization and Academic Mobility in the 21st Century. The Latin American perspective
José Antonio Quinteiro Goris, program coordinator, UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education
in Latin America and the Caribbean

14:00-14:15 Leg stretcher

Responsible internationalisation in a turbulent world
Tommy Shih, Associate professor, Lund University

14:45-15:30 Q&A and discussion

15:30-16:00 Coffee break

Panel discussion: Internationalization and mobility in higher education and research
16:00-17:45 Panel discussion
The purpose of this panel discussion is to discuss mobility and internationalization. How is mobility assessed? How do we evaluate the impact of mobility? What are the benefits of mobility—and the costs? Should we require more or less mobility?

Panel members: Debbie Hopkins, Vincent Lariviere and Ulrich Teichler

18:30 Bus departure for the Vasa Museum

Saturday, June 4
The future of mobility and internationalization

Session 6: Internationalization of science and digitalization – gains, losses and challenges
The Impact of the Pandemic and Digitalization on International Higher Education and Research
Fernando Léon-Garcia, president, CETYS University

Reason: Academic(s’) arguments on mobility goal conflicts
Nina Wormbs, professor in technical history, Royal Institute of Technology

10:00-10:30 Coffee break

Academic Mobility
Marianne Gullberg, professor of psycholinguistics, Lund University

Panel discussion: Internationalization and mobility in the 21st century
11.15-12.45 Panel discussion

This panel discussion will connect the different aspects of the three days. Is some mobility more beneficial than other mobility? What is the future of academic mobility? Do long stays provide more benefits than short stays? Should we minimize travel? Can we keep what is beneficial and drop what is not? Can we avoid problems identified during the workshop or can we compensate for obstacles, e.g., socio-economic background? A discussion of the pros and cons, focusing on solutions and the way forward—for science.

Panel members: Marianne Gullberg, Heike Jöns, Fernando Léon-Garcia, Tommy Shih and Nina Wormbs

12:45-13:30 Lunch (Ground floor)

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