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Academic mobility

Photo: Stephanie Klepacki

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

Mia Liinason Foto: Erik Thor/SUA

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.

Considering several global events in recent years, a pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the shrinking academic freedom, it is truly an inspiring opportunity to highlight, promote and support internationalization and mobilization, states the soon to be Chair of the Young Academy of Sweden's, Mia Liinason, Professor of Gender Studies at Lund University.

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.

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