The benefits of collaboration

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together” is an African proverb. It simply reflects the benefits, pleasure and necessity of good collaborations.

I used it in my own acceptance speech as president and its meaning seems to be increasingly relevant when it comes to how well universities can meet the global competition.

Together, KTH, the Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University have launched a university alliance, the Stockholm trio. We signed the agreement on 27 May. In short, this means that we intend to strengthen and cross-pollinate each other via greater cooperation at pretty much all levels.

Research issues, or societal challenges as they are often called, have become so complex today that one set of knowledge is not enough. Such cooperation, where you can add several dimensions to your thinking, gain new perspectives that introduce new aspects along the way towards developing innovations and solutions, is crucial – and also much more fun, if I say so myself.

There have always been systematic forms of cooperation between universities throughout history, but today, these are definitely both a success factor and a foundation for enhancing interdisciplinary research. In addition to research and education, cooperation is also a key part of a university’s activities, while by its very nature, knowledge is both shareable and borderless.

Stockholm Trio is not simply a way of increasing our penetration internationally, it will also promote exchanges between teachers, students, researchers and administrative personnel on an everyday basis at the different universities.

For the third year in a row, KTH, Chalmers University of Technology and Stockholm School of Economics have been awarded the highest rating in the Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education annual survey of the internationalisation of Swedish universities. When it comes to global relationships, cooperation and partnerships are also of great importance. Student mobility and international joint publications are a couple of the aspects on which universities are assessed and should reflect their degree of internationalisation.

Nor should we forget internal partnerships; in which we further develop KTH by exchanging and sharing ideas with each other. Via respect, trust and transparency, we help KTH become an even more attractive university for students and staff.