Internationalisation

Globalisation has accelerated rapidly in recent decades, presenting a new reality for universities. The boundaries of competition for future talent and funds have expanded from involving only universities in Sweden, to encompassing Europe and ultimately the whole world. This change has brought great opportunities for KTH to gain global access to knowledge, practices and resources that were previously out of reach or non-existent. Internationalisation has quickly become a key element and approach in all of KTH’s operations, an essential tool in becoming a world-leading technical institution.

Attracting talents worldwide

KTH is always looking for new talents that will thrive in our research and education environments and ultimately shape the future of the university. The strong international reputation of KTH has made it an attractive university for international students. During 2015 KTH welcomed around a thousand exchange students to the over 1,000 courses given in English. Just as many international Master’s students arrive at KTH each year to study over 60 Master’s programmes taught in English. Some of these programmes are given jointly with other prominent technical institutions, resulting in a double or joint degree. KTH is a key player in EIT, the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, and also offers joint Master’s programmes financed by Erasmus+ and through the Nordic Five Tech alliance. 

The number of fee paying Master’s students has increased exponentially since the dip in 2011 when Sweden introduced tuition fees for students from outside the EU/EEA, largely thanks to KTH’s strong international presence and reputation for excellence. At doctoral level, about half of the around 2,000 PhD students come from outside Sweden. The faculty and staff at KTH are also an international group, representing all corners of the globe. The large proportion of international students and staff makes our campuses truly international and dynamic environments where different ideas and perspectives meet.

Expanding the horizons of our staff and students

In an increasingly global world, qualities such as an international mind-set and cultural awareness are important in the labour market. To meet this ever-increasing demand, KTH offers a multitude of opportunities for students to study abroad during their time at the university. KTH currently has 220 prominent exchange universities in 44 countries. The number of students studying abroad as part of their educational experience has increased dramatically in recent years, with almost 700 students doing an exchange term or year in 2016. A third of students graduating from KTH have studied abroad during their time at KTH.

In addition to exchange studies, KTH also offers the opportunity for students to complete their degree project abroad, often in a developing country or at a company or university in Europe. Students also participate in intensive courses and programmes with partner universities worldwide. KTH faculty and staff participate in mobility schemes, meeting colleagues all over the world to share practices and knowledge or collaborate in research projects. 

Global collaborations for a brighter tomorrow

KTH is a driving force in many capacity building projects around the world with universities and industry, sharing practices and obtaining new perspectives. KTH has supported other technical universities in the development of their quality processes. This has not only contributed to KTH’s international reputation but also expanded our network. International capacity building projects are often carried out in collaboration with local businesses and communities, presenting the opportunity for KTH to make significant contributions to society.

Strong partnerships for greater impact

Research in the 21st century is in itself international, with researchers collaborating with colleagues all over the world. Through strategic alliances and partnerships, KTH is able to optimise its collaborations with selected partners. KTH is a part of numerous prestigious academic networks, including Cluster, TIME and Caesar. These networks are a forum for collaboration and a platform to join forces in global matters concerning higher education and research. 

In recent years, KTH has begun to enter into strategic partnerships with a number of leading universities in different regions. These partnerships span several sectors and can cover traditional student exchanges, research collaboration, joint PhD programmes, joint Master’s programmes and staff exchanges. 

Focusing on the future, KTH hopes to strengthen its quality and impact in research, education and cooperation through our international partnerships. A continued strong presence around the world is one of the most vital tools in making KTH a world-leading technical institution.

International cooperation in education and international mobility on all levels is coordinated by International Relations.

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