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Maria Wilenius visited the UU West Coast Alumni Chapter

2 November 2017

In early October, Uppsala Law School alumna Maria Wilenius visited the Bay Area, to meet researchers and others at Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Wilenius is working for the Swedish government to investigate what can be done to make higher education in Sweden more international, and to make Sweden an even more attractive country to study in. When many countries are closing their borders, Sweden can gain an advantage by opening up.

The Alumni Chapter invited Wilenius to present the results of her work. After her presentation, a panel consisting of her, professor Erik Ingelsson of Stanford University, professor Henric Johnsson of Blekinge Tekniska Högskola and senior software architect Mattis Fjällström of Flex, held a discussion around the topic, moderated by Lars Johansson, former chair of UU alumni, West Coast Chapter, San Francisco,

Some of the questions on the table were: How can Swedish universities work more closely with academia and businesses abroad? What can Swedish universities do to increase Swedish companies' success abroad? Are there any impediments today for international students to study in Sweden, or vice versa? Innovation and cooperation is necessary, especially for a small country such as Sweden.

Wilenius emphasised that internationalisation is not only about mobility, but also about implementing an international perspective in education and establishing strategic partnerships with universities abroad. Modern technology makes it possible to meet even if you are physically located in different countries. The panel concluded that the Silicon Valley way of mixing people with different background and experiences, creates a dynamic and creative environment where disruption and innovation can flourish.