“Strong internationalisation safeguards quality,” states the development plan for education and research 2011–2016 so nicely. One of the measures included in it is to increase mobility for students and researchers (measure 137) . “The Finnish higher education provides the competence to work in an international operating environment”, says the Strategy for the Internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions in Finland 2009–2015, which is now being updated. These are very admirable and much needed goals, and SYL has been happy to support them. Now, however, we are getting some confusing messages about new obstacles to internationalisation. What is going on?
During recent years, Finnish students have had good opportunities to go on exchange as structural obstacles for it have been removed: Student financial aid as well as the set time for studies have been flexible enough. Universities have also had sufficient financial incitements to encourage students to go out into the world. But now the tide is turning regarding internationalisation, both for the university incitements as well as student opportunities. Someone is hitting the brakes for internationalisation. We can see three main reasons for this: stricter rules for student financial aid and study times, an attitude change at universities, and that internationalisation at home is becoming empty words.
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