Establishing a Swedish framework for enhanced societal impact of HEI

Johan Blaus
Royal Institute of Technology

Jan Axelsson
Linköping University

Charlotte Ahlgren Moritz
Malmö University

The Academy's increased importance for societal development has long - and increasingly - been emphasized by Swedish state authorities. The latest Government's research bill emphasizes that higher education and research ultimately aim to promote society's develop¬ment and that collaboration between HEI’s, business, governmental structures and civic society is a prerequisite for this to happen. It is also clear, in this context, that the national research policy has developed at the interface with other areas, it has been intertwined with business policy to stimulate innovation and economic development, with environmental policy to reduce society's vulnerability and with social policy in order to create a sustainable and inclusive society. The examples can be multiplied, but basically, it’s about a shift of focus towards challenge-based research and education creating measurable societal impact.
The session consists of short presentations from representatives of three Swedish universities, reasoning on how HEI’s copes with the increased demands on accountability in collaboration and to impact. Following each presentation, a specific question is posed to the audience for reflection and discussion. The goal of the seminar is to provide some insights from the Swedish context and to exchange experiences on an international basis.