America has a long tradition of letting large numbers of foreign students enrich universities. The quality and success of the research this has led to supports the idea that diversity is good for creativity. It has long been an ambition in the European Union to stimulate movement of students between the member states and now this circulation of talent seems to gain momentum. For instance, the spring term application process to Swedish universities is now finished and there are more foreign students than ever – just above ten percent.
Earlier I have reported examples of what Swedish and Hungarian universities do to attract foreign students but the record figures mentioned above is mostly a result of the Bologna Process. It started in July this year and is a standardization of European university degrees.
The aim is more interaction, more international atmosphere and more exchange of experiences. Hopefully the long-term effect of mixed perspectives will be a development that is similar to the successful American model.