Melissa Engelke , pp. 68. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2008.
Internationalisation is a global phenomenon that is changing the way in which educational systems need to look at their education delivery in order to be competitive and meet the needs of the global economy. The Swedish education system currently has a competitive advantage because it is free from tuition fees. However, what is of particular interest in this research is the impact that the proposed introduction of fees to non EU students will have on the Swedish educational system ability to continue to attract non EU students. The number of international students choosing to study in Sweden is increasing by 14% each year. Part of the reason behind this is that Swedish higher education systems have an overcapacity for students in addition to a decline in the number of Swedish students’ choosing to study. The intention of this thesis is to address the following questions; How can Swedish higher education institutions meet the needs of its culturally diverse student base? What are the implications of this on the employees at the institutions? And What are the institutional measures that can be introduced to meet the needs of the culturally diverse student base and its employees?
To answer these questions an exploratory case study approach was taken with the intention being to maximise the variation and capture the true essence of the internationalisation situation in the Swedish higher education system. The case study area chosen was the BTH School of Management. Primary data was collected via Student programme evaluations, focus groups and field notes. Secondary data consisted of International and national education documents, EU documents and policies, Geert Hofstede and other relevant cultural and Educational documents.
The research identified that there was a link between addressing student’s needs and an institution’s attractiveness. Therefore, in addressing the needs of the international students their cultural needs and expectations must be considered. Some recommendations on what could be done to meet the cultural needs of the students have been derived from the research conducted in this thesis. These recommendations are also well utilised in other industries and other educational systems.