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Going global: Swedish school companies and their international operations

Research project This project is focusing on companies operating free schools in Sweden and schools abroad and how these corporate actors navigate and connect to the growing Global Education Industry.

The aim of the project is to map and analyse the establishment and work of Swedish free school companies abroad and the implications from these international activities.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period:

2019-05-01 2022-12-31


The Swedish Research Council

Participating departments and units at Umeå University

Department of Applied Educational Science Research, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research area

Educational sciences

Project description

Swedish commercial actors play a hitherto understudied role in the rapidly growing Global Education Industry (GEI). Recently, several Swedish free school companies have expanded abroad to operate schools in e.g. England, USA, India and Saudi Arabia. The aim of the project is to map, explore and analyse the international establishment and work of Swedish free school companies in the GEI and the implications from these international activities, by analysing 1) the international activities of Swedish school companies; 2) the presentation and organization of three schools operated by Swedish companies across the globe via a case study
design; and iii) how Swedish experiences blend with new national contexts by studying curricular development as these companies establish themselves abroad. Drawing on data from interviews (with for instance owners, head teachers and teachers) from the foreign operations, media materials, official records and curricular materials, this project will enhance our knowledge about the workings and consequences of Swedish commercial actors’ international activities in education, including what these may imply for the schools, students and teachers.

Latest update: 2022-08-22