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The Research Network – a short introduction

THE RESEARCH NETWORK (”Forskningsnätet” in Swedish) is a Swedish initiative organising direct contacts between schools and research workers. The main goal is to improve the understanding of scientific and scholarly results, methods and activities and their societal significance.

Thanks to the network both pupils and teachers can attend special lectures, seminars and courses held at the schools’ premises led by visiting research workers from many different fields, as well as join visits to various academic research institutions or commercial research departments. Since its start in 2000 until spring 2015 over 300 scientists and scholars have participated in about 360 such activities.

The network was started by the ÖSTERLENGYMNASIET, an upper secondary school in Simrishamn, a town in the southeast of Sweden. In 2008 the school joined forces with SKOLSTADEN-HELSINGBORGS GYMNASIECAMPUS, another upper secondary school in southern Sweden in an effort to spread the Research Network idea to other schools in the region. This was made possible by substantial funding from the SPARBANKSSTIFTELSEN SKÅNE, a regional savings banks foundation, and the REGION SKÅNE, regional government body. Later, S:T PETRI SKOLA, Malmö, and HäSSLEHOLMS TEKNISKA SKOLA have joined the network. After re-organisation of SKOLSTADEN, now five schools run the Research Network – a non-profit association – as a development, service and fund-raising centre, also open to other schools in the region with a serious interest in stronger links between schools and researchers. Thus, it now reaches out to about 10,000 pupils and 1,000 teachers. The Research Network has gained reputation as a unique national pilot project and is now subsidized by the Swedish National Agency for Education as well as local authorities and several foundations.