Stockholm trio university alliance

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University entered in 2019 into the university alliance Stockholm trio with the aim of developing and highlighting the internationally prominent research and education environment that the three universities form in the Stockholm region.

About the alliance

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University are prominent universities in their respective fields and together form a complete academic environment with the areas medicine, technology, science, humanities, law and social sciences.

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University conduct more than 30 percent of all academic research and postgraduate education in Sweden and have 15-20 percent of all students at the undergraduate and graduate level. Together, the universities have 5,200 doctoral students and SEK 12.4 billion in total revenues for research and research education and a total budget of SEK 17.3 billion. As a unified academic environment, the Stockholm trio are among the strongest in the world.

The three universities have been collaborating for a long time in a number of scientific fields and also offers joint educational programmes. The alliance agreement provides new conditions for in-depth collaboration and facilitates new university-wide research and education.

Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University play a crucial role for the City of Stockholm and the Stockholm region when it comes to research, innovation and competence supply. With 17,000 employees and 55,000 students, the universities of Stockholm trio constitute one of the region's largest employers and workplaces. The universities’ activities are mainly gathered on a cohesive campus attracting many international students, doctoral students, researchers and teachers.

Common objectives

The creation of the Stockholm trio university alliance gives Karolinska Institutet, KTH and Stockholm University better conditions for closer cooperations in research, education and collaboration and outreach. Through the alliance, the universities become more competitive internationally in order to foster new international collaborations, to recruit leading researchers, and attract international students. The universities can also become a stronger force regionally and nationally by engaging decision makers, authorities, businesses and industry together.

The agreement has three general objectives:

  • Create new conditions for developing university-wide research and education by taking advantage of a complete academic environment
  • Clarify the excellence and internationally outstanding academic environment that the parties represent together and strengthen the universities' capacity to act jointly, regionally, nationally and internationally with the alliance cooperation as the basis
  • Coordinate and build common functions for administrative support in order to promote long-term conditions, professionalization and development capacity.

The Presidents on the alliance

“With broadly speaking coherent campuses and a dynamic academic environment, our universities constitute an important prerequisite for not only research and education but also growth in the Stockholm region,” says Astrid Söderbergh Widding, President of Stockholm University.

“Together, we can use our resources in a more efficient way and promote interaction between different disciplines and thereby increase the quality of our research and education,” says Ole Petter Ottersen, President of Karolinska Institutet.

“We want to show the potential of this cooperation and how the strengthening of the overall academic environment in Stockholm will benefit the city, the region and Sweden,” says Sigbritt Karlsson, President of KTH.

Stockholm trio
Sigbritt Karlsson, KTH, Astrid Söderbergh Widding, Stockholm University and Ole Petter Ottersen, Karolinska Institutet. Photo: Sören Andersson.

Steering Committee for Stockholm trio

The Stockholm trio is led by a Steering Committee consisting of the university's presidents and university directors:

  • Sigbritt Karlsson, President, KTH
  • Ole Petter Ottersen, President, Karolinska Institutet
  • Astrid Söderbergh Widding, President, Stockholm University
  • Åsa Borin, University Director, Stockholm University
  • Kerstin Jacobsson, University Director, KTH
  • Gunnar Gustafsson Wiss, Acting University Director, Karolinska Institutet

Coordination Secretariat

The Stockholm trio steering group has appointed a coordination secretariat to prepare and coordinate the work within the university alliance. The Coordination Secretariat consists of a responsible and staff members from the three universities:

  • Christina Murray, international strategist, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, (responsible)
  • Radmila Micic, Coordinator, Karolinska Institutet
  • Micael Stehr, Senior advisor, KTH
  • Anna Riddarström, Investigator, Stockholm University

Joint representation in Brussels

The Steering Committee has decided to establish a joint representation in Brussels for the Stockholm trio. The main purpose of the presence in Brussels is to improve the opportunities for universities to attract research and innovation funds and funding for education projects from the EU.

Karolinska Institutet is the head of the representation, which is co-located with the Stockholm Region EU Office in Brussels on Avenue Marnix 28.

  • Dan Andrée, Senior Advisor

Some facts about the Stockholm trio

55,000 students. Corresponds to 16 percent of Sweden's total 349,000 students

  • KI: 7,600
  • KTH: 14,400
  • SU: 33,000

SEK 12.4 billion in total revenues for research and postgraduate education. This corresponds to 29 percent of Sweden's total SEK 43.2 billion allocated to research and postgraduate education.

  • KI: SEK 6,024 million
  • KTH: SEK 3,252 million
  • SU: SEK 3,134 million

More than 17,000 employees (individuals). This corresponds to 22 percent of a total of 76,000 employees at Sweden's higher education institutions

  • KI: 6,140
  • KTH: 4,680
  • SU: 6,250

Almost 5,200 doctoral students. Corresponds to 31 percent of all 16,800 doctoral students in Sweden

  • KI: 2,147
  • KTH: 1,711
  • SU: 1,307

Source: Swedish Higher Education Authority’s (UKÄ) statistics database: Högskolan i siffror (Higher education in figures), October 2019


Christina Murray
International strategist, KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Dan Andrée
Senior Advisor, Karolinska Institutet