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DN Debate. The university and college forgotten by Stefan Löfven

It was with the greatest excitement I sat down to right in front of the tv to listen to Stefan Löfvens long, not to say, long-winded government declaration at the end of January. Once in the world was regeringsförklaringarna short and concise, often formulated around a main idea. What we heard was a detailed and fairly osystematisk the catalog of the proposed concrete actions in virtually all areas of social life, performed in the brightest and trust that no conflicts exist and no unexpected events will turn the plans over all the way.

But one area was missing in the regeringsförklaringen – universities and colleges – despite the fact that the with its 400.000 students and the 75,000 employees and a budget of 71 billion (of which 56 billion of government money) make up the largest share of the public sector. What is more: there is a long series of unresolved problems at the university, which cries out for a solution.

You are employed as a teaching associate professor with the implied expectation that you are going to buy themselves free from their work through on their own to acquire research grants.

that a powerful government should deal with:


No labour market exhibit such insecurity that universitetskarriären. Far up in the 35-year-olds can employees live on short, temporary contracts. In the recent past have certainly been patched and repaired in order to get away from the worst shortcomings, but at the root of the evil has no minister wanted to take in out of fear to challenge powerful forces, often residents of the forskningstunga environments in medicine and technology/science. I am referring to the research and teaching are two different careers.

It is employed as a teaching associate professor with the implied expectation that you are going to buy themselves free from their work through on their own to acquire research grants. This is a in the highest degree demoralizing to the order, which gives the teaching a low-status and research constant stress. A unified service should be at the university, and possible career moves, which includes both research and teaching.


Karriärproblemet associated intimately with the financing. In an international comparison, the Swedish university poor but the advice and foundations rich. Any deeper thought is not behind this scheme, but it has swiftly developed through over-hasty policy actions which east of the city which collected large amounts (which must then be used for anything), a högskattepolitik which prompted major contractors to set up foundations (which must have a purpose) and a research policy, which found it easier to deal with a docile research council than with independent and difficult university. The situation worsened a couple of years ago through the so-called befordringsreformen, which professorskompetenta professors got the right to be employed as professors. The reform was, however, ofinansierad. Without their own as they were forced to moving out in the competition for rådsmedel and all were dissatisfied: the older professors who (rightly) feared professorsinflation, they are promoted because they had worse conditions than the elderly, those professors who were not promoted, and got the paper that they have not sufficed, and all the younger researchers that are now met with increasing konkurres of the funds.

to karriärproblemet shall be resolved funding needs to be reviewed, which a government investigation into just had to the task, and the imbalance between universities and research councils change.


What is the cost of a student? Physicians are considered the most expensive, then the scientists and the cheapest humanists and social scientists, to mention a few key areas, there are other groups, too, and costs fall after a very fingraderad scale. But the correct answer is actually that a student simply costs as much as the appropriation permits. The vast majority of training would do well to include experiments, field work, excursions. How the substances are classified is very much a matter of chance, depending on how a number of strong division head acted during the beginnings of the renovation of the Swedish universities after the second world war. Psychology, for example, got a strong laboratory focus and is, consequently, something of a medicinarprislapp (not quite but pretty much) fixed the subject very well could have stayed as a poor humanioraämne. The sociology with the same wet-lab needs, on the other hand remain an underfunded samhällsvetarämne.

Nothing challenging, however, established interests more than a modification of the per capita remuneration paid to the various courses. I myself have been in a couple of state investigations tried. Nevertheless, it is an increase of utbildningsanslaget to Swedish students in the humanities and social sciences is absolutely essential, at least, so that they will be up to the same level as in Norway and Denmark.


Basic research are often in a misleading way, as opposed to applied research. Sweden is designated, for example as a leading nation in the basic research of the cancer but no one can deny that this research is also highly targeted and applied? The problem with this distinction is, as soon as it attracts politicians who want to appear as energetic to make the so-called bets on the concrete areas and a well-known name. Such bets will be almost always unsuccessful. The far more responsible but less glamorous task is to gradually and persistently, step by step increase the funding for the free and independent research. It is so, in the best case, the excellent research.


Finally threatens the new public administration called New Public Management (NPM) in universities, as it destroyed the school, police and health care. It can be tempting for a minister to believe to be able to ”steer” with the help of this model, and evaluations of its spirit, but the statsmannagärning I now most of all would like to see would be, on the contrary, the government went against the NPM and support a free and independent university with collegial governance.

At the press conference pointed to the new minister of science Matilda Ernkrans out two priority areas: distansundervisningen and interaction with the surrounding society. The last is important but perhaps not the most important. The latter no man knoweth what it means but it has, unfortunately, yet been elevated to the criterion for the appropriation. The state council also mentioned the need to come to grips with the skewed recruitment to the college regarding class, ethnicity, and gender. You just have to make sure that one is not fighting yesterday's war. The latest statistics show that 57 percent of the beginners at the university are girls and 43% boys. University the problem of equality is that we are losing the boys.

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