A new resource allocation system for higher education - for improved quality and more jobs

RAPPORT Publicerad

The Swedish higher education system has serious flaws in delivering academic quality and preparing students for the labour market. For example, business administration programmes often have among the highest enrolments in the country. However, as much as 40 precent of these programmes were assessed as having inadequate quality in 2012 according to a regular audit of the National Agency for Higher Education (the agency was split in two as of 1 January 2013, where responsibility for administering higher education is now with the Swedish Higher Education Authority). A meer 10 percent of these programmes had ‘very high quality’. This is a stinging failing grade for a country striving to compete globally as a knowledge-based nation.

Higher education in Sweden also has significant shortcomings in preparing students for a future in working life. Over one-third of post-graduate students had not found jobs corresponding to their educational level. Meanwhile, businesses across the country have an urgent demand for workers with appropriate competencies. The latest recruitment survey by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise’ showed that one in five recruitment attempts fail because companies can’t find individuals with the right skills.

It is high time for a comprehensive reform of the system to allocate resources to higher education. This report introduces the Confederation’s basic considerations on these reforms. We propose the allocation of resources based on four elements

– a student grant, a degree grant, an employment grant and a quality grant.