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Sweden: more money into higher education and research

The new Budget Bill for 2010 was presented by the Swedish government to the riksdag on 21 September. In the field of higher education one of the important changes envisioned is 10 000 new university places in 2010 – 2011. The estimated costs of the reform (including student financial support) will amount to SEK 1 billion per year (aprox. EUR 100 million). Furthermore, the government has planned to modify the system for allocating resources to higher education institutions (HEIs) as a whole. It wishes to complement the current allocation system – where universities receive government money based on the number of students who have started and completed their studies at the respective institution – with a system where at least part of the resources will be allocated based on HEIs’ ability to demonstrate improvements in the quality of their courses.

Last but not least, a proposal has been set forth to introduce tuition fees for foreign students (from countries outside the European Economic Area) as of autumn 2011 (see also ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, April 2009). The size of the fees is to be decided individually by each institution and is to go hand in hand with a grant system. A bill detailing how the system will be set up is expected later this autumn.

In the area of research and innovation the Bill proposes an increase in funding by SEK 1 billion, to be distributed as follows: SEK 500 million (aprox. EUR 50 million) go to the HEIs and the Swedish Research Council for investment in strategic areas; SEK 300 million (aprox. EUR 30 million) to the HEIs for financing doctoral education and research, and the remaining SEK 200 million are to be distributed among various Swedish research and innovation related bodies. 

Swedish government