Tag: Sweden

Hedda podcast: Party politics and political economy of the welfare states


Professor M. Busemeyer (University of Konstanz)

Episode 47 of our podcast series features Prof. Marius Busemeyer (University of Konstanz).

In the podcast, he discusses some of the key findings from his recent book “Skills and Inequality. Partisan Politics and the Political Economy of Education Reforms in Western Welfare States”. Summarising key aspects of how skill regimes have developed in europe, he further reflects on what he as a researcher found as the most interesting finding and shares his thoughts on the practical implications of his research.

Listen without the Flashplayer

Prof. Marius Busemeyer is Professor of Political Science at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz. He received his PhD in political science from University of Heidelberg in 2006. Between 2006 and 2010 he worked at Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Cologne, Germany. He further received his Habilitation in Political science at University of Cologne in 2010. From 2011 he has worked as a professor at University of Konstanz where he is a head of department in Politics and Public administration since 2014. In 2010, he received a grant from German National Science Foundation (DFG) (Emmy-Noether Program) for his work on “The Politics of Education and Training Reform in Western Welfare States”, and in 2012 he received the European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant. His main research interests are in the area of comparative political economy, welfare states, public spending, social democratic parties and theories of institutional change.


Innovation policies in the Nordic countries – different national policy debates?

In June 2012, the research group HEIK at the Faculty of Education in University of Oslo held an international open seminar titled “The challenge of the Research, Development & Innovation (RDI) role of Higher Education Institutions: different national policy debates and institutional developments in Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden“.

We are delighted to be able to offer you the possibility to listen to these presentations here on the Hedda blog as well.

Speakers at this seminar included Mats Benner (Lund University and Uppsala University), Peter Maassen (University of Oslo), Bjørn Stensaker (University of Oslo) and Kaare Aagaard (Århus University).

The main starting point for the seminar was that in recent decades one can identify a series of large scale reforms, where higher education increasingly has to deal with complex tasks beyond the traditional teaching and research activities. A growing number of societal problems call for a closer connection between innovation and higher education – however, what do we really know about current RDI policies in the Nordic countries and what have been the experiences this far?

You can download the background paper further reflecting on the topic of the seminar at the HEIK homepage, and listen to the introductory presentation and presentations of four country cases here.

Hedda podcast: New Public Management in Sweden and impact on gender, with prof. E. Berg

Episode 33 of our podcast series features professor Elisabeth Berg who reflects on recent developments in Swedish higher education in relation to new public management, and highlights the findings from a recent project that examined the role of gender in this new managerial context.

Listen without the Flashplayer


Professor Elisabeth Berg, Luleå University

Elisabeth Berg is a professor at the Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences in the Division of Human Work Science at the Luleå University in Sweden, and her main research interests are linked to the relationship between working conditions, organisation, public leadership and gender, and she has published more than 120 articles, reports and other publications on these topics.

She has extensive experience in researching women and middle management and has engaged both in research and theory development in this area. Her recent research has focused mainly on New public management and its implications for academics and managers in England and Sweden, in cooperation with the University of East London.

Picture: Luleå University 

Thematic week: The introduction of fees for international students in Sweden


Lars Geschwind, Image: Technopolis

This article is written by Lars Geschwind, who works at a UK based research firm Technopolis. He holds a doctoral degree in history from University of Uppsala, and has earlier worked at the Swedish Institute for Studies in Education and Research (SISTER). His research interests are mainly focused on research policy and higher education. In this article, he reflects on some of the debates that have recently taken place in Sweden.


In June 2010 the Riksdag voted in favour of the Government Bill ‘Competing on the basis of quality – tuition fees for foreign students’ (Govt. Bill Prop 2009/10:65). This means that higher education will remain free of charge for Swedish citizens and citizens of an EU/EEA member state or Switzerland, but also that citizens of other countries (‘third country students’) will pay a fee for their higher education as of the autumn term 2011. The Government’s intention is to ensure that Swedish higher education institutions compete internationally on the basis of quality, not on the basis of free tuition.

The fees apply only to bachelor’s and master’s programs and courses, while PhD programs still are tuition-free. Universities set their own fees, and these vary between SEK 80,000–140,000 (approx. 9,000€ – 15,500€) per academic year for most subjects. However, programs in the fields of Medicine and Arts have notably higher fees. There is also an application fee which has been set to SEK 900 (approx 100€). At the same time, scholarships are also available. The Swedish Institute (publisher of Study in Sweden) administers several of these. Additionally, Swedish universities offer scholarships directly to non-EU/EEA students from autumn 2011.

The introduction of fees has reduced the number of applying international students in Sweden dramatically. The number of applications has decreased by 86 percent and applicants for master courses dropped 73 percent. For some of the technical universities this is a radical change, as the proportion of international students have increased for many years. At Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, for instance, the number of applicants has dropped from 9099 to 611 (www.vhs.se).

Swedish International Fees Criticized

As blogged about earlier, New Fees for Foreign Students, the Swedish government plans to introduce study fees for Non-EU students starting in 2011. However, the pro-rectors of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Lund University and Gothenburg University have criticized this decision in the Swedish Newspaper Göteborgs-Posten. They fear that the Swedish universities might lose their international networks.

Göteborgsposten photo

After Denmark introduced study fees, they lost 90% of their international students. If the same would happen in Sweden a consequence would be that many of the English, multidisciplinary master programs would be cut out.

The pro-rectors suggest testing the study fee at some universities before it will be decided whether it will be introduced or not, as it is done in Finland.