Failing grade for many third level courses

Eleven percent of third level courses in Sweden are of such poor quality that their right to issue certification has been called into question. The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket) has spent six years examining a total of 1,700 third level courses.

In a major report published on Monday, the agency found that 40 percent of general nursing courses and 33 percent of specialist nursing courses were not of a sufficiently high standard.

Courses aimed at preparing students for work in the areas of education and healthcare came in for the heaviest criticism.

While the authors of the report noted that education in Sweden is generally of good quality, they also pointed to a large number of shortcomings.

Over the last 15 years in particular there have been worrying development,s according to three top agency representatives writing in Monday’s Dagens Nyheter.

Resources have not been provided to cope with the increasing number of third level establishments. As a result, course times have been shortened while class sizes have grown.

There is also a lack of researchers at many universities and colleges.

The report concludes that quantity has been allowed to replace quality in a system which ensure that students’ choice of education dictates the courses on offer. The authors recommend that five to ten percent of the available resources be allocated on the basis of course quality.