Business group urges cut in study aid for the arts

Business group urges cut in study aid for the arts
Sweden needs to cut its student grants to students electing to study humanities and arts subjects, to encourage them to pursue degrees which can lead to a job, according to a new report from an influential business group.

The Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt Näringsliv) on Wednesday presented a report calling for student grants to be cut for students pursuing what they describe as “low productivity educations”, argued that they should instead be obliged to finance more of their studies with loans.

“It has been shown that it is more difficult to find a job if you read subjects within the arts or humanities,” said Malin Sahlén who compiled the report for the Confederation to Sveriges Radio’s Ekot news programme on Thursday.

Sahlén suggests that an adjustment of student grants would encourage students to make a choice which is more likely to lead to employment.

She added that the Confederation would like to see sectors such as theatre pay more but argues that there are too many students and not enough jobs.

“But we don’t need twice as many studying a subject in comparison with the number in demand,” she said.

The Swedish Union for Theatre, Artists and Media (Teaterförbundet), reacted in dismay to the suggestion.

“Terrifying,” argued chairperson Anna Carlson.

“It would be very strange if the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise is under the impression that these kinds of professions are not needed in a modern humanistic democratic society,” she told SR.

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