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EDUCATION

Sweden looks to educate more engineers

The government plans to budget for 400 new spots for engineering students at Sweden's universities next year in an effort to boost the country's corps of capable engineers.

Sweden looks to educate more engineers

“Sweden is and will remain an industrial nation. We’re dependent on educating many talented engineers,” education minister Jan Björklund of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) told the TT news agency.

According to the forthcoming autumn budget proposal, the additional engineering spots will cost around 214 million kronor ($32 million) by 2018, by which time a total of 1,600 new places for civil engineering students will be created, the business daily Dagens Industri (DI) reported.

Björklund explained that the new engineering student spots are being created in response to increased interest in engineering among young people in the last two years following 20 years of decline.

“We want to respond to that interest so that those who have the capacity to complete the programmes are also admitted,” he told the TT news agency.

Critics often argue that such efforts come too late and when students have completed their degrees demand for their skills has since declined.

“It takes five years to educate an engineer and then they will work for 40 years, so it’s a very long-term investment. But I agree that such an effort should have been undertaken ten years ago, but then there was no interest among young people,” said Björklund.

According to most analysts, there is a balance between the supply and demand for civil engineers, but Björklund believes demand will increase.

“The average age of Sweden’s engineers is very high. When they retire, there is going to be a deficit if we don’t educate more,” he told TT.

TT/The Local/dl

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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