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EDUCATION

Karolinska Institute tops university list again

Stockholm's Karolinska Institute has come up trumps in an annual ranking of Sweden's top universities and colleges.

Karolinska Institute tops university list again

Karolinska was joined by the Stockholm School of Economics (Stockholms Handelshögskolan) at the top of the list, which was compiled annually by independent academic group Urank.

“We’ve done this for six years so were not very surprised with the results, it’s more or less the same results every year, just like most rankings,” Urank statistician Stig Forneng told The Local.

“As usual, the bigger universities scored better than the small ones, and the vocationally oriented institutes performed best overall.”

The biggest mover on the list was Karlstad University in southern Sweden, which cracked the top 20 by jumping five places from last year to 17th this year.

The list is put together using a large number of statistical variables. For example, Urank examines the academic quality of students accepted to courses, the weight attached to research, and the proportion of research students with an international background.

However, the ranking does not measure the quality of individual courses. It also disregards the quality of student life and the availability of accommodation, one of the most important issues affecting students’ choice of college or university.

Forneng pointed to the relatively similar lists over the years as typical of Sweden, with a similar trend apparent in China and the US, for example.

He added that Sweden’s traditional universities benefited from their greater resources and more attractive courses for high status professions such as medicine, engineering and veterinary.

“In the top-scoring universities, most of the students needed relatively high marks just to get into the school itself, and accordingly, they find it easier to get jobs when they come out on the other side,” he said.

While Forneng pointed to Karlstad’s jump of five places as the most apparent change on the list, he explained that the small details were where the changes are most interesting, highlighting Jönköping as an example of an institution punching above its relatively small weight.

He added that it wasn’t just the students who could benefit from the list.

“We put together this annual list for the students, but also for the universities themselves. It’s interesting to see how you compete with the other institutions, and it’s possible to compare variable if you want to better yourself,” Foreng told The Local.

Urank’s list of Sweden’s top 29 colleges and universities (with change from last year’s ranking in parentheses)

1. Karolinska Institute (+/-0)

2. Stockholm School of Economics (+/-0)

3. Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (+/-0)

4. Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)(+/-0)

5. Uppsala University (+1)

6. Chalmers University of Technology (-1)

7. Lund University (+/-0)

8. Linköping University (+1)

9. Gothenburg University (-1)

10. Stockholm University (+1)

11. Umeå University (-1)

12. Örebro University (+/-0)

13. Jönköping University (+2)

14. Luleå Universtiy of Technology (-1)

15. Södertörn University(-1)

16. Malmö University (+/-0)

17. Karlstad University (+5)

18. Linnaeus University (+/-0)

19. Mälardalen University (+/-0)

20. Blekinge Institute of Technology (+1)

21. Borås University (-4)

22. Halmstad University (-2)

23. Mid Sweden University (+2)

24. Gävle University (+2)

25. Dalarna University (-1)

26. University West (+2)

27. Skövde University (-4)

28. Kristianstad University (-1)

29. Gotland University (+/-0)

Oliver Gee

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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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