The ability to attract both national and international students is obviously connected to the quality of education – but not only that. A strong student influence, access to the right support when needed, and a clear division of responsibility regarding the building blocks that together make up the study situation are also central factors for a strong and attractive education sector.
Students well-being has sailed up as a central issue within higher education politics during the past year. More and more students are feeling worse and worse, and even if it is not completely clear what the triggering factor is, much points to there being general flaws within the overall study situation. These flaws come at a high cost: that students feel bad leads to many far-reaching consequences for both the individual and for the educational system.
Even the question regarding everyone’s right and possibility to partake in education is an important part of the realization of a competitive knowledge region. To make education accessible is a job that stretches from creating physical conditions in the lecture halls to at a national level allocating enough funds for the support measures needed at the universities and colleges.
To turn Stockholm into the knowledge region we want, students as well as the universities/colleges and other parties must be given the right conditions.
For SSCO, this means, among other things, a strong student health service, good preconditions for student influence, and that the physical and psychosocial work environment gives all students the requisites to focus on what should be at the center: education of the highest quality.
Higher education politics program
Click here to download our higher education politics program in Swedish.
Students' health and study environment
Student health services clinics
The student health services’ assignment needs to be clarified. What care a student received should not be determined by where they are studying. The clinics must receive the resources needed to be able to work both preventatively and reactively based on the students’ needs.
The universities' and colleges' work environment responsibility
The universities’ and colleges’ work environment responsibility must be strengthened and clarified. A large number of students feel bad and education politics must prioritize the turning of this trend. Resources should therefore be aimed at carrying out knowledge-increasing efforts for both staff and student representatives
Part time sick leave from studies
Part time sick leave must be made possible. It is important to create good conditions for an appropriate return to the studies.
The universities’ and colleges’ study focused rehabilitation responsibility must be clarified. Clear chains of rehabilitation with declared goals and a tangible division of responsibilities must be adopted. There should be no doubts whatsoever of who is responsible for what in the students’ rehabilitation.
Education for everyone
Specific pedagogical support
Resources for specific pedagogical support must be increased to reflect real costs. The long waiting times must be shortened, students who receive the support must be able to trust that they will be able to keep it as long as they have a need to, and the process to get the support must be simplified through fewer involved parties and that favorable decisions remain valid.
Long-term perspective and predictability for international students
Residency permits for studying in Sweden should be valid through the entire period of study and the Migration Authority should be given automatic access to international students’ study results to make handling more efficient.
Hidden fees within education
Education that is free should be just that: free of fees. Especially double housing costs, but also other hidden costs, should be covered by the university or college.
Educational elements that are associated with costs should not be mandatory or influential. Any mandatory course literature should therefore be free and made accessible by the universities and colleges.
Students' rights to participate in quality monitoring of paid education
Students who pay fees for their educations through their student unions should be given the same opportunity to be represented in the bodies responsible for the quality of education as students who study at state institutions where the studies are free.
Högskoleprovet (the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test) is an important access opportunity to higher education and should be offered for free at least twice.
Conditions for student influence
The state student union support
The state should be responsible for paying out a student union support to guarantee independent and equal opportunities for student influence, without the universities and colleges acting as a middle hand. The level of the union support should be at the very minimum 310 SEK per full-time student.
The union status process
The rules that regulate the student union status process are unclear and leave some fundamentally important questions unanswered. It is necessary to review the regulations in order for this central process to work as intended. Decisions to award union status should be made by a national authority independent from the university or college and the student union.
113 50 Stockholm