LiU best in its class
16 applications, all granted, for specialist teacher diplomas in grades 7-9. 17 applications, all granted, for specialist teacher diplomas in high school. With this, LiU’s work towards being able to provide good, strong teacher education is crowned with complete success.
“The explanation for our success is a combination of having good teacher education and that we set down a hard task for the applicants,” says Rector Mille Millnert.
“We took this completely seriously, and many people in educational sciences have worked very hard on this. We took nothing for granted.”
Good teacher education is tremendously important for Sweden’s future, to say nothing of the region, Millnert concluded.
Back in December, the notifications for examination licenses for preschool teachers, youth centre teachers, vocational teachers, and elementary school Pre-6 came in. Linköping University also received approval for all applications for these, in contrast to many other institutions of learning. The tough evaluations from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education surprised many. For example, 40 per cent of all applications regarding elementary school teacher diplomas were rejected. In the current round of decisions, apart from Linköping University, only the purely specialised schools - the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences, the Royal College of Music, and the University of Dance and Circus - got what they applied for through. For several large institutions, it went very badly.
“We’d heard previously that the assessments would be tough, but we couldn’t have imagined it would be this tough,” says Karin Mårdsjö Blume, Dean of Educational Sciences. She is, of course, very happy now. This was the last decision in this round for the National Agency for Higher Education, and it was full marks for LiU all the way.
“Our strength is that we worked so broadly and were able to gather so much. We have a broad anchoring and the support of the Rector, and I think that was decisive.”
LiU mobilised intensively throughout the spring. Around 150 people worked incredibly hard to develop new teacher education with new course plans (around 300 of them) according to new directives (which, moreover, came at the very end) in order to get the applications, which they’d gone through so thoroughly, for all the new diplomas and all concentrations except music, art, and physical education teachers to the Agency for Higher Education on 28 June. Altogether, seven different teacher training programmes.
Now the planning is going further. But there will be no great expansion in the number of training places, despite many institutions of learning now not being able to train teachers.
“We will increase enrolment carefully as regards preschool and youth leisure centres,” Blume says. “It is a deficit profession and we see strengthening there as urgent for the region.
“But when it comes to elementary school and specialist teachers, we judge increasing quality to be most fundamental.” Additionally, increasing the proportions quickly is risky.
This, in turn, depends on the institutions of learning that got rejected getting a new chance in spring. The Agency for Higher Education should have time to assess a new round of applications by 1 June. They will be prioritised based on regional policy considerations.
Last updated: 2011-01-31