Press Release from Umeå University

Highest marks for public health

[2012-06-27] The two-year master’s degree programme in public health at Umeå University is the only master’s programme in Sweden that has received the highest evaluation by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. The one-year master’s programme in public health earned the next highest level evaluation.

"It’s very satisfying that Umeå University has again been given the highest rating by the Swedish National Agency of Higher Education, and it’s especially gratifying that it was for a degree programme with a strong international profile," says Anders Fällström, Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Education.

Professor Lars Weinehall is head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health and explained as follows:

We need the international element that our students represent. The students' own experiences strengthen the quality of education and help create an interesting learning environment. Education and research are closely connected here. We have a large centre for research on global health which is one of the university's strong research environments. We also have a number of research collaborations with universities in low-income countries. Education and research cross-fertilize each other and some of our master's students continue on to doctoral students in our research projects. It is particularly encouraging that the Swedish National Agency of Higher Education lauded our students' in-depth knowledge of methodology, the ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and the general orientation in the profile area of global health.

The Swedish National Agency of Higher Education has evaluated 23 degree programmes in public health sciences at 15 universities. Of these, three have received the mark “very high quality”, including Umeå University's two-year master’s degree programme. Thirteen programmes, including the one-year master’s degree at Umeå University, were deemed “high quality”. Seven courses were deemed to have inadequate quality.

The subject of Public Health involves studying the health of the population and health determinants, health changes, the distribution of health between different population groups and how to influence health development and health inequalities. The programme has a focus on global health issues and mainly recruits students from low- and middle- income countries.

During the past academic year, 60 students from 27 countries have studied at the Umeå International School of Public Health. Health Economics, Epidemiology, interview techniques, biostatistics, evaluation methodology and data processing are some important skills that students can obtain from the education. These are skills needed in both the public and private sector.


Two-year Master's Programme in Public HealthOne-year Master's Programme in Public HealthUmeå Centre for Global Health Research

About the evalution

These recent evaluation findings have been implemented using a new model, with the focus on students' degree projects. The programmes are assessed according to a three-point scale: very high quality (mycket hög kvalitet), high quality (hög kvalitet) or inadequate quality (bristande kvalitet). During the years 2011-2014, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education will evaluate all education leading to a degree at the undergraduate or postgraduate level. Approximately 6,000 courses and programmes will be evaluated in total.

For further information, please contact:

Lars Weinehall, head of the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health
Phone: +46 (0)70-564 46 52

Editor: David Meyers

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