Increased funding proposed for certain programmes in new budget
[2017-09-21] The Medical Programme at Umeå University is proposed to get eight additional study places (FTEs), the engineering science programmes to get the equivalent of 15 additional places, and educations aimed at community building to get nine additional places. These are proposals in the new Government Budget Bill for 2018 presented on 20 September.
One of the proposals that has received attention is that the Government aims to invest SEK 9 million into expanding the Medical Programme. In its fully expanded form, complete in 2023, the investment aims to comprise SEK 96 million, which represents about 440 FTEs (full-time equivalents), i.e. the number of registered students to a programme or course, or simply, study places. Out of those 440, Umeå University will have 88 FTEs. The total number of students at the Umeå University Medical Programme will increase from 1,082 to 1,170 when the expansion is complete.
“This is one of our investments aimed at safeguarding good healthcare by having sufficient qualified professionals. It also aims to make us less dependent on foreign medical programmes in order to maintain competence of doctors,” says Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research.
The Government regards access to relevant education as a prerequisite to sustainable development and for the development of single individuals. To give more qualified applicants the chance to study, the Government now proposes a general expansion of resources to higher education across the nation. For Umeå University, the direct government funding from this expansion increases by SEK 10.5 million per annum during 2018–2020. The expansion for 2018 equals 130 FTEs for Umeå University.
The Government further establishes that there may be an increased need for engineers, for instance specialised in environmental and climate issues, and hence proposes that a total of SEK 20 million should be put aside towards engineering programmes. Out of that, Umeå University receives SEK 1.5 million, which corresponds to 15 FTEs. The expansion is planned to be initiated in 2019 and 2020.
To facilitate for sufficient sustainable development, including sustainable growth, across the nation, and to ensure that the community development is not hindered, increased availability to study programmes in social planning, land surveying and structural engineering is needed. Consequently, the Government proposes that the investment in full-time equivalents should be completed by 2023 at a total cost of SEK 112 million, which equals 1,145 FTEs across Sweden. For 2018, Umeå University received SEK 0.9 million for this expansion, which represents 9 FTEs. The expansion is planned to continue in 2019.
The Government is also of the opinion that summer courses are an important component in higher education institutions’ offering of courses and programmes. A greater offering of relevant summer courses provides students with the opportunity to carry out their studies more efficiently. Umeå University receives SEK 3.5 million for this purpose for 2018, which represents 46 FTEs.
In 2015–2016, the Government initiated an expansion of the teacher and pre-school education equivalent to 2,300 FTEs, and in the Government Budget Bill for 2017, funding was allocated to yet another 970 new places. In 2018, Umeå University’s direct government funding is estimated to increase by SEK 2.2 million as a consequence of the expansion initiated in 2017.
When it comes to research and doctoral education, the Government among all proposes a SEK 306 million increase in funding for higher education institutions for 2018. The equivalent amount for 2019 will be SEK 250 million and SEK 550 million for 2020.
In 2018, the Swedish Research Council will obtain SEK 220 million, Vinnova SEK 320 million, Formas SEK 210 million, and Forte SEK 95 million in grant increases, for among all strategic investments to meet the challenges in society.
In total, the direct government fundings for research and doctoral educations at Umeå University will increase by SEK 16 million for 2018, and are estimated to increase by just as much for 2019 and 2020 as a consequence of the distribution of funding to research and doctoral education.
“In total, I like what I see in the Government’s budget bill for Umeå University when it comes to education, and we get a cut that corresponds well to what other Swedish higher education institutions receive. When it comes to the size of the funding for research and the model for distribution it’s based upon, I had hoped for more,” says Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University.
Editor: Anna Lawrence
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