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Published: 2018-08-15

School of Education honoured with national assignment

NEWS Umeå School of Education at Umeå University has been assigned by the Swedish Government to lead a national project of creating effective and purposeful ways into teaching and pre-school teaching.

"We are honoured to be assigned this assignment by the Government. For a long time, we have been in charge of developing a fast-track education for teachers new to the Swedish education system. Umeå University also coordinates the continuous professional development of teachers called VAL, which is aimed at individuals who work as teachers without teacher training. Receiving this new assignment proves that we have a well-functioning methodology and have the competence to handle this type of work," says Maria Löfgren, director of Umeå School of Education at Umeå University.

Sweden is suffering from a huge lack of teachers already, but according to estimates, Sweden will be short of a further 45,000 teachers within the next five years. Through this national assignment, the Government is opening up more ways into teaching.

A total of seven universities have been assigned the task of working towards effective and purposeful ways into teaching and pre-school teaching. Beside Umeå University, the University of Gothenburg, Stockholm University, Linköping University, Karlstad University, Malmö University and Dalarna University also participate in the project.

The national mission includes:

  • Developing and using methods to assess and validate prior learning. This could be qualifications that applicants have received through education or professional experience.
  • Developing and offering short subject courses in the teacher and pre-school teacher trainings. The courses should for instance be offered to students who want to take the subject teaching degree through a complimentary educational training, but who lack some of the subject qualifications necessary. It should be possible to take these studies simultaneously with the educational training.
  • Shaping and offering add-on courses to increase the qualifications for those who already work in Swedish schools, but who have no teacher training. This could, for instance, be unqualified teachers and teaching assistants. The courses should be offered through flexible studies, as distance learning, with courses starting at several points of the term, and at different rates of study. Credits for these studies should be transferred into the teacher education. As a result, these courses could be the first step into a teacher education.
  • Assisting other Swedish universities with information regarding the assessment of prior learning and how additional courses can be designed.

The national mission should be reported no later than 1 March 2022.