University of Borås to Get 200 New Places
After months of waiting and speculation in the media a welcome decision reached the University of Borås this morning. The University will be getting 200 new places and a 16 million SEK increase in endowment. The 200 places are part of a bigger package the government is aiming mainly at seats of learning in western Sweden, an area struck hard by the unemployment notices of late.
“I am very happy about the decision, for the University of course, but also considering the tough situation our part of the country finds itself in.” So says rector Lena Nordholm in a commentary. She adds that investment in higher education is a key factor if society is to turn the crisis into long-term positive development. Highly educated labour is more mobile on the market, and can therefore get jobs more easily.
“When the news about the extent of the lay-offs at Volvo came we argued in favor of a gathering of forces in the whole of west Sweden. All along, we have claimed that this is a region-wide problem that we are facing together, and must solve together. The importance of that perspective has been confirmed day by day as the news has developed and it feels satisfactory that our position has gained sympathy in the political sphere.”
Six Seats of Learning
The government’s allocation of places targets six seats of learning. The places aren’t reserved for people who have been laid off, they are open to all applicants. This follows the policy of the University of Borås; that new places can vacate jobs on the labour market, when people filling those jobs start studying. The allocation of new places becomes official in the complementary proposition the government is expected to present shortly. Economically, the share allocated to the University of Borås is on par with the offer that was developed during the autumn and presented to the government’s crisis coordinator. The number of seats was greater in that offer, 310 compared to the 200 now allocated.
Since the demand for education at the University of Borås has been great, the seat of learning has pleaded to the government for years, stating the need to be able to grow. The 200 new places can be seen as the result of a successful business idea.
“It is important to add that society’s need is much greater than the 1240 places now being dedicated the affected regions. We are prepared to and have the capacity for an even larger education commitment,” says Lena Nordholm. She reminds that the offer of new places that the school received last autumn was focused on education in fields where there is a clearly defined need for qualified, highly educated labour.
By: Johan Sundeen
Photo: Anna Sigge