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Competitiveness / Education & Research


Example of a questionable reseearch

For example an academic research showed that the white race was naturally more intelligent than the black race or DNA test show such variance in racial profile.

The Swedish government wants to privatise its Universities and some people are not happy.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013
The Swedish government's proposal to make the country's state universities and colleges to become private foundations, is worrying to the both the country's unions and student unions.

Both the access and the quality of education are likely to be challenged if the Swedish universities are transformed into becoming foundations. This would mean the Universities go more into the private sectors to seek including funding, endorsements, and various forms of sponsorships.

This development is worrying on grounds that hat doing it this way while maintaining maintain the same transparency and university independence in areas of research shall feared to be compromised, according to Britta Lejon head of the union ST .
Chalmers University Img.Granscole/file

Erik Arroy, chairman of the Swedish Union of Students spoke to Swedish television and radio Sweden expressing his concern about the evolution of the Swedish institution of academic higher learning.

"With the state not providing the same protection and only through legislation, so we'll not have the same guarantee of legal certainty and assurance for quality for all students," he says.

Today, all universities, and colleges, are government agencies. According to the government, it is a problem when, for example, some of them want to conduct businesses abroad.

Therefore, the education minister, Jan Björklund has submitted a proposal for  universities to become private foundations, and thus have greater freedom for  such actions. Meanwhile, they will continue to be funded by the state, with the requirement that the money is used efficiently and effectively.

Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg and Jönköping University are run today as foundations. Even in the new private foundations proposal, legal rights of students are guaranteed, according to the proposal. That formulation however  does not soothe Erik Arroy of Swedish National Union of Students.

"We've heard it expressed, for example that student participation in general will remain unchanged under this proposal. That we will not accept. We want that student influence should be just the same when it move to private foundations," he says.

However, Education Minister, Jan Björklund held a news conference yesterday  and insisted that university foundations should not be able to make any major rule differently from how it is today.

"The idea is that, students' rights will be the same as for the state universities today as could be seen with schools such as Chalmers and Jönköping University," he said.

But Britta Lejon, president of the union ST sees several problems with the proposal. She questions the issue of the students legal rights, as well as warns that it risks becoming less transparent in what universities do, and that the potential for independent research will decrease.

"An idea of this proposal is that private universities will receive donations and other forms of funding from the companies. Doing it while maintaining the same transparency and independence of research shall remain questionable," she said.

Examples are seen in the UK where the credibility of the London Business School was dented when it was revealed that donations from dictators such as the late Libyan president, Muammar Gaddafi was received. This also raised the question of the PhD degree awarded his son who studied there.

In addition, many such derivations of research and influences could be seen in various privately owned American universities where bias researches, such as those related to racial profiling, immigration and women's rights have been carried out to favour a radical right wing view.

In most cases, the forces behind these researches are powerful financial organisations or individuals who want to use academics to cement their radical thoughts.

By Team

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