“We are sharpening and strengthening the University and, as a result, we will be better equipped to meet the needs of the labour market as well as student demand,” says Ylva Fältholm, Vice-Chancellor at University of Gävle.
The project to renew the educational offering has been ongoing since March 2020. The aim has been to create greater societal benefit and to contribute to a knowledge boost in the region. In line with the University's education and research strategy, the quality of the study programmes will be improved through a clearer connection to the University’s research. Moreover, student demand for the study programmes will increase and the study programmes will meet the demands of the labour market more accurately. The renewal also involves an investment in lifelong learning, which includes a renewal of the range of freestanding courses.
“Our educational offering will now be more specialised, and this will make the University stronger. Society is constantly changing and evolving, and we need to adapt our university and our study programmes to these changes and to our financial circumstances,” Ylva Fältholm says.
Six study programmes revised or developed
The decision on a new educational offering was taken by the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Ylva Fältholm, on 14 June after negotiations and in agreement with the trade unions in accordance with the MBL. The Vice-Chancellor’s decision means that six study programmes will be revised or developed, and three study programmes will be discontinued (see lists below). In addition, all study programmes in engineering will be reviewed in a consolidation process, which means that they will be developed and integrated. The development component comprises just over eight per cent of the education budget, while the discontinuation represents about four per cent. The decision itself will have no impact on the educational budget or the total number of student places at the University. The study programmes that are to be developed will be renewed in various ways in the next few years.
“Regarding the study programmes in engineering, the faculty is exploring a solution with common courses in the first year and in which students choose their specialisation once the studies have begun. Study programmes in business administration will be strengthened with the help of a new master’s programme and third-cycle courses in business administration,” Ylva Fältholm says.
An integrated research and education environment means that the University offers education at all levels, including the third-cycle level, and there is also research related to the field. Such an environment generates good opportunities for a strong interaction between research and education, which in turn increases the transference of knowledge to society.
The study programme in human resources and labour relations is to be developed and connected to the integrated research and education environment Health-Promoting Work and the faculty is also to develop a master’s programme in psychology connected to the programme. The University also invests in applied criminology; here a master’s programme as well as third-cycles courses will be developed.
Three study programmes to be discontinued
Three study programmes will be discontinued: Media and communication with its two specializations, Health promotion through sustainable development, and the Legal science programme towards tax law and real estate law. Analyses have shown that these study programmes all have a weak link to The University’s integrated research and education environments, few applicants in comparison with similar programmes in Sweden, and a limited labour market demand.
“Building integrated research and education environments for all study programmes is unfortunately not possible because of our financial limitations. It is not an easy decision to discontinue study programmes, but, unfortunately, it is necessary to create room for renewal and development,” Ylva Fältholm says.
These three study programmes will be phased out in the coming years starting in 2023. As of 2023/2024, no new students will be admitted to the programmes. Students currently enrolled in these programmes will be able to complete their studies.
The decision concerns only the University’s study programmes and the development of freestanding courses within lifelong learning. It does not concern subjects at the University. The faculties will now plan and carry out the decision regarding developments and discontinuations. It is too early to say how the decision will impact the number of jobs.
“Now, we have reached a decision regarding our educational offering in the coming years after a long and thorough process. I understand that it has created anxiety and that it has been laborious work at times. Now, we continue to develop the University and we know where we are headed: a university that gives priority to quality in education and addresses societal challenges, locally as well as globally,” Ylva Fältholm says.
Three existing study programmes will be developed:
- Master’s programme in geomatics
- Study programme in decision, risk, and policy analysis (60 cr)
- Master’s programme in religious studies
Three new study programmes will be developed:
- Master’s programme in applied criminology (new)
- Master’s programme in business administration (new)
- Master’s programme in psychology (new)
- All nine study programmes in engineering and connected bachelor’s degree programmes are to be consolidated (developed and integrated).
Study programmes to be discontinued:
- Media and communication with its two specializations communicator and professional writing
- Health promotion through sustainable development
- Legal science programme towards tax law and real estate law
The renewal of the educational offerings also means that the University will put particular efforts into developing a range of courses that better meet the needs of lifelong learning.