5 calls for a new Minister of Education!

Two weeks have passed since the election and there is strong speculation about what Sweden's new ministers will be called and which parties they will represent. No later than 12 noon today, Stefan Löfven will meet the President to tell him what his government will look like. At SFS, we closely monitor which politicians will be given the national responsibility for education.

Ideally, we want there to be a special minister with responsibility for higher education, which was the case until 2010 when the title of Minister for Higher Education and Research was removed. We believe that higher education is such an important issue that it requires its own leadership. The higher education sector comprises more than SEK 50 billion in the government budget and employs a third of all government employees, which is more than enough for its own minister. If the university and compulsory school end up in the same portfolio, there is also a risk that the university will end up in the shadows. But regardless of what title our new minister will have and who he will be, we at SFS want to come up with some good advice.

1. Stand up for all students' right to health insurance! It is time for a new health insurance that covers all students and that gives students the right to part-time sick leave and good rehabilitation. In addition, the number of qualifying days for students must be reduced. The health insurance is currently being investigated by the parliamentary social insurance inquiry. As Minister of Education, you should follow the investigation closely and be prepared to defend students' right to security.

2. Invite to broad agreements! It is time for the political parties and the higher education sector to sit down at the same table to talk about the role that higher education should play, how education should be conducted and how we view the student. Given the uncertain parliamentary situation, it will be even more important for you to find long-term solutions that span the bloc's borders.

Dare to invest in teaching! Today's system for allocating resources means that our colleges and universities are on their knees. We encourage you to invest in new funds and ensure that a large part of the resources go to teaching. By developing pedagogy and coordinating efforts nationally, the quality of higher education can be raised.

4. Ensure that all doctoral students receive safe conditions! Getting a job at a college or university provides a basic security for doctoral students. But for the doctoral students who live on scholarships, the reality is different. Today, many doctoral students find it difficult to manage financially and receive no help from their universities. Therefore, we hope that you will put the safety of all doctoral students high on your agenda this fall!

5. Ensure the independence of the student unions! Since the compulsory compulsory school was removed four years ago, the students' influence has lacked sufficient funding. Among other things, this has made many student unions more dependent on their universities, which in turn has damaged democracy. As the new Minister of Education, you should appoint an inquiry that looks at how the student unions' independence can be secured in the future.