In order not to lose the quality of education and in the end not to lose students or risk eroding confidence in Swedish education, the education needs to maintain at least as good quality as before the pandemic.
Good pedagogy in higher education is absolutely crucial for high quality education and one of the most important quality factors in higher education. The students think so and the research shows that. Higher education must convey critical thinking, independent reflection and a nuanced analytical ability to the student. The fact that teachers apply a pedagogy intended for the university's requirements is a prerequisite for good teaching. Students need to meet teachers who are both scientifically and pedagogically competent, but today it is unfortunately too rare for a teacher to invest in developing their teaching.
We students insist that this is the core, regardless of whether the teaching is online or physical. And I mean, this is also what we see in the future: teachers who are rooted in research and who have pedagogical education. In order to be skilled in both research and higher education pedagogy, the teaching staff needs to be given good conditions for it. It requires both conscious political control, but also active work from the universities' management. It includes a well-functioning resource allocation system for education and research from the state and within the higher education institution to create incentives for teachers to engage in both education and research. In addition, there is a need for access to competence development for teachers, clear career paths and functional security for the university's staff.
A merit system that rewards pedagogically skilled teachers to ensure competence and commitment could also provide incentives to work for higher quality in teaching, both now and after the pandemic. The research supports student-active learning, which means that the student constructs science through active reflection. This leads to a deeper understanding, better anchoring of knowledge and that the student exercises his ability to think critically and independently. If examinations are only designed in a way that rewards memorization, students usually choose superficial learning. The Bologna process includes promoting student-centered learning, which in the long run entails student-active teaching.
Just as politicians worked to increase the number of qualified teachers in primary and secondary schools, so teaching staff in higher education should also be qualified. With the autonomy reform, the Higher Education Ordinance no longer requires teachers to undergo higher education pedagogical training. The requirement for higher education pedagogical education should thus be reintroduced in the Higher Education Ordinance and updated to a requirement of ten weeks. I am well aware that time is not everything, the important thing is the quality of it and then the conditions also need to be improved.
It is well known that pedagogical merit is important for pedagogical development to take place. Habitual patterns in higher education are difficult to change and to succeed, systematic work is required. In order for all students, regardless of university, to be able to receive better teaching and education, it is necessary for the national level to encourage the introduction of a pedagogical merit system at all universities. SFS therefore wants to see the government give a national authority funds to support higher education institutions by developing pedagogical reward systems.
As a consequence of the corona pandemic, it is seen that resources and prerequisites for higher education institutions to work with knowledge transfer are needed within and between higher education institutions, in order to spread the best ways of working with high quality teaching after the digital transition.
Recently, we have also seen more universities and I ask myself the question how does it affect research, the number of doctoral students and with that number of doctoral students? Because this also affects the education of the future. The contact to the research, to having scientifically based teaching staff is important for us students and I also believe that this is something that the higher education institutions need to work with. Unfortunately, we see that in several subjects we have a reduced number of teacher-led hours and I think this will have a negative impact on education. Of course, the quality of education is the most important thing and not the number of hours we meet our teachers, but it is still important that we have a closeness to those who teach - whether it is online or physically.