It is difficult to train more biomedical analysts even though more people want to study
In Wednesday's broadcast of Morning studio SVT reported that there is a large shortage of lab staff during the corona pandemic. More people now want to train as biomedical analysts, who are the ones who analyze covid samples. Despite an increased demand for studying, there are problems associated with increasing the number of study places.
"It's an episode 22," Dick Wågsäter, program coordinator at Uppsala University, tells SVT. The large shortage of staff in the country means that the workplaces can not accept more students from the biomedical analyst programs to internships and work-based education, VFU.
Students need to complete an internship and VFU to be able to complete their education. This lack of space therefore means that the educations cannot accommodate more students despite the fact that there is an increased demand.
VFU means that part of the education is located in a workplace, where the student can learn the practical knowledge needed to practice the profession. It is a compulsory part of, for example, teacher education and health and medical education. If there are not enough VFU sites, bottlenecks can occur, as has been the case for biomedical analyst programs.
There is a risk that the corona pandemic will make it more difficult for students to get a VFU place or that infection will prevent students from completing VFU. At the same time, for example, a survey of The University Chancellor's Office, UKÄ, that most of the VFU in healthcare has been implemented despite the corona pandemic.
Dimensioning of higher education
The number of places per education, also called dimensioning, is a central and current issue in higher education. For SFS, it is the students' demand and conditions for high quality in the education that will guide the issue of dimensioning the education.
A counter-argument that is sometimes used against letting students' demand control is that students do not consider the needs of the labor market when choosing education. Something that contradicts this statement is that there is a general balance between the number of students who study in different areas and the future needs of the labor market, according to information from OKAY.
The government has previously increased the number of training places in the shortage, for example the teacher program. However, an increase in the number of places does not automatically mean that more people graduate. It may be that more students do not apply even though there are more places, or because students for various reasons choose not to complete the education. In the case of the biomedical analyst programs, the situation would not be solved through more training places as there is a lack of capacity for the activities to receive more students for internships and VFU. It is therefore important not to try to solve the shortage of trained staff in various professions through detailed management.