Funding of Higher Education

The higher education in Sweden is free of charge for Swedish citizens and persons with a permanent residence permit within Sweden and the rest of the EU, EEA or Switzerland. The education is financed through grants from the state.

The university is awarded grants in two different pots: one for research and one for education. The education grants are in turn based on two components: the number of registered full-time students (HST), and the number of students who complete their courses and take higher education credits. The exact remuneration for each student also varies between different subject areas.

SFS has long been critical of the fact that the higher education institutions are dependent on the students completing their courses and taking all their higher education credits in order for the higher education institutions to receive full compensation. This leads to educations that need to increase quality instead receiving less resources. In addition, it creates incentives to let more students through.

In 2016, SFS member corps decided that the organization's focus issue for the next three years would be the university's resource allocation system. The work began in the autumn of 2016 and ran until the spring of 2019. 

The Control and Resource Inquiry (Strut)

In 2017, an inquiry was appointed into the university's resource allocation and control system. The inquiry was named the Control and Resources Inquiry, abbreviated Strut. The commission's task was to investigate the system of financing and governance, but the directive did not allow the inquiry to submit proposals that would increase the total costs for the state. The inquiry submitted a final report in the spring of 2019. 

Strut proposed a new trust-based control system. The appropriations for education and research would also be merged into a single appropriation for both branches of activity. 

The education grants would not be directly linked to the number of students from year to year, but would be based on the activities over a multi-year period. In addition, the performance-based compensation amounts would be removed. The inquiry also proposed changes in the control system that are not directly linked to resources.

The current situation

The government has proceeded with parts of Strut's proposal. Among other things, the government has presented bills on academic freedom and lifelong learning. In the budget bill for 2021, 3 places were created for lifelong learning, where the performance-based part of the grants was replaced by a corresponding basic allowance instead.
At the end of 2020, the government will present the next research bill, outlining its plans for research policy over the next four years. It was in the previous research bill from 2016 that the government announced its plans to appoint the Board and the inquiry. The 2020 research bill will be a kind of conclusion about what from Strut actually became.