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Understanding Recent Changes in the Swedish Academic Profession
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies. (Forum för professionsforskning)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1927-1201
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies. (Forum för professionsforskning)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0404-8987
2018 (English)In: Nordic Fields of Higher Education in International Comparison, 2018Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A stratified profession in a differentiated institutional setting: Swedish university teachers from the 1990s onwards

The early 1990s were years of economic recession, accompanied by rising unemployment, the widespread ascendance of new forms and techniques of governance, and politically enforced restrictions on public spending.  At the same time the early 1990s made knowledge society a common trope, and the global university enrolment ratio rose steeply. The two changes are interlinked –expansion of higher education bolstered youth unemployment, a knowledge economy was held up as a model for western societies

This paper examines how the combination of recession and university expansion was accommodated in one specific setting. The Swedish university teachers were subjected to the same changes in the forms and techniques of governance as other Swedish professions. But the higher education sector was reformed during a period of a sector-specific abundance. Two resource-shocks hit the system. One derived from an increased flow of research funding, the other from the rapidly increasing number of students. We argue that this timing and modality in introducing new forms of governance in the Swedish universities (1) postponed the perception of adverse effects on the profession, (2) aligned with, accentuated and altered the structure of an internally differentiated but formally unified university system, (3) created specific groups of beneficiaries at different poles of the system – and that, thereby, (4) an incentive-based institutional framework was worked into the tissue of the professional body, meeting little resistance. This was accompanied and underlined by the shift in the composition of the administrative staff from support functions (secretaries etc.) to agents of control and governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
university, professors, lecturers, academic profession, higher education system, Sweden, 1980-2015
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Social Sciences, Sociology; Sociology, Sociology Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-73599OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-73599DiVA, id: diva2:1255754
Conference
Presented at Nordic Fields of Higher Education in International Comparison, Paris, April 12-13, 2018.
Projects
SHEFOE
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2016-04746
Note

Organisers: University of Bergen, Uppsala University, the Norwegian University Centre in Paris, and Sciences Po, Paris.

Part of the research project; Svensk högre utbildning: finansiering, organisering, rekrytering, utfall 1950-2020 (Vetenskapsrådet, projektnummer 2016-04746)., directed by Mikael Börjesson, Uppsala University

Available from: 2018-10-15 Created: 2018-10-15 Last updated: 2019-05-23Bibliographically approved

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Olofsson, GunnarAgevall, Ola

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
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