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Reform of upper secondary education in Sweden: dual qualifications and work assignments
SE-01-C7
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Issue In the view of the sponsoring minister as expressed in the Government Bill (1990/91) ‘Growing with Knowledge’, the educational system must be organised to a greater extent in such a way that it can meet both the individual's and society's demand for lifelong learning. In this context the upper secondary school takes on a strategic role. It must be a school where every individual can obtain education based on varying preconditions and needs.
    In determining the goals for upper secondary schools, all young people must be provided with relevant education. Working life requires to a greater extent than in earlier times good basic knowledge both in general and in vocational subjects. Upper secondary training has to provide everyone with the opportunity of making a contribution to working life and of developing in their work. The branch structure as it has existed hitherto must be replaced by a more flexible system. In addition to the guidelines for the national branches that are drawn up centrally and made available to the municipalities, scope must also be created for branches to be drawn up at the local level.
    According to interviews with politicians and experts involved in the planning of the Swedish upper secondary reform the main drive for change comes from an emphasis upon the development of working life and better opportunities for individuals to enter higher education. However, the interviews also show that the former opinion is more fully articulated, that is, the idea of the reform is based on the policy of manpower planning rather than on the policy of stimulating individual demand for progression.  (S.M. ed. 14/09/99 - based on Arman et al. 1998)
Elinikäisen oppimisen tavoitteet sekä yksilön että yhteiskunnan näkökulmasta ovat ohjanneet Ruotsin peruskoulun jälkeisen koulutuksen uudistusta. Kunnianhimoinen tavoite on ollut luoda koulu, jossa jokainen yksilö saa omiin valmiuksiinsa ja tarpeisiinsa perustuvaa koulutusta. Tavoitteena on, että jokaisella on relevantti sekä ammatillinen että yleissivistävä peruskoulutus. Uudistuksen lähtökohdat ja tavoitteet ovat erittäin ajankohtaisia ja tärkeitä. (A.M. 08/05/01)
Measure In the upper secondary school there are 16 nationally determined three-year programmes, comprising 2 programmes preparatory for further studies, in natural sciences and in social sciences, together with 14 vocationally orientated programmes. The programmes are further subdivided into branches. All vocational programmes are designed to give the basic qualification for eligibility for entry to higher education in order to create equal opportunities for students on different programmes.
    All programmes contain a core of subjects and activities: Swedish, English, civics, religion, mathematics, science, sports and health, arts, individual options and special projects as well as local additions to subjects and/or subject-related practice. It is explicitly stated in the curricula that conditions should be created for integration between core and vocational subjects. Accordingly, both teachers in the vocational subjects and teachers in the core subjects have to develop flexible systems with scope for collaboration. Every effort must be made to increase the co-operation between different educational organisers, types of education and between different municipalities and county councils, so as to improve the accessibility of education and to improve its quality. The co-ordination of available resources can occur, for example, through the creation of local knowledge centres.
    At least 15 % of the total study time in the vocational national programmes is to be allocated to the place of work. The starting point for this part of education is that it should be planned and implemented on the basis of the educational and teaching goals that have been determined. The local organiser is responsible both for obtaining the necessary educational places and for the supervision of students in the practical component of their education. During this part of their education the students have a purely student status. The upper secondary school connections and contacts with employers are included in the municipal school plan.(S.M. ed. 14/09/99 - based on Arman et al. 1998)
Peruskoulun jälkeinen koulutus on organisoitu hallinnollisesti yhtenäiskouluksi, jossa on kuitenkin selvästi erilliset 3-vuotiset linjat korkeakouluopintoihin valmistavaan koulutukseen (2) ja ammatilliseen koulutukseen. Kaikilta linjoilta on mahdollista jatkaa  korkeakouluopintoihin. Opetussuunnitelmallisin keinoin ja opettajien yhteistyötä lisäämällä on parannettu koulutuksen saavutettavuutta ja laatua. Vähintään 15% ammatillisten ohjelmien opetuksesta  tapahtuu tavoitteiden mukaisesti ja ohjatusti työpaikoilla. Kynnyskysymys järjestelmän toimimisen kannalta muodostuu näiden eri linjojen yhteistyöstä ja opiskelijoiden laaja-alaisten opiskelumahdollisuuksien varmistamisesta. (A.M. 08/05/01)
 
 
Impact The number of students at upper secondary school has increased. The primary reasons are that all upper secondary school education and training was extended to three years, and that young people have had difficulty in finding work. There has been an increase in the number of available places in both upper secondary schools and municipal adult education schools in an attempt to combat unemployment. Almost 98% of all students graduating from compulsory schools in the spring of 1997 went on to attend upper secondary schools. Approximately 80% of the applicants were accepted for studies in the programme of their first choice and 90% of those beginning their studies at the upper secondary schools will complete their education within four years. The drop-out rate for students between their first and second year in 1997 was about 4% on average for the national programmes, slightly higher for some of the vocational programmes. In the individual programme the drop-out rate reached 35%.
    In the academic year 1997/98 the intake was about 42% to the two programmes preparatory to subsequent studies, and approximately 43% to the vocationally orientated programmes. Almost 4% attended specially designed programmes and 11% participated in the individual programmes. One third of the students graduating from upper secondary schools are expected to attend a university within three years after graduating.
    Of the students finishing their studies in spring 1997 with a school-leaving certificate the cohort was equally divided between students who had chosen the academic route and those who had followed the route of dual orientation. In the group of students following the academic route about 90% had achieved the basic qualification for higher education compared with approximate 75% of the students following the route of vocational orientation. It must, however, be stressed that there is a wide spread in progression figures between programmes, particularly between the programmes within the vocational route. (S.M. ed. 14/09/99 - based on Arman et al. 1998)
Opiskelijamäärät peruskoulun jälkeisessä koulutuksessa ovat lisääntyneet osittain koulutusaikojen pidentymisen kautta, osittain aikuiskoulutuksen lisääntymisen kautta. Koulutuksen kytkeminen osaksi työllisyyspolitiikkaa kuten aikuiskoulutuksessa raportoitiin tapahtuneen on jo vanha keino, johon on uudet tuulet ovat tervetulleita. Opiskeluun kiinnittyminen näytti vuoden 1997 tietojen perusteella olevan melko hyvä ja keskeyttämisprosentti kokonaisuutena pieni joitakin ammatillisia linjoja lukuun ottamatta. Tätä taustaa vasten  yksilöllisissä ohjelmissa keskeyttäneiden määrä (35%) tuntuu kohtuuttoman suurelta. Onko järjestelmä sittenkin vielä niin linjajakoinen, ettei yksilöllisiin ohjelmiin saada vetovoimaa tai eivätkö opiskelijat luota omiin kykyihinsä valintojen tekijöinä  vai ohjaavatko koulunjärjestelmät mm. opettajat heitä pois yksilöllisistä ohjelmista? Yksilöllisten ohjelmien valinnat olivat vielä harvinaisia (11%), samoin erityisohjelmat (4%). Enemmistö nuorista valitsi joko seuraaviin opintoihin valmistavan koulutuksen (42%) tai ammatillisen koulutuksen (43%). Kuitenkin vain kolmannes koulunsa päättävistä aikoi pyrkiä yliopistoon. 
   Ammatillisen ja yleissivistävyyden suhdetta ei ole ilmeisesti nostettu riittävästi edes keskusteluun. Kaikille välttämättömien yhteisten ammatillisten ja yhteiskunnallisten tietojen ja taitojen sisältö tai laajuus eri linjoilla ei selviä artikkelista. Perusvalmiudet saavutti 90% valmistavien linjojen opiskelijoista ja vain 75% ammatillisten linjojen opiskelijoista. Vaikka hajonta viime mainittujen tuloksissa oli suuri ei perustietojen ja –taitojen määrittelykään liene aivan selvä. Työssä tapahtuvan oppimisen osuus on esimerkiksi Suomen vastaavaan järjestelmään verrattuna pieni, mutta sen organisointitapa vaikuttaa mielenkiintoiselta. (A.M. 08/05/01)
Reference The national case study on the Swedish reform of upper secondary education, prepared for DUOQUAL by Arman, Höghielm & Liljefelt, was summarised in Brown & Manning 1998a (pp 18-20). A further analysis of the learning process in the vocational programmes is contained in the topic study on "integrated learning processes" prepared by Frøyland et al. published by Brown & Manning 1998a (pp 45-64). (S.M. 14/09/99)  
Author Göran Arman/ Sabine Manning (ed) Annikki Mikkonen

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