Department of Education wants to introduce LTU-practice

When you are adopted as a PhD student at Luleå University of Technology you are also immediately imployed as a PhD student. It is a practice that has been applied the last twenty years in both technical and philosophical faculty the Luleå University of Technology. This early recruitment of graduate students is a practice that the Department of Education now wants to introduce to PhD students at more universities in Sweden.

Department of Education wants to improve safety for students at Swedish universities. One of the measures that the Ministry of Education put forward in a consultation on doctoral conditions, is that all students will be employed at the latest in the remaining three years of postgraduate training that generally is in four years.

- Should Sweden be a leading research nation in the next generation, we must recruit our knowledge minds into research. Should we succeed, we must offer students good conditions, says Jan Björklund, Ministry of Education and Research in Sweden.

At Luleå University of Technology recruited students are employed earlier than that. The same day that the student is admitted to doctoral studies at LTU, he or she is employed as a PhD student at Luleå University of Technology.

- We want our PhD students to have good terms of employment and this is clearly a competitive advantage in connecting talented students to the university, says President John Sterte.

- It is very important to be employed as a graduate student, because then you are covered by the social security net if you get parental or sickness, says Rickard Jolsterå, Chairman of Graduate Students' Association at Luleå University of Technology.

Minimum starting salary for graduate students at Luleå University of Technology is the same for technical and philosophical faculty. It is located at 25 500 swedish crones and is then raised in a three step ladder during training.

After 1.5 years of postgraduate education is the lowest wage of 26 500 and, once completed doctoral studies at lic.examen is completed, the minimum salary is 29 800. However, there are individual salaries. The levels indicated are minimum guaranteed wage. For parental leave or sick leave postgraduate training is extended with the corresponding time.