Lena Nyström
Lena Nyström Photo: Lars Andersson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

High demand for distance education

Published: 26 August 2016

The number of applicants to Luleå University of Technology’s two Master programmes in Primary Education given as distance education is high.
One of the programmes will be extended with 20 new places already this autumn.

A majority of the students registered to Luleå University of Technology’s two Master programmes in Primary Education, provided as distance education, are living in municipalities in Norrbotten and Västerbotten (see list below), where there’s a significant teacher shortage.

– Distance education makes it possible for the students to remain in their home communites and to do their training placement at schools there. The shortage of teachers is high all around Sweden but is particularly severe in rural areas, where the shortage of teachers in the worst case can mean closed schools. Schools and preschools are essential for young people who wants to remain in these areas. Municipalities in Norrbotten and Västerbotten will benefit from the fact that the Master programmes in Primary Education are given as distance education, says Lena Nystrom, a lecturer at Luleå University of Technology’s Department of Arts, Communication and Education.

The number of applicants to the Master programmes in Primary Education, provided as distance education, have been high for the autumn of 2016:

* The Master programme in Primary Education, teaching in grades 4-6 of the compulsory school, had 85 first- hand applicants for 30 places (compared to 72 first-hand applicants in the autumn of 2015). In the autumn of 2014, when the programme was not provided as distance education, the number of first-hand applicants was 29.

* The Master programme in Primary Education, teaching in early years classes and grades 1-3 of the compulsory school, had 134 first-hand applicants for the initial 40 seats (compared with 132 first-hand applicants in the autumn of 2015). In the autumn of 2014, when the programme was not provided as distance education, the number of first-hand applicants was 48.

– The latter programme will be extended with an additional 20 places, says Lena Nyström.

Why have you chosen a distance education?

Jessica Niemi-ltustudent

Jessica Niemi, 29, Haparanda, studies the Master programme in Primary Education, teaching in early years classes and grades 1-3 of the compulsory school:
– I've wanted to be a teacher since I was in middle school. Now, thanks to the distance education, I have the possibility. I have two small children and my husband have a permanent job in Haparanda – moving away is not an option for us. I hope to do my internship at a school in Haparanda and I see a good future in the teaching profession there.  

Amanda Ljung Nyberg student-ltu

Amanda Ljung Nyberg, 20, Bureå, studies the Master programme in Primary Education, teaching in early years classes and grades 1-3 of the compulsory school:
– I have just moved to Bureå and really enjoy living there. I have no desire to move elsewhere. During high school, I commuted between Lövånger and Umeå –ninety kilometers one way – and I do not want to continue commuting to study. That the programme is offered as a distance education was an important factor for me when I applied. In the future I see myself working in Skellefteå.

Photo: Katarina Karlsson

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