The Government has asked a number of universities to offer supplementary programmes for persons with degrees from non EU- and EES-countries.
Luleå University of Technology has gotten two of these programmes, for nurses and engineers.
– For people who come to Sweden with a foreign education, the opportunity to supplement it can be crucial for the establishment on the Swedish labor market, Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research, said when the Government presented the expansion of the supplementary education programmes in October last year.
Luleå University of Technology’s Lecturer Anja Söderberg and Senior Lecturer Eija Jumisko are involved in the planning of the supplementary programme for nurses, that will be given as a distance education and will start in January next year, with 20 seats.
Shortage of nurses
According to a recent report from Arbetsförmedlingen (Sweden's Public Employment Agency), there’s a big shortage of nurses in Sweden.
– There are people who have worked as nurses for years in their home countries and have huge experience and knowledge. It's a waste if we do not give them the opportunity to complete their education. Here, at Luleå University of Technology, we can offer them to do that, says Eija Jumisko.
The supplementary education programme for nurses is a year long (60 credits) and will give students the skills and abilities they require for certification as a nurse in Sweden. The programme includes both clinical placement training and theoretical studies in nursing and pharmacology and other subjects.
– The programme also addresses things as the nurse's role in Swedish health care, says Anja Söderberg.
The supplementary education for engineers is planned to start in the autumn of 2018, with an estimated 30 seats.
– We know there are people who are new in Sweden, who have completed engineering educations in their homelands. This education is a way to ease their way into the Swedish labor market, says Jonny Johansson, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering.
Individual and common courses
He is, together with Mats Näsström, Associate Professor at the Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, planning for the start of the supplementary education for engineers at Luleå University of Technology.
Jonny Johansson says the wide range of engineering programmes offered by Luleå University of Technology is of great benefit in this context.
– The students at the supplementary education programme will have a number of individual courses, which they can choose based on what they read earlier and based on their need to deepen existing knowledge. Other courses are common and will provide students with understanding and knowledge about the Swedish labor market and how it is to work as an engineer in Sweden.
Anja Söderberg and Eija Jumisko notes that it may be a challenge to reach out to those who are eligible to apply.
– Karolinska Institutet and the University of Göteborg have had supplementary programmes for nurses since 2009. More than 350 students have graduated from their programmes since then. We are working closely together to learn from other universities’ experiences, says Eija Jumisko.