Jönköping University in Almedalen
Development, attractiveness, excellence, and dynamism - that was the theme for Jönköping County at the Almedalen Week this year. Jönköping University participated with three seminars on current themes such as oral health, decentralized education, and subject teacher training.
Also this year, Jönköping University, Region Jönköping County and Jönköping Municipality chose to join forces during the Almedalen Week in Visby. This year, the County Administrative Board also participated in the county-wide arena Mötesplats Jönköpings län. The overall aim was to raise the profile of the county and create an attractive meeting place for knowledge exchange, opinion forming and strengthening relationships.
“It’s been intense and rewarding days here in Almedalen. Cooperation with Region Jönköping County, the County Administrative Board and Jönköping Municipality is deepened during a week like this when we can meet on various issues. We have also had the opportunity to discuss important topics such as oral health, decentralized education, and subject teacher training. Almedalen is a gathering place for the academic sector. This year, the education grant, autonomy, and security issues have been in focus,” says Agneta Marell, President Jönköping University.
Focus on the future
The seminar programme at Mötesplats Jönköping had a broad scope and a clear focus on the future. In the first seminar organized by JU, Professor Anders Gustafsson from Karolinska Institutet moderated a discussion on oral health and future competence and research needs in dentistry. Invited politicians and officials discussed how future challenges can be solved.
“It may not be that there is a major shortage of dentists in Sweden as a whole, but it is unevenly distributed regionally. We need more cooperation and to use digitalization and work placements to get a better spread of competence across the country," says Ola Norderyd, professor at the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University.
JU’s second seminar dealt with equal access to subject teacher training and the government’s proposal to concentrate these programmes to “highly ranked in the field.” This ambition would mean a change of course from previous positions on access to education throughout the country.
“We see a danger in concentrating subject teacher training programmes in certain higher education institutions. On the one hand, they contribute to the regional need for teacher competence and skills development, and on the other hand, they contribute to the quality of HLK's other teacher training programmes,” says Ulli Samuelsson, Associate Dean of Education at the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University.
The third seminar from JU in Almedalen concerned decentralized education in the healthcare sector. With a major shortage of skills in several health and social care professions, there is a need to review working methods in higher education in these sectors. There is great interest in the healthcare sector in increasing the number of decentralized courses.
“It was a rewarding discussion with representatives from politics, the health, dental and care sector, and higher education institutions on how we can best use our resources to reach out with education programmes and thereby promote the supply of skills throughout Sweden. This year, JU sees very positive results in the application figures for some programmes that previously had a low number of applicants. With decentralized programmes, we see up to triple the number of applicants,” says Marie Ernsth Bravell, Dean and Managing Director of the School of Health and Welfare, Jönköping University.
Almedalen is a national arena that brings together the national, regional, and municipal perspectives on the future, sustainable development, research, innovation, and growth. The arena provides access to opinion leaders and decision makers in a more relaxed way and has existed since Swedish politician Olof Palme started giving summer speeches on a car trailer in the late 1960s.