New higher education ordinance - limitations in doctoral scholarships

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On 26 October 2017 the government took a decision on several amendments to the Higher Education Ordinance that concern scholarship-financed doctoral students. The changes are due to take effect at different time points.

The amendments to the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100) derive from the proposals put forward in a report entitled “Trygghet och attraktivitet – en forskarkarriär för framtiden” (SOU 2016:29) and the government’s statement in the bill “Kunskap i samverkan – för samhällets utmaningar och stärkt konkurrenskraft” (2016/17:50) that action needs to be taken to improve conditions for doctoral scholarship-holders.

Three areas are affected:

1. Insurance for doctoral scholarship-holders (chap. 1, section 11 c)

As of 1 January 2018, the insurance that the university takes out through its agreement with the Legal, Financial & Administrative Services Agency will also be extended to cover the eventuality that a doctoral scholarship has to be prolonged in the event of sickness or parental leave.

This is already praxis accoring to Kammarkollegiets' routines, but is as of 1 January 2018 also regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance.

2. Restrictions on the possibility to support doctoral studies via scholarships (chap. 5, section 4 a (new))

The university will be required to employ doctoral scholarship-holders admitted after 1 July 2018 by no later than when they have the equivalent of three years’ full time education remaining before graduation. Exemptions to this are granted if the scholarship is paid under an assistance and capacity building programme, an EU-financed programme or the equivalent.

Which exemptions that may be granted to KI have yet to be looked into, and it will then probably apply to established collaborations on a university level. Further information about this will be given as soon as the matter has been analysed.

3. Regulation of income levels for doctoral scholarship-holders (chap. 7, section 36)

For applicants whose studies are to be financed by scholarships, the level of the scholarship shall be equivalent to the salary paid to employed doctoral students.

It is already praxis at KI for scholarship-financed doctoral students to have at least the same level of income as their employed peers. External scholarships that do not amount to the minimum income level as decided by the vice-chancellor must be supplemented by a KI-financed complementary scholarship or employment.

More information about minimum income levels

About the Higher Education Ordinance

The Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100) can most easily be described as a complement to the Higher Education Act. The Ordinance is decided by the government and is thus subordinate to the Act, which is passed by parliament. Both the Ordinance and the Act apply only to higher education institutions that fall under the control of national or local government.

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Doctoral education