Laggard Swedish grads costly to economy: report

Swedish students who take their time to graduate from post-secondary study are extremely costly to the economy, a new government study has shown.

Laggard Swedish grads costly to economy: report

Lowering the average graduation age in Sweden could save students and society 250,000 kronor ($36,200) per student, newspaper Dagens Industri (DI) reported on Friday, citing a long-term government study.

“The high graduation age is a problem if it leads to decreased employment or to a reduction in productivity among the employed. The latter may be the case if students work before or during their studies, but are less productive than after completing their studies,” the report said.

Currently, the average Swede graduates from post-secondary education at 29, second only to Iceland among OECD countries, the report said.

In Germany and Norway, the average graduate completed his or her studies two years ahead of Swedes and in the Netherlands, about four years faster, according to a long-term government study.

The reason behind the relatively late Swedish graduation rate is not that Swedes take a long time to complete their studies, but because they start late, with the median age of enrollment at over 22, the report said.

Of the 250,000 kronor that could be saved by lowering the average graduation age by a year, 80,000 kronor would go back to the student and about 160,000 kronor to society at large.

“The reason for this is that those who graduate later on average receive more transfer payments and a progressive tax system means that part of the income gains from an early graduate goes to society in terms of tax revenue,” DI reported on Friday.

The government recommends intensified counseling in high school and extra points in the admission process for those who choose to quickly continue into higher education.

Another proposal suggests granting universities and colleges more funding for students who graduate on time, the report said.

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Police probe opened after poster campaign against ‘Islamophobic’ lecturers at French university

The French government condemned on Monday a student protest campaign targeting two university professors accused of Islamophobia, saying it could put the lecturers in danger.

Police probe opened after poster campaign against 'Islamophobic' lecturers at French university
Illustration photo: Justin Tallis/AFP

Student groups plastered posters last week on the walls of a leading political science faculty in Grenoble that likened the professors to “fascists” and named them both in a campaign backed by the UNEF student union.

Junior interior minister Marlene Schiappa said the posters and social media comments recalled the online harassment of French schoolteacher Samuel Paty last October, who was beheaded in public after being denounced online for offending Muslims.

“These are really odious acts after what happened with the decapitation of Samuel Paty who was smeared in the same way on social networks,” she said on the BFM news channel. “We can’t put up with this type of thing.”

“When something is viewed as racist or discriminatory, there’s a hierarchy where you can report these types of issues, which will speak to the professor and take action if anything is proven,” Schiappa said.

Sciences Po university, which runs the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) in Grenoble in eastern France, also condemned the campaign on Monday and has filed a criminal complaint.

An investigation has been opened into slander and property damage after the posters saying “Fascists in our lecture halls. Islamophobia kills” were found on the walls of the faculty.

One of the professors is in charge of a course called “Islam and Muslims in contemporary France” while the other is a lecturer in German who has taught at the faculty for 25 years.