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EDUCATION

Top marks for Stockholm School of Economics

Stockholm School of Economics has overtaken Karolinska Institutet in an annual ranking of Sweden's top 30 universities and colleges.

Top marks for Stockholm School of Economics

Gotland University languished at the bottom of the list for the fifth consecutive year in the list compiled by independent academic group Urank.

Lund University raced to the top of both the Healthcare & Medicine and Science & Technology subcategories, while the Stockholm School of Economics headed the field in Humanities & Social Sciences.

Statistician Stig Forneng of Urank said it was unsurprising that several of Sweden’s grand old seats of learning ranked higher than many of the smaller colleges. The traditional universities benefited from their greater resources and more attractive courses for high status professions such as medicine, engineering and veterinary, he said.

Gotland University’s surfeit of distance courses contributed to it remaining rooted at the bottom of the list. This also explains the unexpected appearance of Mid Sweden University just four places from the bottom.

“We attach value to the attainment of degrees by a large number of students. With distance learning, you maybe just take the occasional module, and that leads to a worse outcome,” said Forneng.

“Offering individual modules is one of the tasks of a seat of learning, but if you look at the overall quality there’s also particular value in offering advanced level courses.”

Urank uses a large number of statistical variables when putting together its list. For example, it examines the academic quality of students accepted to courses, the weight attached to research, and the proportion of research students with an international background.

However, the ranking does not measure the quality of individual courses. It also disregards the quality of student life and the availability of accommodation, one of the most important issues affecting students’ choice of college or university.

Karolinska was the top ranking Swedish university earlier this month in the Times Higher Education supplement rankings for 2010-2011, coming in at 43 on the world list and 9 on the European list.

Urank’s list of Sweden’s top 30 colleges and universities (last year’s ranking in parentheses):

1 (2) Stockholm School of Economics

2 (1) Karolinska Institutet

3 (3) Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

4 (9) Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

5 (4) Uppsala University

6 (6) Chalmers University of Technology

7 (5) Lund University

8 (7) Gothenburg University

9 (10) Stockholm University

10 (8) Linköping University

11 (11) Umeå University

12 (15) Örebro University

13 (14) Södertörn University

14 (12) Luleå Universtiy of Technology

15 (21) Jönköping University

16 (17) Växjö University

17 (18) Malmö University

18 (25) University of Kalmar

19 (27) Blekinge Institute of Technology

20 (13) Universtiy of Borås

21 (20) Mälardalen University

22 (26) Halmstad University

23 (19) Karlstad University

24 (29) University of Skövde

25 (28) University of Gävle

26 (24) Dalarna University

27 (16) Mid Sweden University

28 (22) Kristianstad University

29 (23) University West

30 (30) Gotland University

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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