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System of financing higher education and research in Sweden and

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					    System of financing higher
    education and research in Sweden
    and process of auditing its
    efficiency, effectiveness and equity
    Financing Education – towards more efficient, effective and
    equal system of education, Palić, Srbija
    Nina Gustafsson Åberg – The Swedish National Audit
    Office
    November 27,
1
    2010
The Swedish National Audit
Office(SNAO)
 Part of Parliamentary control.
 SNAO has a mandate, through independent audits, to
  contribute to transparency and accountability.
 To promote cost-effective use of resources
  as well as efficient and effective public administration.
 Activities regulated by part of the Swedish Constitution and a
  number of Acts on Audit of Public Operations.
 Financial audits.
 Performance audits.




       November 27,
  2
       2010
Reporting

                                      Swedish National Audit Office

                        Financial Audit             Performance Audit




                                                                Board



                    Government                                        Parliament   Committees

                    The Budget Bill

     November 27,
 3
     2010
Performance audit
 Evaluation with accountability.
 Promote development of state activities.
 Enable the State to obtain good value for money.
 Consider the general interest of society.




      November 27,
  4
      2010
Performance audit – which bodies can
be audited?
 The Government, the Government Offices, the courts of law
  and the public agencies reporting to the Government, the
  administration of the Swedish Parliament and the Public
  agencies reporting to the Swedish Parliament;
 The Royal Household and Establishment and the Royal
  Djurgården Park Administration;
 Foundations and state-owned enterprises;
 Entities using public grants and benefits, if the operations
  concerned are governed by law or the State has a controlling
  influence over them;
 Unemployment benefit funds, as regards the management of
  unemployment benefits.

      November 27,
  5
      2010
Financing higher education in Sweden
 No tuitions for EU/EEA nationals.
 Central government funds higher education.
 Maximum amount of grant per HEI decided by the parliament.
 Funding per student registered and per yearly student
  performance (based on ECTS credits).
 The amount of money per student and yearly student
  performance depends on subject area.
 Parliament and government does not decide the number of
  students per subject area.
 HEI are allowed to save 10 percent of their grant per year.


      November 27,
  6
      2010
Financing research in Sweden
 Direct appropriations – 46 percent of funds 2009
  –   Decided by parliament.
  –   Directly to HEI.
  –   HEI decides on how to allocate and use the appropriation…
  –   …but it should be used for research and third-cycle education
      (doctoral education).
 Grants – 54 percent of funds 2009
  –   Allocated by public and private organisations – application, peer-
      review.
  –   Public organisations - governmental authorities, science councils,
      public foundations, EU.
  –   Private organisations - foundations, companies.

        November 27,
  7
        2010
Auditing higher education and research
 Important part of the public sector.
 Costs were 2 billion EUR 2009 for higher education and 2,5
  billion EUR for research.
 Performance audits on:
  –   Resource control in first-cycle higher education;
  –   Classification of courses at universities;
  –   High quality in higher education?;
  –   Employability of university students – efforts made by the Government and
      individual universities;
  –   Lecturer´s hours of work at university and colleges – planning and monitoring;
  –   Recruiting international students to Swedish HEIs;
  –   International students in higher education;
  –   Unused research grants at higher education institutions (not published).


         November 27,
  8
         2010
Resource control in first-cycle higher
education
 Not enough resources to secure the quality of the education?
 Indications of underdeveloped resource-control mechanisms in
  higher education institutions.
 Audit question: Have the universities audited taken action to
  promote the efficient use of resources in first-cycle education?
 Examined how resources allocated translate into resources
  devoted to students.




      November 27,
  9
      2010
Resource control in first-cycle higher
education
 Assessment criteria.
  –   Law on higher education.
  –   Law on state budget.
 Three universities audited.
  –   Examined processes of resource allocation within the HEI.
  –   Examined documents and performed interviews.
 Flexible use of resources.
 Operational costs need to be made more visible.
 Need for better knowledge about actual costs for courses and
  programmes.
 Improved follow-up of resource allocation at the department
  level.
        November 27,
 10
        2010
Recommendations from the audit
 The SNAO recommends that the three universities should
  strengthen their resource control of undergraduate education,
  thus creating the requisite conditions for more efficient use of
  resources, by:
  –   accounting for costs at a level showing how resources are used
      and what courses/programmes cost;
  –   developing their internal follow-up of resource use, not only to
      meet the need for a basis for decisions that is common to the
      entire university but also to make it possible to provide the
      Government with better information about undergraduate
      education.




        November 27,
 11
        2010
Unused external research grants
 Increase of unused research grants 5,5 billion SEK 1997
  to 12,8 billion SEK 2009.
 Big and fast increase in unused research grants.
 Audit questions:
 –    Have HEIs made sure they can receive the grants and make use
      of them in an efficient manner?
 –    Has the government made sure that grants allocated are made
      use of in an efficient manner?




        November 27,
 12
        2010
Unused external research grants
 Method:
 –    Analysed national data and statistics.
 –    Three case studies.
 –    Interviews with concerned actors (HEI, government, science
      council).
 Assessment criteria:
 –    Law on higher education
 –    Budget law
 –    Contract between HEI/researcher and financier




        November 27,
 13
        2010
Unused external research grants
 Takes longer time today than 2004 to turn funds into research.
 Increased research grants does not explain this pattern.
 Incentive for researchers and HEI to save funds:
  –   Insecure employment.
  –   Difficulties planning availability of future funds and number
      students.
 Administrative problems.
 Concentration of funds to few centres of excellence and
  researchers.
 Insufficient follow-up on research grants.


        November 27,
 14
        2010

				
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