This report presents the results of the evaluation of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in chemistry at higher education institutions in Sweden organised by the National Agency for Higher Education during 2002. This evaluation forms part of the audit of all major subjects in which general degrees are offered to be conducted by the National Agency at the behest of the government during the period 2001-2006.
The evaluation was carried out by the panel of subject experts and postgraduate and undergraduate students appointed by the National Agency. The group included subject experts from Denmark, Finland and from Norway, and consisted of even numbers of men and women whose subject expertise reflected the breadth of chemistry as a discipline.
The chemistry programmes evaluated were offered at the following institutions: Uppsala University, Lund University, Göteborg University, Stockholm University, Umeå University, Linköping University, Karlstad University, Växjö University, Örebro University, the University College of Kalmar, Mid-Sweden University College, Södertörn University College, the University College of Jönköping, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Royal Institute of Technology and Chalmers University of Technology.
The panel´s assessments were based on the institutions´ own self-evaluations and also the information and impressions gathered during its site visits. These took place between 22 May and 5 December 2002. During the visits, the panel interviewed departmental administrators, students, teachers, postgraduate students, those responsible for postgraduate programmes and faculty administrators.
On the basis of the panel´s report, the National Agency is able to determine that good standards of quality are maintained in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in chemistry at Uppsala University, Lund University, Göteborg University, Stockholm University, Umeå University, Linköping University, Karlstad University, Örebro University, the University College of Kalmar, Mid-Sweden University College, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and also in undergraduate programmes at Södertörn University College and postgraduate programmes at the Royal Institute of Technology and Chalmers University of Technology.
The National Agency intends, however, to review the right to award undergraduate degrees in chemistry at Växjö University and the University College of Jönköping.
In its deliberations and conclusions the National Agency has taken into account the strengths and problem areas identified by the panel of assessors in its report. On the whole undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are considered to maintain high quality with undergraduate students who are very satisfied and postgraduate students who are satisfied although sometimes subject to a great deal of pressure. The links between undergraduate programmes and research are sound. The teachers are academically well qualified and conscientious and committed to their tasks. The examination questions and term papers reviewed were considered to be of a good standard.
Postgraduate programmes are highly internationalised and provide excellent research milieux, are well regarded internationally and have good, well-trained supervisors.
The problem areas noted were recruitment to undergraduate and teacher-training programmes in chemistry and the work loads of the teaching staff. It was also considered that more needed to be done to improve student influence, equality of opportunity and internationalisation.