2007:10 R

Evaluation of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Sport/Sport Science at Swedish universities and colleges

All six evaluated undergraduate programmes in Sport/Sport Science fulfil the quality requirements of this evaluation. The postgraduate programme at Örebro University, however, does not fulfil the requirements.

The degree subject Sport/Sport Science is a young one and was introduced at most of the institutions offering it around the change in millennium, as did the only Swedish postgraduate programme at Örebro University. These programmes are popular and draw large numbers of applicants at all universities. There is, however, no distinct labour market for those graduating. As only a couple of final years have so far emerged from these programmes, it is difficult to say how well sport scientists have succeeded in establishing themselves on the labour market. The universities, however, do describe their programmes as wide-ranging with a number of conceivable interested parties.

The programme which has been evaluated provides a broad spectrum of subjects with an emphasis on the social sciences, liberal arts or natural sciences. The programme has been started by a number of very committed entrepreneurs at the universities and is often run by teachers with a background in physical education. The academic environment is thus enriched by a large number of experienced, qualified teachers. A feature of this is the varied teaching and examination forms. The programme offered is usually well structured and ends with a degree project which is both well constructed carried out.

One clear observation made is that few teachers have any opportunities for research. Neither is there any strong research tradition among the teachers. Opportunities for research are often prevented by many of the teachers having junior lecturer status with a teaching load of 80 to 90 percent. The research which is carried out is not within Sport/Sport Science, as few teachers have their backgrounds in this subject, but in associated subjects such as pedagogics or physiology. Other observations are that study assignments in undergraduate programmes are overwhelmingly in Swedish with too little use made of international, scientifically based literature. In addition, there are few students who study at Master´s level.

In summary, the subject needs to acquire an independent academic position in order to be able to develop. The link to physical education teacher training seems to be too strong which will probably make this process more difficult. The universities must give their programmes adequate resources; otherwise it will be difficult to get the subject established. Research in Sport/Sport Science must also gain a stronger profile in the country. The best current research is carried out at GIH (The Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences) in Stockholm. GIH does not have the right to award postgraduate degrees and this is a disadvantage to the development of the subject in Sweden.

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