Report 2009: 3 R

The funding of higher education institutions 1997-2007

Since 1997, the total funding to higher education institutions has increased by 18 per cent in real terms and was SEK 47.4 billion in 2007. Funding increased steadily up to 2003, and thereafter stagnated and has even decreased during recent years. Since 2004, both direct-government funding and external funding to HEIs has fallen by SEK 900 million. Funding for first-cycle (undergraduate) courses and programmes fell in 2007 because of reduced student numbers but direct-government funding for research remained at the same level as in 2004. The fall in external funding since 2004 refers mainly to research and third-cycle (doctoral) programmes but also to the reduction in income from contract education in recent years.

Fall in external funding for research since 2004 despite increased funds from funding bodies

Funding for research and third-cycle (doctoral) programmes increased during the period and reached SEK 25.4 billion in 2007. The increase took place between 1997 and 2004. According to the balance sheets of HEIs, funding from external funding bodies decreased after 2004. However, only used funds are recorded in the balance sheets. In real it y funds from external funding bodies increased between 2006 and 2007 rather than decreased. The recorded reduction in external funding is due to a reduction in the use of external funding for research rather than a reduction in actual funding.
In reality, the financial situation was better in 2007 than previously for research and third-cycle programmes. HEIs had more funds for research than previously. However, the major it y of these funds are tied to specific projects.

Average funding per student is the same as in 1998

The situation is different for first-cycle (undergraduate) students. Funding has not increased significantly in relation to student numbers, despite financial incentives and the fact that fewer students are studying programmes with low funding levels. The financial incentives that have taken place have not led to real improvements at HEIs. They have resulted in the average funding remaining the same. The annual increases in direct-government funding for increased costs and salaries have not been sufficient and funding for a full-time equivalent student is the same as in 1998.
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