Clas Hättestrand porträttbild.
Clas Hättestrand. Photo: Niklas Björling.


But even if legal stipulations are important, it is even more important how the defence of academic freedom is practiced. And here, during the spring, we have seen eveidence that words do not always transmit into actions.

In the government memorandum “Ökad kvalitet i lärarutbildningen och fler lärare i skola” (Increased quality of teacher education and more teachers in school), which was presented at the beginning of the year, there are a number of proposals for the reform of teacher education. This, however, is proof of anything but trust in the ability of higher education institutions to design and implement their education programmes themselves. Proposals in the memorandum include that the qualitative targets should be raised and the contents made more precise, that it should be made possible for teacher education to be controlled more rigorously, through having its own regulation act, and that teacher-led instruction time should be objective-oriented and monitored and that stronger requirements should be placed on collaboration with schools. This is hardly an example of how it is possible to put the Bill on academic freedom into practice. In the formal comments from our university, we were strongly critical of the proposals in the memorandum, from the two perspectives of teacher education and university autonomy. Words and laws are good, but let us hope that in the future we will have more concrete proof of the trust and academic freedom which everyone claims to want to defend and promote.

This article was written by Clas Hättestrand, Vice President. It appears in the section ”Words from the University’s senior management team”, where different members of the management team take turns to write about topical issues. Words from the University’s senior management team appears in every edition of News for staff which is distributed to the entirety of the University staff.