Mälardalen University is granted degree-awarding powers for research programmes in Health and Social

Jun 22, 2011 | Research/Cooperation

The National Agency for Higher Education (HSV) has decided to grant Mälardalen University permission to award Licentiate and Doctoral degrees along with Master’s degrees within the area of Health and Social Welfare. The announcement came on 22 June and this means that Mälardalen University will now have degree-awarding powers for research programmes within the area of Health and Welfare, which is an important milestone in the University’s development.

- The fact that we now have the right to conduct research programmes is of enormously great importance to our courses and study programmes in Health, Care and Social Welfare. It means that we can build up a strong research basis for the programmes and it will contribute towards assuring degree-awarding powers in the future. The students will be met with an educational environment that is more complete and more exciting, says Roland Svensson, Dean of the School of Health, Care and Social Welfare at Mälardalen University.

The three subjects most affected at the University are the Caring Sciences, Social Work and the Public Health Sciences. The Assessment group considers the area of Health and Social Welfare to be “pioneering, can fulfil an important function and has the potential to develop”. They also point out that the area is expected to contribute with important knowledge and can contribute towards the development of the University’s collaboration with the surrounding community and international cooperation partners.

- This is an important milestone in the University’s development. We have now two areas in which to conduct research education, namely Health and Social Welfare and since 2000, Technology. It feels really fantastic receiving this decision of such strategic importance to us a few days before Midsummer. This new area has strong support from the University Management, which we show by the strategic effort we have made both financially, organisationally and managerially. A significant effort has been made for building up competence in the Caring Sciences, the Public Health Sciences and Social Work, says Karin Röding, Vice-Chancellor of Mälardalen University.

The area of Health and Social Welfare has also strong support from the surrounding community. This is evident by the fact that collaboration partners in health and social care are prepared to enter into agreements about financing doctoral student appointments within the framework of concrete collaboration projects.

- A research programme of our own also means that we can deepen cooperation in the region, with the county councils, the municipalities and private health operators. It will be easier to recruit and keep professors and other scholarly competencies to the University, says Roland Svensson.

The National Agency for Higher Education also writes in its statement that by integrating health and social welfare, issues of interest to different professions in the Caring Sciences, the Public Health Sciences and Social Work can be highlighted. “This new area can contribute with important knowledge which can lead to increased understanding, coordination and cooperation between different professions within the area of health and social welfare, an area which from experience can pose a challenge from legislation, tradition and culture.” Mälardalen University plans to start the research programme in Health and Social Welfare during 2012.