Mälardalen University is granted new degree-awarding powers and offers two new programmes

Jun 28, 2011 | Student

On 28 June the National Agency for Higher Education (HSV) decided to grant degree-awarding powers to Mälardalen University, for both the Special Education programme and the Special Needs Education programme.
- The decision was very pleasing, though not unexpected, says Karin Röding, Vice-Chancellor of Mälardalen University. The University has both the experience and the prerequisites for these programmes and as soon as this autumn will be receiving the first 64 programme students.

Among the reasons given for the decision, HSV writes that “… for some years now the University has been concentrating on Special Education as a profile area and now has the prerequisites to offer the Special Education programme and the Special Needs Education programme respectively with acceptable quality.”

- This decision is the fruit of three year’s systematic work by the teachers’ group in the Special Education subject, of which the profession-oriented Master’s programme, which the University started in 2009, constitutes the linchpin. By means of this programme we have already tested two thirds of the courses which are included in the new programmes, says Anders Garpelin, who is the professor and subject representative of Special Education at Mälardalen University.

The Master’s programme in Special Education, which Mälardalen University has been running for two years, has been very much appreciated and in the spring the first students will take their degrees. The programme is mainly aimed at the same target group as the two new programmes and that too is at the second-cycle level.

- We have a large number of applicants to all our advanced programmes at second-cycle level. For the autumn’s courses we will be taking in 64 students and for the next academic year we are planning to increase the number of places by a further 32. The Special Needs Education programme will be given with three specialisations, Mathematics Development; Language, Writing and Reading Development, and Learning disabilities. Through our branch councils and other contacts with the region we know that there is a great demand for special education knowledge in the region’s schools and preschools. With the new demands for teaching qualifications the need of qualified special education teachers and special needs education teachers will doubtless be great, adds Anders Garpelin.

Competence in the subject of special education is particularly great at Mälardalen University. The teachers working with the courses and study programmes in special education at second-cycle level all have doctoral degrees or are doctoral students.

By means of the special education and special needs education courses and study programmes, Mälardalen University will strengthen its position in the teacher training area. The University recently gained the right to award the new preschool teacher’s degree and, earlier on, the subject teacher’s degree as well. The preschool teacher’s programme is starting in Eskilstuna and Västerås this autumn.

For the new subject teacher’s programme for years 7-9 and upper secondary school respectively, with combinations in Swedish, Swedish as a Second Language, Social Studies and English, which are also starting this autumn, there are still a limited number of places available to apply for.