Studnets in front of the main building in Växjö

Graduate school for social workers to Linnaeus University

The national research council FORTE has given four universities the commission to jointly start a national graduate school for professionals working in social services. Linnaeus University is one of the participating parties.

The graduate school is a major venture for long-term creation of knowledge within social services and is aimed at professionals within this field. The venture has an annual budget of SEK 10 million and will go on for eight years.

The idea is that ten people every year should be admitted to third-cycle education at licentiate level (which corresponds to 50% of a doctoral degree) and that they should combine their studies with their regular work. The education will be part-time (50%) and carried out over four years. The participants mix courses with own research and will be linked to one of the four higher education institutions, where they will get their supervision.

This is a much longed-for venture according to Verner Denvall and Torbjörn Forkby, professors of social work at Linnaeus University.

"We are happy to have been given the trust to implement this. This will mean that we can strengthen our third-cycle education and our research environments. And for the municipalities that take part it will, in addition to stimulating the careers and knowledge of their colleagues, be an opportunity to develop the relations with our university and have research carried out within fields where they need more knowledge", says Denvall.

The next step will be to contact the municipalities in the regions surrounding Linnaeus University and to assist in formulating relevant research projects. The graduate school will finance courses, seminars, supervision, and half of the salary; the employer will co-finance the remaining part. The first doctoral students are expected to start during the autumn 2019.

The graduate school is administered by Lund University and Malmö University. Linnaeus University and University of Gothenburg are the two other partners in the partnership.