E-campus will seek out talent

September 21, 2001

Sweden is planning an internet university in an attempt to widen access to higher education and to encourage lifelong learning.

Thomas Ostros, minister of science and education, said he hoped that the university would become "a force of social change".

"The knowledge society must be open to all. Uneven recruitment to university is a waste of competence, experience and talents," he said.

The government plans to allow universities to offer college education in collaboration with municipal adult-education systems. People capable of attending university, but lacking the formal qualifications to do so, should not be excluded from higher education, it said.

Universities will decide the criteria for selection for up to 10 per cent of places in courses aimed at non-traditional learners.

International mobility among students and teachers should be increased, the government said. More foreign students should be recruited and a body to coordinate information and marketing efforts will be set up by the Swedish Institute.

A SKr20 million (£1.3 million) programme will support the exchange of students and teachers with developing countries and help increase Sweden's share of students from other parts of the world.

New legislation on equal treatment of students at university will prohibit discrimination because of gender, sexuality, ethnic background or disability.

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