8,000 more teacher students are needed

The number of students in teacher training programmes is increasing, yet the amount of entrants would have to almost double to meet future needs.

Since the new teacher education was launched in the autumn of 2011, the inflow of students has increased steadily.

21,000 would need to enrol to meet the target numbers

Nevertheless, today's teacher training programmes only meet around 60 per cent of future target numbers for degrees awarded. Approximately 21,000 people would need to enrol in teacher education each year to meet that target. In the academic year 2014-15, the number was just over 13,000.

Against this background it is unlikely that Swedish universities will be able to resolve the shortage of teachers in the foreseeable future, says Fredrik Svensson, analyst at Swedish Higher Education Authority.

In the autumn semester of 2015 the number of qualified first choice applicants was 17,200. Of these, 10,900 enrolled in a teacher-training programme. The number of new students in the autumn term of 2015 represents an increase of 17 per cent compared with the autumn term the previous year.

Nevertheless, the number of applicants per place to the various teacher-training programmes is generally low. For the autumn semester of 2015 the lowest number of applicants per place was for degrees in secondary education and the highest for pre-school teacher training.

The efforts made so far have been mainly focused on attracting more students to teacher education. These efforts are important but not sufficient. While the university does what it can to bring in more students, and get more students to complete the training, other initiatives are also needed. Those should focus on how the school is organised and the teachers' terms and conditions, says Annika Pontén, head of the department of Higher Education Analysis at Swedish Higher Education Authority.