A Sustainable Migration Policy for Academia and Sweden
The Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) of Sweden are at the forefront of attracting highly skilled individuals from around the world to Sweden increasing the quality of the higher education and research as well as providing a pool of expertise to the labour market via individuals who to not remain in academia, but choose to stay in Sweden. Therefore, it is important that all Early Career Researchers (ECRs) have the same access to permanent residency as those pursing non-academic careers. In July 2021 Sweden introduced a new migration legislation that challenges the attractiveness of Sweden for ECRs. NJF together with the Swedish Network of Postdoc Associations (SNPA), and Sweden’s United Student Unions (SFS) carried out a mass survey to determine the impact of the new migration legislation on ECRs. From the results we recommend that:
- An exception in the maintenance requirement of the new migration legislation be made for doctoral students and researchers.
- The possibilities for doctoral students and ECRs to learn Swedish be strengthened and that the current possibilities for learning Swedish while employed in academia be mapped.
Migration Law Survey 2021
NJF together with Swedish Network of Postdoc Associations (SNPA), and Sweden’s United Student Unions (SFS) have carried out a survey on how a new migration law introduced in Sweden on June 22nd, 2021 may affect early career researchers. The results of the survey have been published in this report: Report National Survey on Swedish Migration Law
NJF Survey 2015
Results from the National Junior Faculty Survey conducted in 2015 were published in Higher Education Policy and can be read in detail here. A summary follows below.
Signoret C, Ng E, Da Silva S, et al. Well-Being of Early-Career Researchers: Insights from a Swedish Survey. Higher Education Policy. 2018.
Several studies have documented the importance of optimal work situation and the general well-being of early-career researchers (ECRs) for enhancing the academic performance of universities. Yet, most studies focused on specific categories of ECRs, or on specific academic disciplines as well as on specific outcomes. With this study, we recognize the need for a broader sample encompassing different categories of ECRs across academic disciplines.
In a national survey of Swedish universities, the National Junior Faculty of Sweden (NJF) collected data from ECRs in order to study the influence of work situation and well-being on perceived scientific environment. We observed that work situation and well-being are interdependent and jointly influence each other in shaping the conditions for ideal scientific environment. Importantly, we employ structural equation model (SEM) analysis to account for the endogenous relationship between work situation and personal well-being in predicting perceived scientific environment.
Results from SEM indicate that support from the university, work time management, job clarity, contract length and quality of life satisfaction were related to the perceived possibility of conducting the best science. Our research also highlighted individual differences across demographic factors and contract length in the perceived work situation and the possibility of conducting the best science.
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