Samarbete mellan gymnasieskolan och näringslivet: en studie av lokala partnerskap i fyra kommuner
2004 (Swedish)Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
The national curriculum and the School Act emphasize the importance of establishing partnerships between schools and local businesses. The formation of partnerships was expected to be facilitated by the decentralization reforms that took place in the beginning of the 1990’s. These reforms gave schools and municipalities greater scope for adjusting education to meet local circumstances. However, central government has not made financial resources available for stimulating the establishment of school-business partnerships, nor does it penalize municipalities that do not set up such partnerships.
The questions in focus in this study are: why do partnerships arise, how are they organised and what factors are important in achieving a partnership which can function in practice? Urban regime theory is applied to explain why collaborations occur and policy network theory is used to analyse how they are organised. A further aim of the study is to examine whether the partnerships can be defined as urban regimes.
The study was based on case studies of four upper secondary schools in Sweden, each in a different municipality. These municipalities are all industrialized, but the structure of their industrial base varies. Two are dominated by one or a few major companies whereas the others are characterized by the predominance of many small businesses. The study focuses on how three vocational study programmes – industry, electricity and building - collaborate with local businesses.
The study shows that the main explanation of why a partnership arises is that both partners believe that they can gain something by collaborating. For schools, the main reason for establishing a partnership with business is a belief that this will make the vocational education programmes more attractive for pupils. Through partnerships, schools can get access not only to practical experience for their pupils, but also help from business with developing the content of courses and some financial contributions. However, the economic benefits are of limited importance compared with the perceived gains in terms of the development of the educational content of the courses. This goes against results from studies in other countries.
For business, it is particularly important to be able to influence decisions about the content of local education. By doing so, they hope to ensure that the pupils, after having completed their education, will enter the local labour market with more relevant qualifications.
My research shows that several requirements have to be present for a successful partnership to be established. First, there must be a commitment and firm intentions from both partners. Second, size of the businesses involved in the partnerships is important for how they are organized. Larger businesses tend to see the partnership from a more long term perspective. However, it is also possible to organize collaborations with smaller businesses if they can be united under a common organisation. Third, specific actors make a difference in the partnerships. Devoted and interested key actors who are closely associated with the partnership are very important for the continuity of the partnership
The study suggests that urban regime theory and policy network theory are useful for understanding why and how partnerships between schools and businesses are established and retained. However, it can not be concluded that these collaborations in themselves are urban regimes at a more local level. This would require that their focus was much more long-term.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Department of political science, Umeå university , 2004. , 91 p.
, Research report, ISSN 0349-0831 ; 2004:2
School-business partnerships, public private collaboration, urban regimes, pre-emptive power, policy communities, apprentice posts, local adaptation
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject statskunskap
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-15133OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-15133DiVA: diva2:154805
Distributor:Statsvetenskap, 90187, Umeå
2004-06-11, Samvetet, Samhällsvetarhuset, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15 (Swedish)
Bostedt, Göran, Docent
Lidström, Anders, DocentJohansson, Olof, Docent