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06 February 2024

Geographical Discrepancies in Higher Education in Sweden

There is a growing awareness of the importance of higher education in Sweden to reduce social differences in society. There are also various mechanisms that individuals relate to that favour either the status quo or change based on an ideal of higher education. Individuals live in a geographical context with a number of ‘key actors’ who influence the perception of higher education with varying degrees of intensity. Paradoxically, despite several reforms to broaden recruitment, it can be seen that relative inequalities persist in terms of residents with higher education in Sweden, not least from a regional perspective. The purpose of this article is to shed light on geographical differences in the higher education level of the population over time from a Swedish perspective. The study shows that higher education has a geographical centre-periphery perspective, but not exclusively. There are thus additional influencing factors that in various ways relate to the social context in which the individual is located. We can conclude from our empirical data that the reforms implemented to broaden recruitment have not had the desired effect, especially for the group of men. We find it likely that what differentiates women and men is who their individual ‘key players’ are and how they interact. From an academic education perspective and as an intermediary of higher education, there is therefore a challenge to be able to identify who these “key players” are in order to be able to be an important actor in contributing to the desired broader recruitment that the government is striving to achieve.

Keywords: Higher education; Center-periphery; Knowledge; Key players; Regional development; Sweden


25 August 2023


28 January 2023

Current Challenges to the Sustainable Development of Rural Communities in Russia's Central Chernozem Region

The rural community system in the Central Chernozem Economic Region in Russia is undergoing a radical transformation under the interrelated influence of fundamental factors that have rendered the development of many communities unsustainable. This paper analyses the role of urbanisation processes in population changes and transformation of rural community systems in the region; determines the level of horizontal mobility among the rural population, as well as its impact on settlement evolution; assesses the share of small and extremely small communities in settlement composition; and outlines these communities’ future development prospects. The authors believe that the socio-demographic “desertification” of peripheral municipalities can pose challenges to rural development: a shortage of labour resources, changes in population quality, and problems of innovation diffusion. The study recommends improving the comfort of the living environment and accelerating the technical re-equipment and automation of agricultural production.

Keywords: Resettlement; Rural population; Depopulation; Population mobility; Settlement system; Region; Sustainable development