Datum 2020-12-11
Artikeltyp News

The Government proposes that MDH should be Sweden’s next university

This article was written before our official name change on January 1, 2022 from Mälardalen University (MDH) to Mälardalen University (MDU).

Paul Pettersson, Vice-Chancellor of Mälardalen University (MDH).

MDH is to be Sweden’s next university - this is what the Matilda Ernkrans, Ministry of Education and Research, presented during an extra convened press conference today.

– For many years there has been a great commitment to make MDH a full university. Today this has evolved into a concrete proposal, and we are delighted by the confidence the Government is showing us, says Paul Pettersson, Vice-Chancellor of Mälardalen University (MDH).

The question of whether MDH should be a full university has been discussed for a long time. Several political parties have tabled motions to the Riksdag (Swedish parliament), and on several occasions representatives from the private and public sectors in the region have highlighted the need for MDH to acquire full university status. Ever since the Prime Minister voiced the election pledge in 2018 there has been an active political dialogue on the issue. Today the proposal was presented to the Riksdag.

The proposal is the first investment presented from the forthcoming Research and Innovation Bill that the government will present next week.

– We are happy and proud of the commitment to our becoming a full university. Up to the time when the decision is taken we will be preparing ourselves and of course hoping for wide support in the Riksdag for the Bill that the Government and its cooperation parties have now presented, says Paul Pettersson.

”Make an even greater contribution for the region and for Sweden”

Universities and university colleges differ from one another primarily in that universities have general powers to award degrees at research studies level, whereas university colleges need to apply for such powers for research studies within specific areas. Universities also have more extensive funding for their research. Today MDH has 228 doctoral students pursuing research studies in all of MDH’s six research specialisations, based on MDH’s powers at present to conduct research studies. If the Government takes a decision to grant MDH university status it would mean a substantial increase in our research activities.

– We are ready for this. We are Sweden’s largest university college, both regarding the number of students and the number of research students. We have succeeded in building up extensive research activities, thanks to good cooperation with research financiers and the private and public sectors. We have the capacity to gear up our research further to make an even greater contribution to our region, but also for Sweden as a country. At MDH today we are conducting internationally recognised research in Embedded Systems and Future Energy - research that is strengthening the competitiveness of Swedish industry and contributing to a sustainable future, says Paul Pettersson.


Increased research gives further support to education

MDH is a young university college, and since its foundation it has been formed in harmony with the needs of the surrounding society. Collaborating with the private and public sectors means that knowledge from MDH’s research generates direct value in society, and that our courses and study programmes are relevant with a view to the needs of the labour market. Collaboration is also a guiding star in our internal work.

The research that is conducted also gives the University’s courses and study programmes a solid disciplinary foundation.

– Through our internal collaboration we work across disciplines to solve a great number of societal challenges, for example the need for health-promoting technology in healthcare and nursing. MDH is also Sweden’s largest educator of nurses, which has been a valuable asset during the corona pandemic, where we have supported the healthcare system with specialist skills on a national level. We now hope to be able to continue to grow and offer even more places in attractive general education studies, where there is a great demand for skills, Paul Pettersson concludes.


Facts about MDH


Mälardalen University (MDH) is Sweden’s largest university college, and has campuses in Eskilstuna and Västerås. Close on 17 000 students are reading courses and programmes in Design and Communication, Business and Economics, Health and Welfare, Education, Engineering, Classical Music and Opera.

Students: 16 731

Study programmes: 56

Courses 1 025

Teaching staff: 521



At MDH research is conducted in six research specialisations that lead to knowledge and development – for Swedish industry and welfare – but also for solving the challenges there are in our society:

  • Future Energy
  • Health and Welfare
  • Embedded Systems
  • Industrial Engineering and Management
  • Innovation and Product Realisation
  • Educational Sciences and Mathematics

The research in Future Energy and Embedded Systems is internationally prominent, and the research in Embedded Systems is ranked internationally among the best in the world.

Doctoral students: 228

Professors: 88

International agreements: 145 agreements in 47 countries

Funding of research and third-cycle studies: Total revenue: 322m SEK, 37% government grants, 63% external funding



MDH is one of Sweden’s foremost HEIs when it comes to collaboration, which constitutes a natural part of the University’s DNA. MDH was founded in 1977 as a result of collaboration with industry. Over the years this approach has been developed, and today the University has several strategic collaboration agreements and projects with both the private and public sectors. Collaboration is a natural part of our education and research at MDH. ​

Our strategic collaboration partners are: ABB, Bombardier, Eskilstuna Energi & Miljö, Eskilstuna Municipality, Mälarenergi, Region Sörmland, Region Västmanland, VafabMiljö, Volvo Construction Equipment, Sparbanken Rekarne and Västerås City.

Centres and collaboration platforms that MDH operates: The Arena for Health and Welfare Engineering, Automation Region, Idélab, Mälardalen Industry Technology Center (MITC), the Social Contract, The Sörmland Contract, The Growth Engine, Robotdalen and Västerås Science Park.

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