The Social and Credential Structure of the Elite Segment of Swedish Higher Education

Monday, 16 July 2018: 11:20
Oral Presentation
Mikael BÖRJESSON, Uppsala University, Sweden
The structure of acquired and inherited national and transnational assets among students in Swedish elite educations is the main issue in this paper. Based on a survey answered by nearly 1,200 students on 25 elite educational programmes in Swedish higher education, the distribution of such properties as language resources and experiences of travel, studies and work are set against more refined Swedish assets, like good grades from established schools and programmes. By using specific multiple correspondence analysis three distinct poles are identified: one pole where formal acquired educational assets and inherited national and international resources are weak, one pole with a strong international orientation and accumulation of inherited international resources, and one based on predominantly heavy investments in the Swedish educational system. These poles correspond to three different sorts of positions in the field of higher education: at the first pole, students in art and theatre are overrepresented, while the national pole is primarily defined by the medical programme and the international pole by the engineering programme in industrial economics and the programme in economics at Stockholm School of Economics. The poles also display three different modes of gaining access – by special tests at artistic pole, by grades from upper secondary school at the international pole, and by scores at the national aptitude test at the national pole – articulating different valuation of former educational investments, and, more broadly, of cultural capital possession.