Armed Forces degrees go ‘unused’ by students

The doctoral programme in the Swedish Armed Forces has come under fire after the 220 million kronor ($32.7 million) project has only resulted in two working graduates since the programme’s inception in 1992.

Armed Forces degrees go 'unused' by students

Only two students of the forty who begun the doctoral programme in the Swedish Armed Forces (Försvarsmakten) are still working for the authority, reported Sveriges Radio (SR).

The 220 million kronor spent on the project since it was introduced twenty years ago has been slammed for yielding a low return of investment.

“We have not taken advantage of the outcome of the doctoral education,” said Mats Olofsson, head of the Swedish Armed Forces, to SR.

Of the 40 students who have enrolled in the government authority programme since 1992, only 14 have graduated. The rest have retired, changed to civilian work, or have quit the programme, according to SR.

“Some of those who have participated in the programme have then dropped out and gone into business or transferred to other administration – is this a failure?

“From a social perspective, I don’t see it that way, but for the Armed Forces it could be said that we could have perhaps used the money in better ways,” said Olofsson.

People who have dropped out of the programme complained to SR that the research environment was poor, and that the resulting PhD title is of little help in the military.

The Armed Forces is now investigating the report, according to SR, and intend to take in more self-financed doctorate students in the future, while special services have been created for remaining students still wishing to take the final exams.

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Denmark adds an extra $2.6bn to its Ukraine aid fund

Denmark's government said on Monday that it was committing an additional $2.6 billion to a fund for aid for Ukraine, originally set up in March, bringing the fund's total to $3.6 billion.

Denmark adds an extra $2.6bn to its Ukraine aid fund

Western nations have pledged a steady flow of support to Ukraine since Russia’s invasion over a year ago.

“The war in Ukraine is at a very critical time with a serious situation on the battlefield, and therefore Ukraine needs all the support they can get,” Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen told Danish public broadcaster DR.

First announced in March following an agreement by almost all parties in parliament, the Scandinavian country originally committed seven billion Danish kroner ($1 billion) to the fund, the bulk of which was intended for military aid.

Frederiksen said Monday the country would add an additional 7.5 billion kronor already this year.

“It is now that the Ukrainians need our weapons and our support, so it is urgent,” she told DR, adding that the fund was already running out of money.

Another 10.4 billion kroner was committed for 2024 as Frederiksen noted “there is no indication that next year will be a year of peace”.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky extended his thanks in a post to Twitter.

“This major contribution will further strengthen the combat capabilities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the short and medium term,” the statement said.

In mid-May, Denmark also announced that it would help train Ukrainian pilots to fly F-16 fighter jets, as part of a European initiative.

Last week, Frederiksen did not rule out that Denmark would also donate some of its own F-16s, of which it has around 40.

The jets are planned to be gradually replaced by the more modern F-35 over the next few years.