Transforming and Financing Intermediate-Level Technical Education During Industrialisation: Sweden 1850–1920


  • Fay Lundh Nilsson Lund University
  • Niclas Blomberg Nagoya University



industrialisation, technical education, financing of education, educational reforms


Around 1900, Sweden had transformed into a modern industrial nation. A three-level technical school system, introduced in the 1850s, ensured that Sweden maintained a strong position among other industrialised countries. In this article, we study changes in the structure and financing of the technical secondary schools, the middle level of the system, between 1850 and 1919. Both local and national actors were important in the structural changes and educational reforms, but government grants remained the same for extended periods, which led to frequent discussions and pleas for increased funding. Low salaries compared to other forms of schooling and competition from the industry gradually became a problem recruiting qualified teachers. However, stakeholders who considered the education of middle-level technicians an important matter pushed for increased funding, improvements in teachers’ salaries and employment conditions, and restructuring of the teaching to keep pace with technological development.