The limits of academization: agricultural policy and the shaping of Swedish higher agricultural education during the interwar and war years
Journal article, 2023

This article examines the shaping of agricultural higher education in Sweden during the interwar and war years. More specifically, it conveys the conflicting views on the training of agronomists expressed in discussions that informed the 1932 decision to establish the Agricultural University College and, later, the shaping of the agricultural degree curriculum. It demonstrates that agricultural policy had a decisive influence on the outcome. Of particular importance was the smallholding policy; a set of government measures that emerged around the turn of the twentieth century, aimed at improving conditions for smallholders. Its advocates acknowledged the critical role of agronomists in enlightening, educating and advising smallholders. A modernization of agriculture that centred on small-scale farming, they argued, needed agronomists with a practice-orientated and all-round training. Thus, they successfully checked the attempts to introduce a science-orientated and university-like instruction in agricultural higher education. When it came to training agronomists, academization had its limits.


higher education

twentieth century




Per Lundin

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Science, Technology and Society

Agricultural History Review

0002-1490 (ISSN)

Vol. 71 2 234-257

Subject Categories

Economic History


More information

Latest update

4/9/2024 7