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Sweden:Adult Education and Training

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Overview Sweden

Contents

Sweden:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Sweden:Historical Development

Sweden:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Sweden:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Sweden:Political and Economic Situation

Sweden:Organisation and Governance

Sweden:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Sweden:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Sweden:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Sweden:Organisation of Private Education

Sweden:National Qualifications Framework

Sweden:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Sweden:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Sweden:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Sweden:Funding in Education

Sweden:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Sweden:Higher Education Funding

Sweden:Adult Education and Training Funding

Sweden:Early Childhood Education and Care

Sweden:Organisation of Programmes for Pre-Primary Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Pre-Primary Education

Sweden:Assessment in Programmes for Pre-Primary Education

Sweden:Organisation of the Pre-Primary Class

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in the Pre-Primary Class

Sweden:Assessment in the Pre-Primary Class

Sweden:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Sweden:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Sweden:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Sweden:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Sweden:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Sweden:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Organisation of Upper General and Vocational Secondary Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Upper General and Vocational Secondary Education

Sweden:Assessment in Upper General and Vocational Secondary Education

Sweden:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Sweden:Higher Education

Sweden:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Sweden:First Cycle Programmes

Sweden:Bachelor

Sweden:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Sweden:Second Cycle Programmes

Sweden:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Sweden:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Sweden:Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Distribution of Responsibilities

Sweden:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Sweden:Main Providers

Sweden:Main Types of Provision

Sweden:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Sweden:Teachers and Education Staff

Sweden:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Sweden:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Sweden:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Sweden:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Management and Other Education Staff

Sweden:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Sweden:Management Staff for Higher Education

Sweden:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Sweden:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Quality Assurance

Sweden:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Sweden:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Educational Support and Guidance

Sweden:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Sweden:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Sweden:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Sweden:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Sweden:Mobility and Internationalisation

Sweden:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Mobility in Higher Education

Sweden:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Sweden:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Sweden:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Sweden:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Sweden:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Sweden:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Sweden:National Reforms in School Education

Sweden:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Sweden:National Reforms in Higher Education

Sweden:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Sweden:European Perspective

Sweden:Legislation

Sweden:Institutions

Sweden:Glossary

Introduction

The goal of adult education is to help adults supplement their education in order to strengthen the individual’s position socially and in working life. Adult education has deep-rooted traditions in Sweden, and the country has the highest proportion of adults participating in education and training in Europe according to the 2015 European Commission Eurydice Report, Adult Education and Training in Europe: Widening Access to Learning Opportunities. The proportion of the adult population in Sweden without secondary education is relatively low, but Sweden also has the largest differences in literacy proficiency between foreign-born and native-born adults in Europe. Reducing educational inequality was one of the original purposes when adult education became formalised and remains crucial, along with the other two purposes: creating opportunities for individuals to supplement their schooling and providing the labour market with a well-educated workforce. The state and municipalities have the overall responsibility for providing the infrastructure for lifelong learning, and there are many forms of adult education in Sweden, both formal and non-formal.

Formal adult education

The formal education system for adults aims to give adults the opportunity to supplement their education in accordance with their individual needs. The legislation is rights-based and each adult over the age of 20 has the right to education equivalent to the compulsory school and the upper secondary school. The goal for the state education system for adults is to strengthen the learners’ position in the labour market and to strengthen their capacity to participate in cultural and political activities. The quality of education provided must be equal regardless of the type of school and its location.

Municipal adult education (kommunal vuxenutbildning, Komvux) was set up in 1968 to provide adults aged 20 and above with skills at levels corresponding to compulsory school. Sweden has established a legal entitlement to basic adult education for all Swedish residents who are at least 20 years old and have not completed lower secondary education. Consequently, the legal framework obliges municipalities to ensure sufficient provision of basic adult education to meet learners' demands and needs. Each municipality is responsible for ensuring that municipal adult education is available but may commission other organisations to provide adult education. The curriculum for adult education programme (Läroplan för vuxenutbildningen) from 2012 states that “Adult Education shall transmit knowledge and support students so that they can work and take an active role in the community. It also aims to facilitate continued studies.” Adult education provided by municipalities consists of three different forms of education:
Labour market training (arbetsmarknadsutbildning) is provided by the Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) and intended primarily for unemployed adults in need of retraining or further training and education. The parliament and the government have assigned the Swedish Public Employment Service the goal of focusing on people who are at some distance from the labour market and who, for example, have been unemployed for a longer period of time.

Non-formal adult education

For over a hundred years non-formal adult education has played an important part in Swedish society. Since the first study circle (studiecirkel) started in late 1800, people have gathered to increase their knowledge together. The state has provided financial support to non-formal adult education since 1912. It is generally agreed that non-formal education should be run separately from the state but be financed by public funds. The importance of non-formal education to Swedish society is recognised by all political parties.

Liberal adult education (folkbildning) is characterised by great freedom in setting its own objectives, while the government defines the purposes of the government grants. These are to help to enable people to influence their own lives and encourage commitment to participating in developments in society. This support is also aimed at helping to close education gaps, raise the standard of education in society, and broaden interest and increase participation in cultural life. Liberal adult education includes folk high schools (folkhögskolor) and study associations (studieförbund). The Swedish National Council of Adult Education (Folkbildningsrådet) is responsible for distributing government grants to folk high schools and study associations.