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Sweden:Bachelor

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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

Branches of Study

All higher education is pursued in courses and programmes. The courses can be taken independently or as part of a study programme to form degrees. The scale of a course or study programme is measured in higher education credits (högskolepoäng). Full-time studies during one term equals 30 higher education credits, equal to 30 ECTS. Higher education institutions decide about the organisation of their courses.

The degree descriptions are decided upon by the government (regeringen) in line with the overarching Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). A description of the different degrees, their scope and the learning outcomes expected are found in the Higher Education Ordinance (högskoleförordningen) and in the ordinance for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, SLU), and the ordinance for the Swedish National Defence College (Försvarshögskolan). Decisions governing which higher education institution should be entitled to award a particular qualification are made by the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet).

The lenght of a Bachelor's programme is three years.

Distance Education

Distance education has a long tradition in Sweden, as a sparsely populated but large country. Most higher education institutions offer distance courses of varying scope and orientation. The courses are designed to meet the educational needs of the individual as well as those of society, their purpose is to provide study opportunities regardless of place of residence and work or family circumstances. Thus, distance education is a way to enable studies later in life and promote lifelong learning. Technology for this – computers, interactive video and videophone – is creating further scope for distance education and has made this a priority development area.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to a course or a study programme, the applicant must fulfil the basic conditions for eligibility as well as any specific qualifications prescribed by the higher education institution. Applications to the different courses and programmes are addressed to the Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet), which handles the admission process for most higher education institutions. For admission to a university or university college that does not have this agreement with the Swedish Council for Higher Education, applications are addressed directly to the university or university college.

Each institute of higher education determines the number of study places to be provided in different subjects. Indirectly, the government (regeringen) determines the number of study places by setting a ceiling on the total allocation of state funds based on the number of students. If the ceiling is exceeded, the institution will not receive funds for all their students. The government also determines the goals for the number of degrees in a limited number of programmes.

Higher education institutions shall work actively to broaden student recruitment to include students from under-represented groups. They are urged to draw up local action plans with measurable goals for this.

Advanced courses in mathematics and languages give extra credit when rating merits for admission to higher education. The subjects given extra credit were introduced in the autumn of 2010. The purpose is to encourage upper secondary pupils to take advanced courses in mathematics and languages. This change also made it less advantageous to retake upper secondary courses in order to achieve a higher grade, and to add courses after a completed upper secondary education in order to fulfill special qualifications required for eligibility.

Basic Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for higher education a student must have one of the qualifications below:

  • An upper secondary higher education preparatory diploma (högskoleförberedande gymnasieexamen), obtained in upper secondary education or in formal adult education.
  • An upper secondary vocational diploma (yrkesexamen från gymnasieskolan), provided that specific higher education preparatory courses are taken, either as part of the curriculum or as complementary courses.

Eligibility for Foreign Students

Applicants from Denmark, Finland, Iceland or Norway who are eligible for higher education in their respective country are eligible for higher education in Sweden. Applicants whose native language is not Swedish, Danish, Faroese, Icelandic or Norwegian need to have an earlier education corresponding to Swedish upper secondary education as well as adequate command of Swedish and English.

Procedure for Students Lacking Formal Qualifications

Higher education institutions are free to admit applicants without formal requirements or standard qualifications, but who are recognised by the institution as having the aptitude to benefit from a higher education course/programme through prior learning in Swedish or foreign education, practical experience or other circumstances. The recognition of non-formal or informal learning for admission to higher education is decided locally by higher education institutions.

Specific Eligibility Requirements

Several programmes have field-specific entry requirements (områdesbehörighet). The Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet) set out field-specific requirements for programmes leading to a professional degree while each institution is able to choose which field-specific requirements to use for programmes not leading to a professional degree. The specific requirements can include courses from national programmes in upper secondary school or equivalent knowledge from one or more courses in higher education or other experiences considered important.

Selection Procedure

If there are more applicants than places, the following selection procedures are applied:

  • Minimum 1/3 should be admitted on upper-secondary grades, the total of merit points (meritpoäng) from all courses passed during upper-secondary school
  • Minimum 1/3 should be admitted on the results of the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (Högskoleprovet)
  • Maximum 1/3 should be admitted on other criteria, decided locally by the higher education institutions

Curriculum

There is no common curriculum for higher education courses or programmes. In the Qualifications Ordinance (Examensordningen) the Government has laid down which degrees may be awarded and their objectives. It is up to each institution to decide how to reach the goals.

For undergraduate courses there must be a course syllabus and for a study programme a programme syllabus. The course syllabus must state the title of the course, the number of higher education credits, its level, aims, main content and course literature. In addition, the course syllabus must state the requirements regarding specific previous knowledge and other conditions for admission, the means by which students' performance is assessed, if there is a limitation to the number or times a student may retake a test to achieve a passing grade, and the grades used, as well as any subsections in the course. The programme syllabus states the courses covered by the study programme, the main structure of the programme and any requirements regarding specific previous knowledge.

The teaching language is usually Swedish but in many subjects the course literature is in English and to some extent in other languages. Efforts to make higher education more international has led to increased student exchange and thereby to an increasing number of courses and programmes given in English.

Language programmes are offered in a number of European and non-European languages. Sweden's five minority languages (Finnish, Sami, Romani Chib, Meänkieli and Yiddish) have special status.

Teaching Methods

Teachers decide on methods as well as material. Students normally pay for books and reading material whereas the institution provides laboratory equipment etc. Students are expected to participate actively in group and laboratory work as well as in seminars. Attendance and participation may be monitored. There may be various forms of continual assessment of courses, for example through oral examinations, group presentations or seminars. ICT and computers are important aids in all higher education.

The institutions themselves determine how courses are to be organised. There are courses structured by discipline and courses of an inter-disciplinary nature. Instruction may be provided in alternative ways, for example through problem-based learning (problembaserat lärande, pbl) where groups of students from different programmes (e.g. medicine, health sciences and physiotherapy) solve complex tasks together. In some education programmes (e.g. teacher education and nursing) some of the education takes place at a workplace. A number of institutions of higher education have close co-operation with companies and industries in the region; degree work may be carried out in companies and theoretical studies can be mixed with practice.

The language of instruction is usually Swedish, but a large part of the course literature is in English, and therefore a good knowledge of both Swedish and English is essential, and a basic requirement for eligibility to higher education.

Progression of Students

Regulations regarding retaking of courses are determined locally at every higher education institution. A student who has failed a course is entitled to retake it at least five times according to the Higher Education Ordinance (högskoleförordningen). There is no maximum time in which the students have to finish their courses; however student aid may be affected if courses are not finished within the stipulated time. On failing a course, progression can be affected in that eligibility for a proceeding course may be based on the course failed.

Employability

According to the Higher Education Ordinance (högskoleförordningen), students must have access to course counseling and careers guidance. Higher education institutions must ensure that prospective students are able to obtain the information they need about the institution. Information on admission, rules for application, eligibility and selection must be available. At the larger institutions there are normally special units, as well as study counselors, to deal with student questions whilst at smaller institutions there is usually one specific person responsible for study and guidance counseling.

The higher education institutions are obliged to plan and dimension the education according to the demands of the labour market.

There is no state regulated link between higher education institutions and employers, however labour market days are organised by institutions of higher education at least once a year. Here the students describe their education and companies present themselves. The labour market days often involve cooperation between student organisations and the institution’s unit for student questions and counseling.

The education is also linked to working life and given an external perspective through guest lectures by visiting professors and consulting teachers, as well as by representatives from companies and other organisations. These visits provide possibilities to integrate an external perspective into the teaching of both vocational and theoretical programmes.

Many courses include a compulsory period of practical experience at a relevant workplace, e.g. engineering, teaching, public administration and health science programmes.

Student Assessment

There is some form of assessment at the end of every course. This may take the form of a written or oral examination or, for example, a group presentation at a seminar. There may be various forms of continual assessment. Attendance and participation, for example in seminars, may be monitored. All general degrees contain a degree project corresponding to one term or a half term’s studies that is to be carried out individually or in a small group. A specially appointed examiner determines degree project grades. There is no final examination; all grades attained for the different courses are included in the final degree certificate.

The normal categories used in grading are fail (Icke Godkänd, IG), pass (Godkänd, G) or pass with distinction (Väl Godkänd, VG). However, a higher education institution may decide its own grading system and an increasing number are adopting the ECTS scale, a seven-tier grading system. The introduction of the new assessment scale is one step in the internationalisation of higher education institutions in the Bologna process.

Certification

The Government defines the degrees that may be awarded in undergraduate education and post-graduate education in the Qualifications Ordinance (Examensordningen). The ordinance states the scope and goals of each degree as well as other requirements for receiving certain degrees. A degree certificate includes results from all courses included in the course of study with numerical and qualitative grades. There is no final examination. The school head of the higher education institution signs the certificate.

A Bachelor's degree in the arts, sciences, social sciences and artistic fields may be awarded on completion of 180 higher education credits (3 years full-time studies), including 90 credits in advanced studies in the main field, and an independent project equivalent to 15 credits. There are also professional degrees (2-3 years full-time studies) and the Higher Education Diploma (2 years full-time studies).