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Sweden:Glossary

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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

A

Arbetsmarknadsutbildning

Labour market training programme

If an individual is unemployed, or at risk of becoming unemployed, he or she can in certain cases participate in a labour market training programme. The aim of the programme is to improve the opportunities to find work and make it easier for employers to find labour with the right expertise. The Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) is the responsible administrative authority.


B

C

D

Doktorsexamen

Degree of Doctor​

A Degree of Doctor may be received on completion of 240 credits at third cycle level, including a thesis equivalent to a minimum of 120 credits.


E

F

Folkbildning

Liberal adult education

Liberal adult education is not tied to academic qualifications. The education is organised through folk high schools (folkhögskolor) and study associations (studieförbund). It aims at reaching groups of people who have traditionally remained outside the educational system.  


Folkhögskola

Folk high school

Independent adult education colleges that are part of the Swedish liberal adult education (folkbildning). Every folk high school provides a general course that gives its graduates basic eligibility to higher education. People with little previous education have priority of application. The students must be at least 18 years of age.


Fristående skola

Grant-aided independent school

Non-public schools that recieve municipal grants. Grant-aided independent schools may be run by for example privat companies or NGO:s. The grants are paid by the students' home municipalities and are based on the number of students. The schools may recieve additional grants for students with special needs. 


Fritidshem

Leisure-time centre

The leisure-time centre organises pedagogical activities for pupils from the age of 6 until the spring term the year they turn 13. It complements the compulsory school (grundskolan) and the preschool class (förskoleklassen) by organising activities for pupils at times when they are not staying in school, for example before and after the school day and during hollidays. The activities give the pupils slightly different experiences and knowledges than those that they normally get in school. 


Förordning

Ordinance

Ordinances are governmental regulations based on the laws decided on by the Swedish parliament (riksdagen). The Higher Education Ordinance (högskoleförordningen) for example includes governmental regulations regarding Swedish higher education. The Education Ordinace (skolförordningen) includes regulations for compulsory school and the Upper Secondary School Ordinance (gymnasieförordningen) includes regulations for upper secondary school. 


Förskolechef

Preschool head

The preschool head is employed by the preschool provider and responsible for the daily operations of the preschool. The main focus is on the development of pedagogical methods and leadership. The preschool head works with tasks such as support for childrens development and learning, support for collegial learning processes, contributing to the employees training and development, workforce planning and scheduling.


Förskola

Preschool

The Swedish preschool consists of pedagogical actvities for children aged 1-5. It is not compulsory but all children should be offered a place in preschool from the age of one if their parents wish to. The Swedish preschool has its own curriculum (läroplan).


Förskoleklass

Preschool class

Preschool class is provided for children six years of age. It is not part of compulsory school (grundskolan) but the same curriculum (läroplan) applies and it is provided mostly within schools. There are no syllabi for the preschool class. 


Förstelärare

First teacher

In addition to teaching, a first teacher’s work duties can for example include coaching other teachers, initiating pedagogical conversations, leading projects with the purpose to improve education, supporting teacher students and newly graduated teachers during their introductory year and being in charge of specific subjects. Individual teachers apply to become a first teacher through their employer, who in turn can apply for funding from the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) to cover the wage increase.


Förvaltningschef

Chief administrative officer

A chief administrative officer is generally a civil servant within public administration. He or sher is responsible for the administration such as economy-, staff-, IT-, registry- and procurment. At universities and university colleges the chief administrative officer is the supreme employee beside the vice-chancellor (rektor), responsible for questions of legal, administrative and economic character.


G

Grundskola

Compulsory school

Nine-year comprehensive compulsory school, equivalent to primary and lower secondary education. Swedish children start compulsory school at the age of seven. 


Grundsärskola

Compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities

The compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities consists of nine years of schooling and is an alternative to compulsory school (grundskolan). Within the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities there is a special orientation called the training school. This is intended for pupils who have a lack of knowledge in all or parts of compulsory schooling for pupils with learning disabilities.


Gymnasieskola

Upper secondary school

The Swedish upper secondary school includes three years of study. After those three years students with sufficient results receive an upper secondary higher education preparatory diploma (högskoleförberedande examen) or an upper secondary vocational diploma (yrkesexamen), depending on which national programme they have studied at. The Swedish upper secondary school includes 18 national programmes. It also includes five introduction programmes not leading to an upper secondary diploma and several specially designed programmes. 


Gymnasiesärskola

Upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities

Upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities is a free, voluntary type of school that young people with developmental disorders or acquired brain injuries can choose to attend once they have completed compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities. It consists of nine national programmes as well as individual programmes and programmes that diverge from the national programme structure. Each national programme spans four years and consists of fundamental subjects, programme-specific subjects, more in-depth programme-specific courses and assessed coursework.


H

Högskola

University college

Higher education institution with limited or no right to award doctoral degrees. Some university colleges have additional degree awarding powers at third cycle level regarding a specific disciplinary domain. University colleges that currently has no authority to award doctoral degrees may apply to the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) for permission to award doctoral degrees within a particular field of which they have specific knowledge. The field is defined by the university college. 


Högskolan

Higher education

General term for the whole higher education area, including universities (universitet) and university colleges (högskolor). 


Högskoleförberedande program

Higher education preparatory programme

The higher education preparatory programmes prepare students for continued studies at university or university college, primarily within the area of the current programme. The higher education preparatory programmes do not prepare students for a specific type of employment after graduation, instead they work as a foundation for continued education within the higher education sector.


Högskoleförberedande examen

Higher education preparatory diploma

The higher education preparatory programmes (högskoleförberedande program) in upper secondary school lead to a higher education preparatory diploma providing eligibility for higher education. 


Högskoleprovet

Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test, SweSAT 

The Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test takes place twice a year, in March/April and in October. The test is optional and costs a small amount of money to take. It measures knowledges and skills that are essential in all higher education programmes. When there are more applicants than places regarding a higher education course or programme, a minimum of one third of the students are to be selected based on the results of the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test. 


I

Introduktionsprogram

Introductory programme

For students that are not eligible for a national programme (nationellt program) in upper secondary school, there are five introductory programmes. None of the introductory programmes provides an upper secondary diploma, but the idea is that they should lead either to the student enrolling in a national programme or to employment. The introductory programmmes are carried out full time and the students follow individual study plans.


J

K

Kandidatexamen

Degree of Bachelor

A degree received after three years of study at first cycle level. It comprises 180 credits. 


Kommun

Municipality 

Local authority with extensive autonomy. The Swedish municipalities are responsible for preschool (förskolan), preschool class (förskoleklassen), compulsory school (grundskolan), upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan) and adult education at compulsory and upper secondary level (kommunal vuxenutbildning). There are 290 municipalities in Sweden. 


Kommunal vuxenutbildning (Komvux)

Municipal adult education

The municipalities (kommunerna) are obliged to provide adult education on compulsory school level and upper secondary school level. The starting point is the needs and conditions of the individual. Those who have received least education should be given priority.


Kunskapslyft

Adult Education Initiative

Adult Education Initiative is the umbrella term for a series of ongoing state initiatives within the field of adult education. These include the funding of permanent student places within a number of different forms of education and schools for adults, along with initiatives to increase the quality of adult education. The initiatives also affect other associated policy areas, such as youth policy, labour market policy, regional policy and integration policy. The Adult Education Initiative includes programmes in adult vocational education, higher vocational education, folk high schools and university and university colleges.


Kvalificerad yrkeshögskoleexamen

Advanced higher vocational education diploma

The requirements to obtain an advanced higher vocational education diploma are based on the Swedish Qualifications Framework (Sveriges referensram för kvalifikationer, SeQF) level 6. In order to award such a diploma, the programme must comprise a minimum of 400 HVE-credits (YH-poäng) which equals two years of full-time studies. Time spent in workplace training (lärande i arbete, LIA) must be at least 25 per cent of total programme hours. The programme must also comprise a thesis. 


L

Landsting

County council

County councils are self-governing entities and the highest decision-making body within a county (län). County councils manage for example health care, public transportation and regional planning.


Lektor

Senior subject teacher

A teacher at compulsory school (grundskola) or upper secondary school (gymnasieskola) level who has passed a degree of Licentiate (licentiatexamen) or a doctoral degree (doktorsexamen) and has demonstrated excellent quality of teaching over a period of service of at least four years. It is the education provider that appoints the position. The education provider receives governmental grants to add SEK 10 000 to the monthly salary of a senior subject teacher. 

Senior lecturer

A teaching position at higher education (högskolan) level that requires a doctoral degree and pedagogical training. A senior lecturer normally works both as a teacher and with reasearch. 


Lärande i arbete, LIA

Workplace training

A higher vocational programme normally has several periods of workplace training. Workplace training gives the students the opportunity to learn about the profession they are aiming for and offers an opportunity to combine theory with practice.


Licentiatexamen

Degree of Licentiate

A Degree of Licentiate may be received on completion of 120 credits at third cycle level, including a thesis equivalent to a minimum of 60 credits. The degree could be a step towards a Degree of Doctor (doktorsexamen). 


Län

County

Sweden is divided into 21 counties. The duties of the counties include for example health care and public transportation. The administrative duties of the counties are operated by one of the 21 county administrative boards (länstyrelser).


Länsstyrelse

County administrative board

Sweden is divided into 21 counties and each county has a county administrative board. The county administrative board is in charge of a range of tasks such as implementing national objectives, co-ordinating the interests of the county, promoting the development of the county and establishing regional objectives.


Lärarlegitimation

Teacher registration 

In December 2013, a system of teacher and preschool teacher registration came into force. A teacher or preschool teacher can apply to be registered after a degree in initial teacher training or initial preschool teacher training. If a teacher or preschool teacher seriously neglects their work, their registration may be withdrawn; such decisions will be taken by a special committee - the Teachers' disciplinary board (Lärarnas ansvarsnämnd) - under the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket). Registration is required for a teacher to be able to independently set grades and the general rule is that only registered teachers qualify for permanent employment.


Läroplan

Curriculum 

The curricula are steering documents that Swedish schools have to follow. There are a curriculum for the preschool (förskolan), a joint curriculum for compulsory school (grundskolan), the preschool class (förskoleklassen) and the leisure-time centre (fritidshemmet) and a curriculum for upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan). 


Läslyft

Boost for reading

The boost for reading is a professional development initiative for teachers in preschool, preschool class, compulsory school and upper seconadry school. The aim is to improve the quality of education by giving teachers a variety of tools to develop students' ability to read and write.


M

Masterexamen

Degree of Master (120 credits)

A two years degree at second cycle level which may be taken by someone who has a previous Degree of Bachelor (kandidatexamen). At least 60 credits must be taken in the main field, including a degree project equivalent to 30 credits. 


Magisterexamen

Degree of Master (60 credits)

A one year degree at second cycle level which may be taken by someone who has a previous Degree of Bachelor (kandidatexamen). At least 30 credits must be taken in the main field, including a degree project equivalent to 15 credits. 


Modersmålsundervisning

Mother tongue tuition 

The term relates to the tuition which is offered to pupils with another mother tongue than Swedish. It is not used when describing tuition in Swedish for Swedish-speaking students. 


N

Nationella prov

National tests 

The national tests are taken by students in third, sixth and ninth grade in compulsory school (grundskolan) and as part of certain courses in upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan). They cover several subjects; mathematics, Swedish, English, natural science subjects (biology, chemistry and physics) and social subjects (civics, history, geography and religion). The subjects differ between third, sixth and ninth grade in compulsory school and between compulsory school and upper secondary school. In third grade for example only knowledges and skills in mathematics and Swedish are tested. The national tests are not external examinations, but a way of monitoring achievement at pupil, school and national level. 


Nationellt program

National programme

Upper secondary school consists of 18 national 3-year programmes. 12 of these are vocational programmes (yrkesprogram) which provide a foundation for working life and six are higher education preparatory programmes (högskoleförberedande program) which provide a foundation for further education in the higher education sector.


O

P

Proposition

Government bill 

Government bills are proposals from the government (regeringen) to the parliament (riksdagen), applying new laws or funding. The budget bill for example includes proposals regarding state funding for the upcoming budget year, for education as well as other areas.


Q

R

S

Sameskolan

Sami school

Children of Samis can attend the Sami school during the compulsory school years 1-6. Other children can also attend the Sami school if there are special reasons. The curriculumn and the syllabi of the compulsory school apply to the Sami school, but the Sami school also has a syllabus in Sami. After the Sami school, pupils go on to the compulsory school.


Specialskolan

Special school

Children who due to a functional impairment or for other special reasons cannot attend the compulsory school (grundskolan) or the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities (grundsärskolan) can attend the special school. This includes children that are blind or have visual impairments as well as children that are deaf or hearing impaired or have a severe speech disorder.


Studiecirkel

Study circle 

The study circle is the most common form of activity characterising the study associations (studieförbund). Study circles offer different subjects, such as artistic subjects, languages and social studies, through regular informal education during a limited time period.


Studieförbund

Study association 

The study associations are part of the Swedish liberal adult education (folkbildning) which aims at reaching groups of people who have traditionally remained outside the educational system. Study circles (studiecirklar) are the most common activities characterising the study associations.


Studiemedel

Post secondary student aid

Student aid at higher educational level or for adult education at upper secondary level. It consists of student grants (studiebidrag) and a repayable student loan (studielån).


Studiebidrag

Student grants

The student grant is part of the student aid (studiemedel) that students can apply for through The Swedish Board for Study Support (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN). The student grant doesn’t have to be repayed as long as the student has completed a major part of the studies.


Studielån

Student loan

As part of the student aid (studiemedel), students can apply for student loans through The Swedish Board for Study Support (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN). The loan has to be repayed over a period of a maximum of 25 years and before turning 60.


Svenska som andraspråk

Swedish as a second language

Swedish as a second language is a subject in Swedish schools and in Swedish speaking schools in Finland. The aim is to give students with another mother tongue than Swedish the ability to develop their communicative language skills and strengthen their multilingual identity. Students with another mother tongue than Swedish can choose to study Swedish as a second language instead of Swedish. 


Svenskundervisning för invandrare (sfi)

Swedish tuition for immigrants

Swedish tuition for immigrants aims at giving adults with a mother tongue other than Swedish basic knowledge of the Swedish language. The education should provide language tools for communication and active participation in daily, societal and working life.  


Särskild utbildning för vuxna (särvux)

Special education for adults

Special education for adults covers education at compulsory school and upper secondary school level. Education at the compulsory school level should correspond to that provided in the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities (grundsärskolan) or in the training school. At the upper secondary level, the education should correspond to that provided in the national programmes of the upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities (gymnasiesärskolan). It is also possible for municipalities to apply for state grants to run vocational adult education and apprenticeship education in special education for adults.


T

Timplan

Time schedule

The minimum number of hours that each subject is to be taught is specified in the time schedule for compulsory school (grundskolan) and upper secondary school (gymnsieskolan). The schools are free to decide on the distribution of the hours over the nine years in compulsory school and over the three years in upper secondary school. They are also free to decide on when a subject is to be introduced as long as the goals set for each subject are achieved. 


U

Universitet

University

Higher education institution with the right to award doctoral degrees. Universities have degree awarding powers at first, second and third cycle level. 


V

W

X

Y

YH-poäng

HVE-credits

Studies within higher vocational education (yrkeshögskola) are specified through HVE-credits, where five credits correspond to one week of full-time studies.


Yrkesexamen

Vocational diploma 

The vocational programmes (yrkesprogram) in upper secondary school lead to a vocational diploma providig a foundation for working life and further vocational education.


Yrkeshögskola

Higher vocational education 

Post secondary vocational education. The programmes are usually between one and three years and most of them are free of charge. The students are able to receive a Diploma in Higher Vocational Education (yrkeshögskoleexamen) after one year of full-time studies and an Advanced Diploma in Higher Vocational Education (kvalificerad yrkeshögskoleexamen) after two years of full time studies. 


Yrkesprogram

Vocational programme

Vocational programmes in upper secondary school provide the students with a foundation for working life and further vocational education. All students in vocational programmes do also have the opportunity of obtaining basic eligibility for higher education by choosing courses within the framework of individual options, and for certain programmes, from the subjects specific to the programmes, or the programme specialisations. All vocational programmes in upper secondary school include workplace-based learning (arbetsplatsförlagt lärande, APL) for a minimum period of 15 weeks. 

Higher vocational programme

Post secondary vocational programmes are started as a response to the needs of the labour market and delivered in close cooperation with employers. Vocational programme providers are typically institutions or establishments such as universities, local authorities or private education providers. The programmes are tailored to suit the needs of the labour market so the range of programmes and specialisations change over time.


Yrkeshögskoleexamen

Diploma in higher vocational education

The requirements to obtain a higher vocational education diploma are based on the Swedish Qualifications Framework (Sveriges referensram för kvalifikationer, SeQF) level 5. In order to award such a diploma, the programme must comprise a minimum of 200 HVE-credits (YH-poäng) which equals one year of full-time studies. The programme must also comprise a thesis.


Z

Å

Ä

Ö

Öppen fritidsverksamhet

Open leisure-time activities

Open leisure-time activities address children age 10-12 who do not need the care and supervision that is given in leisure-time centres (fritidshem) and in pedagogical care (pedagogisk omsorg). With open leisure-time activities, children are not enrolled and the families decide themselves how often the child participates. Open leisure-time activities are goverened by the the Education act (skollagen).


Öppen förskola

Open preschool

The function of an open preschool is to offer young children a pedagogical group activity in close cooperation with the adults accompanying them. The children are not enrolled in the open preschool, instead the adults decide when and how often they want to participate. The open preschool is supposed to be fun and stimulating for the children and the activities should be designed with both the children's and the adults' needs in mind.