Sweden:Historical Development

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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 war of liberation initiated by Gustav Vasa (1523-1560) in the beginning of the 16th century led to the break-up of the 'Kalmar Union' between Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Gustav Vasa became the first Swedish Regent and was, in 1523, crowned King of the united, centralized unitary state of Sweden.

Religion

It was under Gustav Vasa that, in 1527, a state church was formed, based on Lutheranism and Protestantism, whereby Sweden abandoned the international Catholic Church that had prevailed since the introduction of Christianity in the 11th century. The Protestant ethics have since strongly affected Swedish culture. Already when general elementary school was introduced in 1842, literacy was widespread thanks to efforts by the church.

Territory and Language

In the 17th and 18th centuries, Sweden was a major power in northern Europe. A number of wars were fought; during the height of its military power Sweden held control over parts of Germany, Poland, the Baltic States, Finland and Russia. Finland stayed a part of Sweden until conquered by Russia in 1809. A few years later Sweden formed a union with Norway that lasted until 1905. The formation of the Swedish-Norwegian Union in 1814 marks the end of Swedish involvement in military conflict. Danish, Norwegian and Swedish are partially mutually intelligible, and in Finland, there is still a Swedish-speaking minority and Swedish is one of the two official languages of Finland.

Law Making and Citizens' Rights

The Swedish constitution was adopted in as early as 1734 and its basic structure is still visible in Swedish law, even though its content has naturally evolved.

General elementary school was introduced in Sweden in 1842 by a Royal Decree that stipulated the responsibility of each parish to set up a school. The income and fortune based male voting rights system was abandoned in 1909 with the introduction of voting rights for all men. In 1921 universal suffrage was introduced, giving also women the right to vote. Religious freedom (also encompassing being able to choose not to belong to a religious community) was first enacted in legislation in 1951.

The Parliament

During the time of Gustav Vasa in the 16th century the first parliament (riksdag) was established with representatives from the four estates - the nobility, the clergy, the bourgeoisie and the peasantry. Over the following century stricter rules were adopted for the parliament and gradually an administrative apparatus developed. The power of the parliament has varied greatly and during certain periods its position in relation to the monarchy has been extremely weak. However, during the Age of Liberty in the 18th century, the parliament enhanced its position and a party system gradually emerged.

With the adoption of the constitution of 1809 the powers of the monarchy and the parliament were separated. At the same time the courts and authorities became independent. In 1865 a dual chamber parliament was introduced. A single chamber with 350 representatives replaced the two-chamber system in 1971, when standing committees in different areas were introduced (the number of parliamentarians was later changed to 349 to avoid the risk of a hung parliament). In 1974 Sweden adopted a new constitution. In 1994 the mandate period of the parliament was changed from three to four years with elections for all three levels of government taking place the first Sunday in September. The three levels represent the central powers on state, regional and municipality level.

Recent Reforms

Since 3 October 2014 the Swedish Government consists of the Social Democratic Party (S) and the Green Party (MP).
More information about the work of the Swedish Government and Government Offices, including contact information, is available at www.government.se.

Sweden became a member of the European Union on the 1st of January 1995 and has held the rotating Presidency of the European Council (‘EU Presidency’) twice, in 2001 and in 2009.