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Sweden has a population of 9.7 million people and by the end of 2013, 3 492 923 were between 0 and 29 years old. Almost half the Swedish population is involved in some form of organised education and 920 997 are pupils in compulsory school. The main language of instruction is Swedish. There are state schools for the Sami population in the north of Sweden, with teaching in Swedish and Sami. Sweden has among the highest public spending on education relative to GDP in the EU with 7.93% in 2013. 

In Sweden, all pupils in compulsory and upper secondary school attend publicly funded schools. 14 % of the pupils in compulsory school and 26 % in upper secondary school attend grant-aided independent schools (2013/2014). Such schools are open to all, follow the same curricula and receive grants from the municipalities as municipal schools do. There are around 17 private higher education institutions, some of which receive state subsidies.

All education in the school system and in higher education institutions - except for students from non-EU/EEA countries - is free of charge. Study support for university students is primarily intended to cover the student's living costs during his/her higher education period. The study support system is equal for all, includes almost all citizens, is given directly to the student and is principally granted independently of parents' or family's financial situation. It consists of a loan and a grant and can be granted for full or part-time studies. A study allowance promotes high participation in secondary school and contributes to the costs of young people's education. It is given in addition to other societal support to families with children. There are various other types of study support intended for specific groups of students, for example disabled students.

Education in Sweden is steered by goals/learning outcomes defined at central level. The government has the overall responsibility for education and sets the framework for education at all levels, but the municipalities are responsible for providing and operating schools at primary and secondary level, and adult education at basic and secondary level and Swedish tuition for immigrants. For schools there are curricula, goals and syllabi. Higher education institutions are responsible for tertiary education. Laws and ordinances set their legal framework and stipulate degrees in first, second and third cycle tertiary education and their requirements. Post secondary vocational education (at ISCED level 4) is organised and run by a specialised agency, The Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (Myndigheten för yrkeshögskolan).

For further information, please consult the introduction articles of Organisation and Governance and of each educational level: Early Childhood Education and CareSingle Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary EducationHigher Education and Adult Education and Training.

For a brief description of other main topics regarding the national education system, please read the introduction article of Funding in EducationTeachers and Education StaffManagement and Other Education StaffQuality AssuranceEducational Support and Guidance and Mobility and Internationalisation

For information on recently adopted or planned reforms and policy measures, please consult topic Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

While Eurypedia provides comprehensive and comparable information, further information may also be found on the websites of the Ministry of Education and Research as well as other government agencies: 

Ministry of Education and Research

Swedish National Agency for Education

Swedish National Agency for Higher Education

Swedish Council for Higher Education

Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education

National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools

Swedish Schools Inspectorate

Statistics Sweden

Structure of the national education system 2014/15 

Age of students                                                                                                                                                                                        Programme duration (years)

Diagram 2015 Sweden.png

Key Notes.3.PNG

source: Eurydice

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