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Sweden:Political and Economic Situation

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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

Political and Economic Situation

During the 20th century, in the space of a few decades, Sweden went from a poor agrarian country to an industrial nation. The foundation for growth was the wealth of northern Sweden's forests, ore and hydroelectric power. The value of these natural resources was enhanced by a series of inventions such as the steam turbine, the telephone, the cream separator and the safety match. The rapid economic expansion during the 1950s and 1960s enabled the public sector to be built up and a number of social reforms were implemented. With an insufficient domestic market, major Swedish companies were forced from the start to invest in exporting. This is regarded as one reason why Sweden today has a relatively large number of multinational corporations in comparison to the size of its population.

In September 2008 the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers in the United States sent a shockwave through the global financial system, the impact of which was also felt by Swedish banks. It led to reduced opportunities for households and companies to obtain loans on reasonable terms. The government and responsible authorities have taken several measures to maintain financial stability so as to limit the repercussions in the Swedish economy. The Swedish central bank (Riksbanken) and the Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden), as responsible authorities in the area, acted quickly to restore the functioning of the credit markets. To protect savers' money and restore confidence, the government decided to raise the deposit guarantee for bank deposit accounts.

Based on the common EU plan, the government drew up a stability plan for Sweden that was approved by the Swedish central bank. The plan comprises guarantees for banks' medium-term loans and makes it possible to provide emergency support to banks and other financial institutions. The measures are financed by means of a stability fund that is built up with the help of fees paid by the banks. The National Debt Office is responsible for the fund and for managing guarantees and support. The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) has also received additional resources to protect the interests of households and companies.

The problems in the financial markets spread to other parts of the economy. When the opportunities to obtain loans deteriorated, companies and households began to experience difficulties. This led them to reduce their consumption and investments. The reduced demand, in turn, results in companies having difficulty repaying their loans. As this interaction between the different parts of the economy risks exacerbating the situation, the government has focused on trying to restore confidence in the financial system and stimulating demand for labour, and presented several measures to make it easier for unemployed people to adjust. The government has presented several vigorous measures in response to the recession. The initiatives relate to jobs and entrepreneurship, research and infrastructure for the future, as well as measures to reinforce welfare provision.

Current Situation and Recent Reforms

In the wake of the financial crisis, there has been a downturn in demand in the global economy - for a small open economy like Sweden, which is financially integrated and deeply dependent on trade with other countries, this has immediate consequences. Unemployment rose in the wake of the crisis and was 8.1% of the total labour force in March 2011. Unemployment was 7.4% in 2015. One particular concern is the high unemployment among young people, in March 2011 amounting 26.6% for people aged 15-24, a number that decreased to 21% in 2015. The government has implemented a series of measures that aims to make it more worthwhile to work and simpler and less costly to take on employees, and to promote a better match between supply and demand on the labour market. The in-work tax credit, changes in unemployment and sickness insurance, lower social security contributions for employers and self-employed people, and tax credits for household services and for building repairs, maintenance and improvement are a few examples.

Public finances have permitted special programmes and reforms to be carried out in order to promote economic growth. The 1990s were characterised by major investments in the educational area, with increased rights to preschool, expansion of higher education and the Adult Education Initiative (Kunskapslyftet), which aimed at increasing the competence of adults with low levels of education. Investments have also been made in health and health care.

Although raw materials and processed raw materials still account for a sizable proportion of Swedish exports, the future of Swedish business is said to lie primarily in knowledge-intensive industries, where advantage can be taken of the country’s technological development, infrastructure and high general educational level. Information technology and biomedicine are two such knowledge-intensive sectors in which Sweden has been among the global leaders for years.

Based on the results of the referendum on the EMU held in September 2003, Sweden has chosen to remain outside the EMU. Approximately 56% of the voters voted against the euro while approximately 42% voted in favour. The voter turnout in the referendum was over 80%.

Level of Education in 2014

Sex
Population
(number)

Compulsory Education 

(%)

Upper secondary education (%) Post-
secondary
ed. less
than 3
years (%)
Post-
secondary
ed. 3
years or
more (%)
Information
about
education
missing (%)
Total 4  953 673
13 45 15 26 2
Women 2  440 112
11 42 16 31 1
Men 2  513 561
14 48 15 21 2

Source: Statistics Sweden

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

 
GDP (Million SEK)
GDP per capita (Million SEK)
Growth rate
GDP expenditure on education as a % of total GDP
2005
3 083 716
306.7
3.2

2010
3 308 061
352.7
5.6
7.8%
2015 4 155 155 424 4.1 7.4% (2014)

Source: Statistics Sweden