University System in Sweden

Who modern, high-quality higher education would like to take abroad to complete, this is the place in Sweden. In the country of Pippi Longstocking and Michel from Lönneberga, international students from the EU are offered a whole range of English-language courses for which they do not even have to pay fees.

An individual care and best study conditions also contribute to that many students decide for Sweden – and definitely not regret this decision.

Types of universities in Sweden

As in most countries, the higher education landscape in Sweden is divided into undergraduate and postgraduate studies. As a result of the Bologna process, the degrees are uniform, students can obtain, among other things, bachelor’s or master’s degrees or do a doctorate. Semesters abroad in Sweden are also a popular form of study abroad for students.

In general, there are two types of higher education institution in Sweden : Universities ( Universitet ) and University Colleges ( Högskolor ). Most of them are in government hands. There are only a handful of private institutions that are also allowed to award academic degrees.

In terms of content, the universities have a wide range. So there are those who cover all possible subject areas. Others specialize in a particular topic such as agricultural science.

  • Universities ( Universitet ): Sweden’s 14 universities are regulated by the state and are allowed to award all types of academic degrees, from bachelor’s to doctoral degrees. The level is high, for example the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm University, Uppsala University, the Royal Institute of Technology and Lund University are regularly in the top 200 places in global university rankings in alternating order.
  • University colleges ( Högskolor ):With the exception of doctoral degrees, students can also obtain academic degrees at state university colleges, comparable to German universities of applied sciences. Only in exceptional cases are doctorates awarded in a special area.

The Ministry of Education and Research ( Utbildningsdepartementet ) is responsible for the universities. This also includes state funding. Universities that are supported by such funds are not allowed to charge tuition fees.

Quality of research and teaching

The Swedish Higher Education Authority ( Universitetskanslerämbetet ) takes care of quality assurance in the higher education landscape in Sweden. It assesses the quality of the programs on offer and checks whether the institution in question is suitable for awarding academic degrees.

It also records the statistical data and assesses the quality and efficiency of the universities. In addition, she is responsible for legal matters. This means that she looks at the implementation of guidelines and laws and makes sure that the rights of the students are respected.

Internationalization at Swedish universities

The Swedish Council of Higher Education ( Universitets- och Högskolerådet ) keeps an eye on the application process and the recognition of academic achievements in international collaborations. In addition, it repeatedly focuses on the advantages of stays abroad for students.

Since the Swedish universities have had more autonomy since the 2011 reform, they are better positioned for international competition and can attract more students from all over the world. International students make up around ten percent of the total student body. This makes the country very popular for a stay abroad.

Academic Year in Sweden

In Sweden, a country located in Europe according to usaers, universities decide how to divide the academic year. Usually there are two semesters. You set all other dates such as holidays, exam phases and others individually so that they can differ from university to university.

As a rule, the exams do not take place after the lecture phase, as is often the case in other countries, but are spread over the semester.

Semester system in Sweden

An academic year in Sweden starts with the fall semester in late August or early September. It ends in mid-January, but usually includes a break of a few days at the end of December. The spring semester begins immediately afterwards and lasts until the end of May or beginning of June.

There is usually only about a month between the end of lectures in Germany and the start of the autumn semester in Sweden. Students who want to go to Sweden should take this into account in their planning and not start too late.

The reason for this is that after the end of the academic year the Nordic countries want to use the summer time with the longer days for the holidays. This is why they start university operations as early as possible in autumn, while in southern countries the academic year usually starts much later.

Additional courses are often offered during the summer months when there are no lectures. The doors of the universities are normally open throughout the academic year, except during national holidays.

Academic year in Sweden at a glance:

Semester Period
Fall semester August – January
Spring semester January – June
Summer school June August

Trimester system in Sweden

The trimester system is rarely implemented. If you are talking about trimesters, then the summer school in the time between the academic years is often included.

University System in Sweden