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Context

Schools in Sweden have similar disciplinary climates in science lessons found in other OECD countries, according to students’ reports in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, with an index of disciplinary climate of 0.02 (the average index value was 0.00). Student truancy in 2015 was lower than the OECD average: 9% of 15-year-olds reported skipping at least one day of school in the two weeks before the PISA 2015 test, compared to 19.7% on average. However, students in Sweden were more likely to report that their science teachers adapt their instructions more frequently than the OECD average, with an index of adaptive instruction of 0.13 (the average index value was 0.01) (OECD, 2016[1]).

The PISA 2015 index of instructional educational leadership (measuring the frequency with which principals report doing leadership activities specifically related to instruction) was higher than the OECD average at 0.17 (the average was 0.01) (OECD, 2016[1]). The proportion of lower secondary teachers in 2016 aged 50 or over was 37%, compared to the OECD average of 35.4% (OECD, 2018[2]). According to school principals’ self-reports in PISA 2015, schools have higher levels of autonomy over curriculum in Sweden than on average across the OECD: 76.8% of principals reported that the school has primary autonomy over curriculum, compared to the OECD average of 73.4% (OECD, 2016[1]).

Lower secondary teachers in Sweden earned 89% of the average salary of a full-time, full-year worker with tertiary education in 2016, which was lower than the OECD average ratio of 91% (OECD, 2018[2]). According to the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2018, 63.1% of teachers in Sweden said that if they could choose again, they would still become a teacher; this was lower than the OECD average of 75.6%. Furthermore, 10.7% of teachers felt that the teaching profession was valued in society, compared to an OECD average of 25.8% in 2018 (OECD, 2019[3]).

According to school leaders’ reports in PISA 2015, school leaders in Sweden are more likely than average to conduct self-evaluations of their schools (98.2% of students were in schools whose principal reported this, compared to the OECD average of 93.2%), but less likely than average to undergo external evaluations of their schools (68.2% of students were in schools whose principal reported this, compared to the OECD average of 74.6%) (OECD, 2016[1]). Teacher appraisal levels as reported in the previous cycle of TALIS 2013 were higher than the average: 84.4% of all teachers had reported then having received an appraisal in the previous 12 months, compared to the TALIS 2013 average of 66.1% (OECD, 2014[4]).

The share of students enrolled in secondary schools whose principal reported in PISA 2015 that standardised tests are used to make decisions on students’ promotion or retention was 19%, which was less than the OECD average of 31% (OECD, 2016[1]).

In 2017, school autonomy levels over resource management (allocation and use of resources for teaching staff and principals) were higher than the OECD average: 50% of decisions in Sweden were taken at the school level, compared to the OECD average of 29%.

Sweden’s annual expenditure per student at primary level in 2015 was USD 10 853, which was higher than the OECD average of USD 8 631. At secondary level, Sweden spent USD 11 402 per student, compared to the OECD average of USD 10 010, while at tertiary level (including spending on research and development), Sweden spent USD 24 417 per student, compared to the OECD average of USD 15 656. In 2015, expenditure on education (from primary to tertiary) in Sweden as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) was 5.3%, which is similar to the OECD average of 5%. The proportion coming from private sources (including household expenditure, expenditure from other private entities and international sources) was lower than the OECD average (3.5% compared to 16.1%) (OECD, 2018[2]).

Evolution of key education policy priorities

Sweden’s key education policy priorities have evolved in the following ways over the last decade (Table 8.27).

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Table 8.27. Evolution of key education policy priorities, Sweden (2008-19)

Identified by

Selected OECD country-based work, 2008-191

Evolution of responses collected by the Education Policy Outlook, 2013-192

School improvement

According to OECD evidence, for early childhood education and care (ECEC), there could be more guidance and support for staff with caring responsibilities and teaching positions on leadership and management. In addition, there has been some deterioration in the quality and status of the teaching profession as well as an emerging shortage of qualified practitioners, requiring immediate system-wide attention. [2013; 2015]

Sweden reported the provision of secure and peaceful learning environments in schools as an ongoing priority as well as making the teaching profession more attractive and attracting more skilled teachers into the profession. Another aim is to provide school leaders and teachers with adequate development and career progression opportunities to strengthen the profession and make it more attractive. The lack of continuous training for the teaching workforce remains a major challenge. [2013; 2016-17]

Evaluation and assessment

The OECD identified the ongoing need to provide a common national reference framework for educational evaluation and assessment. Improved summative and formative assessment skills among teachers are needed, as is a system of teacher appraisal for registration at key stages in the career to encourage meritocratic career advancement. The recruitment, training, appraisal and support of school leaders is crucial due to the central role of school leadership in a decentralised system. There is a general need to improve pedagogical leadership among school leaders. The major tools providing evidence on how the education system is performing do not offer reliable measures of performance differences between regions/municipalities. [2011; 2015]

Sweden reported the ongoing prioritisation of improving equity in assessment and grading. It also reported the continuous challenge of providing a coherent national framework for evaluation and assessment that offers a clear overview of performance across the system and ensures comparability of assessment results across schools. [2013; 2016-17]

Governance

The OECD identified wide variations in local authorities’ capacity to provide the kind of recruitment, induction, mentoring, and continuing professional development necessary to support sustained improvements in teaching and leadership. Structural conditions and limited collaboration among schools and municipalities have resulted in a fragmented school system that does not provide optimal conditions for the professional development of teachers and school leaders. The OECD also identified the need to improve the system of institutions in charge of advising and supervising education policies. Key school reforms have been introduced in a piecemeal approach, are implemented by different actors, and risk limited or partial implementation. [2013; 2015]

Sweden reported an ongoing priority to strengthen the alignment and capacity to deliver reforms with a decentralised approach. Steering education policy through a clear national vision focused on raising the quality of Swedish education was also identified as a need. These priorities are ongoing. [2013; 2016-17; 2018-19]

Funding

According to OECD evidence, due to the increase in migration and a migrant population that includes a large share of refugees and family-reunion immigrants with relatively low skills, while low-skilled jobs make up a low proportion of the economy, important investments were needed to be targeted at the education and integration of refugees. [2017]

A reported priority is to improve the mechanisms for allocating and using resources to increase effectiveness. A focus is put on identifying and implementing an effective resource allocation model to promote efficient resourcing across the system. [2016-17]

Notes:

1. See Annex A (OECD publications consulted).

2. See Reader’s Guide (years and methods of collection).

Institutions

Selected education policy responses

School improvement

  • Sweden introduced several reforms to improve the attractiveness of the teaching profession. The teacher education programmes, introduced in 2011, are structured as four main degrees: pre-school education, primary school education, subject education and vocational education (Bäst i klassen - en ny lärarutbildning, 2009). Admission requirements are consistent with other higher education courses, although some supplementary conditions exist, such as required reading for certain courses. Alternative routes into teaching carry other requirements, such as pathways that demand proven work experience, and the KPU (Kompletterande pedagogisk utbildning) pathway, which supports academics in moving into teaching, which requires a doctoral degree. Teaching practice during initial teacher training is carried out at specialised training schools (Övningsskolor, 2014).

    Through a career development reform (2013), the government created career advancement steps with salary increases for qualified teachers in compulsory and upper secondary schools. Two new career categories were introduced: first-class teachers (förstalärare), who excel in their teaching practice, receive the equivalent of EUR 530 (SEK 5 000) per month; senior lecturers (rektor), holders of a licentiate degree, receive the equivalent of EUR 1 000 (SEK 10 000) per month. Approximately, one in six teachers qualifies for one of these positions, mostly that of first-class teachers (National information reported to the OECD).

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Progress or impact: The University of Stockholm was the first to start special training schools with a focus on strengthening the practical training component (VFU) in selected pre-schools and schools (University of Stockholm, 2017[540]). The aim was to create the best possible conditions for teacher students, thereby raising the quality of teacher education and strengthening professional development (University of Stockholm, 2017[540]).

A teaching profession coalition (2015) sustained consultations with social partners on potential alternatives for a teachers’ wage progression scheme linked to professional growth (other objectives include revising teachers’ administrative workload, improving induction and diversifying career pathways) (OECD, 2017[541]).

  • Sweden has introduced pedagogical training initiatives structured as collaborative research-based learning. These “Boost” programmes, for teachers of mathematics, reading and science were launched with a budget of EUR 28 million. The Matematiklyftet programme (2012), for example, is available to all mathematics teachers, tutors and school principals. Materials are produced in collaboration with over 20 Swedish universities and colleges and published on line. Materials are organised according to year groups and school type, and all follow a four-part structure supporting teachers to: 1) prepare independently, using the materials provided to them; 2) meet colleagues to discuss what they have read and collaboratively plan a lesson; 3) teach the lessons in their own classrooms; and 4) reconvene to evaluate and discuss their experiences. Weekly discussion meetings focus on didactic questions and are moderated by mathematics tutors trained by national authorities. During the programme, teachers exchange learning materials, ideas and experiences and enter into professional dialogue. The programme fosters collaborative teaching and enhances teamwork. School principals are also involved (OECD, 2017[541]).

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Progress or impact: A final evaluation report (2016) from the Swedish National Agency for Education found that this collegial training model (Matematiklyftet) has had a positive impact. Over 35 000 teachers were found to have participated in the mathematics training, which corresponds to 75% of all mathematics teachers in compulsory and upper secondary education. The training is also available to tutors (1 668 had participated by 2016) and school principals (2 961 had also participated by 2015). Participants reported feeling more confident and secure in their classrooms, and their teaching was more varied and student-centred. In 2017, the total cost of the programme was estimated at EUR 56 million (European Commission, 2017[542]).

The evaluation did not take into account the impact of the programme on students’ learning outcomes, however (Skolverket, 2016[543]) (European Commission, 2017[542]).

As of 2018, new mathematics modules are available on the Learning Portal, which aim to provide teachers, specialist teachers or specialist support teachers with tools to develop teaching for students with additional needs (Skolverket, 2018[547]). During 2018/19, supervisors can take part in a web-based supervisor training to acquire the skills to supervise participant teacher groups.

  • In 2015, Boost for Reading (Läslyftet, 2015-19), was launched to provide teachers in Sweden with an in-service training programme in literacy. The programme is also now being offered to pre-school teachers as part of a broader effort to strengthen the educational mission of pre-schools and also to promote the teaching of Swedish at an early age for children whose mother tongue is not Swedish (European Commission, 2017[542]). The Swedish government allocated SEK 6 million (USD 677 600) per year to the Boost for Reading programme during 2017-19, with an anticipated participation rate of just under half of all public schools and about one-quarter of private schools over the first three years (OECD, 2017[541]).

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Progress or impact: By 2017, the European Commission reported that 20 000 teachers and 1 600 schools had participated in Läslyftet. Funding grew from EUR 6.2 million in 2017 to EUR 9.5 million in 2019, including EUR 0.62 million for pre-schools (European Commission, 2017[542]). The 2018 annual evaluation of the Läslyftet found that two key goals have been met: developing skills for children’s language development, and developing a collaborative teaching culture (Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research, 2018[545]).

  • The Boost for Teachers (Lärarlyftet I, 2011-17; Lärarlyftet II, 2012-18) programmes offer university-based training for teachers who do not have a teaching qualification in the subject or age group they teach. The first phase of the programme saw 30 000 teachers enrol. The second phase was launched in 2012 with an additional pathway, open for applications from 2016, providing training courses leading to a qualification for those wishing to become special needs teachers (OECD, 2017[541]).

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Progress or impact: Since 2011, all Swedish teachers have been legally required to have certification in the subjects they teach. However, national statistics show that about one in three teachers in compulsory schools, and about one in five teachers in upper secondary schools, were not certified in 2017/18. The criteria for eligibility for certification are based on the candidate’s university degree and a points system, which differs by subject and grade. The government and the school authorities maintained their commitment to the implementation of Lärarlyftet II throughout 2019, with a total budget allocation of SEK 100 million. The government also committed an additional SEK 32 million to the implementation of the special educational needs teacher training pathway (Regeringen, 2018[546]).

  • In 2015, the coalition for the teaching profession fostered discussions with social partners to explore how to improve teachers’ wage progression in connection with their competences and development. In 2016, the government moved to address Sweden’s low teacher salaries by launching the Teacher Salary Boost initiative (Lärarlönelyftet, 2016), designating an extra SEK 3 billion (USD 338 million) per year to the initiative (European Commission, 2016[547]). Principals and/or employers can request an extra SEK 3 000 (USD 338) on average in monthly funding per teacher, to be distributed at their discretion on a local level among the teaching force. The government also introduced targeted salary increases through the career development reform (2013) (see above).

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Progress or impact: By 2017, at least 65 369 teachers had benefited from the Teacher Salary Boost initiative. On average, teachers received a monthly salary increase of SEK 2 600 (European Commission, 2017[542]). According to Sweden’s National Agency for Education, 98% of municipalities applied for the Salary Boost grants. Despite this high level of uptake, the European Commission reported significant variation in the capacity of municipalities to take full advantage of these grants, and to support continuous professional development among teachers (European Commission, 2016[548]).

The European Commission also recently reported that teacher recruitment and retention, particularly among early-career teachers, remain a challenge in Sweden (European Commission, 2017[542]). This is exacerbated by growing student numbers. Between 2010/11 and 2018/19, the number of students in compulsory education will have increased by 11% (from 886 000 students to 1 million students), and growth is expected to continue until at least 2030 (Cerna et al., 2019[549]). There is also an older teacher cohort where one in ten teachers in compulsory schooling is due to retire in the next five years (European Commission, 2019[550]).

According to forecasts from the Swedish National Agency for Education, 227 000 teachers must qualify for practice over the period 2017-31 to meet demand from the growing student population. However, estimates suggest that only 145 000 teachers will qualify in that period, leading to a prospective teacher shortage of more than 80 000 by 2031. Low recruitment is primarily due to the low perceived status of teachers, and salaries that fall below both the OECD and EU-22 averages later in the teaching career (OECD, 2016[551]; OECD, 2014[4]).

  • Since 2016, teaching has been among the 30 professions selected for Sweden’s Fast-Track initiative (2015). The initiative is an accelerated process to integrate newly arrived migrants with Swedish residence permits into a working environment that corresponds to their education and experience, within two years of their arrival. The government planned to allocate SEK 35 million per year from 2017 and 2019 (National information reported to the OECD). Newly arrived immigrants with teaching experience, including pre-school teachers, can have their qualifications validated quickly and enter a fast-track teacher training programme, partly run in Arabic, which is currently provided by six Swedish universities (OECD, 2017[541]). Participants complete work placements totalling 26 weeks in schools or pre-schools, in parallel with their studies. Participants are expected to complete the training and placements within one year instead of four, although this can vary depending on the person’s previous education and work experience, as well as opportunities in the labour market (OECD, 2017[541]).

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Progress or impact: In 2015, before the implementation of the Fast-Track initiative, it was estimated that almost 1 900 newly arrived adults had a teaching qualification from their home country and could benefit from the programme (European Commission, 2015[552]). The number of refugees registered in Sweden had increased significantly that year: from 80 000 registered refugees in 2014 to 163 000 (almost 1.7% of the population) in 2015 (European Commission, 2016[548]). As this number increases, so does the need to integrate people with a migrant background into the labour market.

In 2017, 720 newly arrived teachers entered the Fast-Track initiative, an increase from 420 the year before (OECD, 2017[541]). According to the Swedish Teachers Union, between 2016 (when the initiative was launched) and 2018, 1 304 people had participated or were still participating in the Fast-Track programme for teachers (Lärarförbundet, 2018[553]). Although this number is small compared to the overall number of new arrivals entering the country each year, it represents a positive step towards integrating people with a migrant background into the labour market (Lärarförbundet, 2018[553]).

A 2019 study conducted by Sweden’s Public Employment Service, which followed up on 50 participants from the first cohort of the teacher track, found that just over half were still in paid employment within the school system. The biggest obstacle to employment was identified as Swedish language proficiency (Vågen et al., 2019[554]).

Evaluation and assessment

  • In Sweden, in 2016, the Inquiry on National Tests published a report (Likvärdigt, rättssäkert och effektivt – ett nytt nationellt system för kunskapsbedömning, 2016) proposing significant revisions and modifications to the national system for assessing knowledge in Sweden, consisting of three components: tests, assessment support materials and knowledge evaluation. According to the proposal, the National Agency for Education will be given an overall remit to develop the three components. This includes disseminating information about the new system and its various components and providing relevant training (National information reported to the OECD).

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Progress or impact: National tests have been administered at the end of compulsory education and at upper secondary level for many years. In 2012, national tests at primary level were moved from Grade 5 to Grade 6. National tests were introduced for Grade 3 in 2009, covering mathematics, Swedish and Swedish as a second language, in order to identify those students requiring special support (European Commission, 2016[547]). As of 2016, it is compulsory to use the National Assessment support material made available for the teaching of Swedish, Swedish as a second language and mathematics in Grade 1.

In 2017, the government put forward a Proposal to the Swedish Parliament under the title National Test – Fair, Equal, Digital (Nationella prov – rättvisa, likvärdiga, digitala) (Regeringen, 2017[555]). This states that in accordance with assessment results, certain regulatory changes are necessary to increase the equitability and legal certainty of the national support for knowledge assessment and the grading. Proposed changes include: clarifying the purpose of national examinations and national assessment supports; assigning special significance to national test results in grading, when applicable; anonymising student responses; and ensuring responses are marked by someone other than the students’ teacher. The proposition also called for national tests and national assessment supports to be digitised, in order to streamline the grading and support systems.

The parliament endorsed the government’s proposal, and the new legislation came into force in mid-2018. The National Agency for Education has a government mandate to digitise the national tests, a process that is to be completed by 2022 and to carry out a pilot project on the external assessment of student responses on national tests. The Read-Write-Count guarantee for early intervention (Läsa, skriva, räkna – en garanti för tidiga stödinsatser, 2019) introduces mandatory evaluations of pupils’ reading, writing and mathematics skills at pre-school level, which are to be followed up with targeted intervention where needed.

Presently, mandatory national tests in mathematics and Swedish (including Swedish as a second language) are administered in Grades 3, 6 and 9 as well as tests for English in Grades 6 and 9 and both a science subject (biology, physics or chemistry) and a humanities subject (geography, history, religion or social sciences) in Grade 9. These tests support grading, except in Year 3, where the results support the assessment of achieved knowledge requirements. In upper secondary school, national tests are administered in different courses in mathematics, Swedish (including Swedish as a second language) and English, of which some are mandatory depending on which national programme the student is studying. The same tests are administered in adult education at the upper secondary level.

Additional education policies of potential interest to other countries

Evaluation and assessment

  • The Swedish Schools Inspectorate (2008) can exert sanctions and can impose fines (through a strengthened role granted by the Education Act, 2011) to schools not complying with regulations and standards. In the new model (2011), the Inspectorate prioritises the schools in greatest need of support and supervision takes place more frequently. Inspection reports are publicly accessible on the website. During 2018, the Swedish Schools Inspectorate carried out regular supervision or quality auditing processes leading to judgements for 48% of school units (covering both compulsory and upper secondary school). Data collected and analysed by the Inspectorate is being used to better support schools. For example, The National Agency for Education has been given a mandate called “Cooperation for the Best School System” (Samverkan för bästa skola), which sees central government co-operating with and supporting the governing boards (i.e. municipalities or independent organisations) and leadership teams of under-performing schools where conditions are particularly difficult. Information from the Swedish Schools Inspectorate helps determine which schools should be given priority, and the most relevant areas for improvement (National information reported to the OECD).

Systems

Selected education policy responses

Governance

  • Sweden’s School Commission (Skolkommissionen, 2015) was an expert group established to support improved learning outcomes, high-quality teaching and learning and greater equity in Swedish schools (OECD, 2017[541]). The Commission included teacher, school leader and student representatives, as well as academic researchers. The Commission delivered their final report in 2017 and has since been dissolved.

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Progress or impact: The School Commission first published an interim report (2016) that set out proposals for national targets in the areas of learning outcomes and equity, as well as key areas for improvement.

The group’s final report, the National Strategy for Improving Learning Outcomes and Equality (Nationell strategi för kunskap och likvärdighet, 2017), contains concrete proposals for improvement, a schedule for implementation and necessary amendments to statutes. The goals include: 1) strengthen education providers through central government support and collaboration; 2) improve the attractiveness of teaching while raising the skill levels of teachers and school leaders, and defining their core duties; 3) increase national responsibility for school funding; 4) ensure good environments for learning and development; 5) support active school choice and reduce school segregation; and 6) develop continuous curriculum development and evaluation systems (Regeringen, 2017[556]).

Actions are being taken on the proposals set out in the final report. For example, in response to Goal 3, the government launched an inquiry into the underlying causes of inequalities in allocated resources for teaching and student health within ECEC and compulsory schooling between municipalities. The inquiry will also analyse the extent to which current funding mechanisms take into account the needs of specific pupils and schools’ abilities to pursue equitable outcomes.

The final report also recommended that close to EUR 560 million would support the goals of raising teacher quality and addressing inequities found in the interim and final reports. Statistics Sweden was tasked with creating an annual socio-economic index that will provide the central government with a funding allocation strategy for targeted grants and support for outlined goals and initiatives (Regeringen, 2017[556]).

  • Vocational education and training (VET) providers, both private and public, and employers in Sweden, collaborate to organise higher vocational education (yrkeshögskolan, HVE), financed by the state. The duration of HVE programmes ranges from six months to three years, and most learners spend part of that time in the workplace. Since 2009, the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (NAHVE, 2009) has been responsible for ensuring the quality and relevance of HVE. Recently, the OECD reported that in terms of funding, these include administering a common framework of publicly funded vocational education at the post-secondary education level, and deciding which programmes will receive public funding and be included in the framework. In terms of quality assurance, the NAHVE audits the quality and outcomes of the programmes. It also analyses and assesses the demand for qualified labour and trends in the labour market (OECD, 2018[421]).

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Progress or impact: Findings from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Vocational Education (NAHVE) show that the number of applicants for HVE courses usually exceeds the supply and that this may be a contributing factor to the observed shortage of graduates with this type of education. Shortages, therefore, seem to be linked to insufficient supply of higher VET vacancies rather than excess in demand, with ample margin to enlarge the offer (OECD, 2016[557]).

According to recent statistics reported by the NAHVE, the number of eligible applications for HVE increased from 38 000 in 2014 to 40 100 in 2017. The number of graduates has also significantly increased, from 7 800 in 2007 to 12 700 in 2016. Within a year of their final exams, 93% of graduates from 2016 found employment, and 68% of these students were in a role that fully or largely corresponded to their education. At least 91% of students that year reported being satisfied with their education. At the start of 2017/18, more than 50 000 students were enrolled in 1 965 HVE training courses. At least 20 000 of those enrolled were first-time students (NAHVE, 2017[558]; NAHVE, 2018[559]).

In the 2018 budget bill, the Swedish government put forward a proposal for a significant expansion of HVE, entailing the most substantial investment in full-time study positions since the introduction of HVE. The parliament endorsed the government’s proposal.

The number of students in HVET (higher vocational education and training) is expected to increase by about 45%, from about 30 000 full-time study positions per year to 44 000 by 2022. In terms of total number of students, this means that HVE is expected to grow from 50 000 in 2018 to 70 000 students in 2022.

Funding

  • Tertiary education has always been free of charge in Sweden for all students who come from Sweden, the European Union, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. However, for international students from outside the European Union and the EEA, a tuition fee was introduced in 2011. All students, including those from outside of the European Union and the EEA, who wish to enrol in Swedish universities, can apply for financial support (through study grants and study loans) to pay for living expenses, with eligibility determined according to a minimum performance level and the number of credits achieved. Non-Swedish residents, who moved to Sweden for a reason other than to study, are also eligible for financial support in most cases (OECD, 2018[421]).

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Progress or impact: Following a dramatic fall in the number of foreign-born students with the introduction of tuition fees in 2011, international student numbers are now rising, including among those eligible for fees (European Commission, 2018[560]). The Swedish Higher Education Authority reports that for the last ten years, the number of first- and second-cycle foreign students in Swedish universities has surpassed the number of Swedish students abroad (Regeringen, 2018[561]). During 2017/18, there were 2 740 new incoming students who paid tuition fees, an increase of 23% compared to the year before (Swedish Higher Education Authority, 2017[562]).

In 2017, the Swedish government launched an inquiry into measures to strengthen the internationalisation of Sweden’s higher education system. A key proposal of the final report is to attract more international students by simplifying the application process and increasing scholarship funds. Higher education institutions must also increase transparency regarding tuition fees. The new measures are planned for implementation between 2020 and 2030 (Regeringen, 2018[561]).

Additional education policies of potential interest to other countries

Governance

  • In response to a 2016 Swedish government assignment to develop and implement a new national system for quality assurance of higher education (2017), the Swedish Higher Education Authority consulted students and various stakeholders in the labour market. It also piloted studies to test both a new methodology for institutional reviews and a revised methodology for higher education programme evaluations (Eurydice, 2018[563]). The result is a new six-year model of quality assurance for higher education institutions (HEIs) that started in 2017 (OECD, 2017[541]). According to the model, university chancellors and the National Authority for Higher Education remain responsible for evaluating higher education institutions (OECD, 2017[541]). From 2017, HEIs have the right to develop their own internal policies and procedures for quality assurance.

Funding

  • Following several targeted measures to tackle educational inequalities, in 2017, Sweden adopted additional educational measures to lower inequality and improve academic outcomes for all students. These include earmarked grants allocated to municipalities for targeted initiatives, such as interventions for newly arrived students, the Cooperation for the Best School System (Samverkan för bästa skola) programme and grants for equitable schools (SEK 3.5 billion for 2019) (National information reported to the OECD).

More information is available at http://www.oecd.org/education/policyoutlook.htm.

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