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National Support Services - Sweden

National Support Services - Sweden


The Swedish Council for Higher Education


    The Swedish Council for Higher Education

    The Swedish Council for Higher Education is a government agency whose responsibilities span across the education sector. One of our main focus areas is higher education.

    We are tasked with providing objective and relevant information about higher education and the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (högskoleprovet). The agency’s responsibilities include stimulating interest in higher education and promoting widening participation. We are contracted by Swedish universities and university colleges to manage admissions, and also provide support for student administration. As a result, we possess detailed knowledge of admission regulations. Additionally, the agency works to prevent discrimination and to promote equal treatment at universities.

    Our work broadly spans the education sector and is characterised by its international dimensions.

    We evaluate foreign qualifications at the upper-secondary, post-secondary and academic level.

    The Swedish Council for Higher Education is also the national agency for EU programmes and other international programmes for the education sector. We provide information and support for international exchanges and collaborations across the entire education sector.

    The agency also manages international programmes for professionals.

    We handle the exchange schemes available to Swedish professionals in the Nordic countries and Europe. For those interested in working for an EU institution, we also provide preparatory training before applying to an EU recruitment competition.

    Systems management is also part of our service portfolio.

    Our agency has years of experience with system management, and also provides these services to external customers. To name two examples, we have been entrusted with the technical management of the Ladok platform, the Swedish national system for student management. We also run the BEDA database, which collects final school grades from upper-secondary schools for transmission to the Swedish admissions system NyA and Statistics Sweden.

    Additionally, we are tasked with following up, auditing, and analysing processes and outputs within our sector.

    The work program is valid for 2017/2018 and the starting point for all NSS Sveriges efforts is that EPALE is the digital platform for adult learning in Europe. NSS Sweden cooperates with various national networks of authorities and organizations in adult learning. Policy focus will be on basic skills and the transition from education to working life. Particular attention will be devoted to counsellors for all sectors of adult education. NSS Sverige collaborates with other NSS for EPALE (mainly those who are also responsible for Erasmus +). The focus is mainly on the Nordic countries because there is a long tradition of cooperation in adult education.

    Foreseen results and outputs:

    - NSS Sverige attends 30 meetings per year in Sweden

    -  Extend the EPALE ambassador group

    - Continue to work with the EPALE reference group 

    - Continue to cooperate with Erasmus+ and Nordplus AE

    - Provide information material directed at the adult education area

    - Publish different types of documents, a result of meetings with adult education actors

    - Create support documents for participation in Erasmus + and other Nordic programs

    - Contribute to the discussions on EPALE

    - Support to the animation of the portal discussion forums related to the NSS priorities targeting one of the categories counsellors, staff in museums or staff in libraries.

    Helena Wallinder

    Coordinator EPALE



    Sanna Holmkvist

    Expert general adult education, Coordinator Europass and Adult Education






    Adult education in Sweden

    Since the 1960s Sweden has ranked high among western countries in terms of its commitment to adult education. The adult education system and student welfare reforms of the mid-1970s carried on from the grassroots tradition of liberal adult study and education initiatives.

    The school system for adults includes municipal adult education, education for adults with learning disabilities and Swedish for immigrants.

    Municipal adult education (Komvux)

    Municipal adult education at basic level is to help adults gain the knowledge they need to take part in society and working life. It is also meant to prepare adults for further study. Municipal adult education at upper secondary level, in turn, is to equip adults with knowledge corresponding to the levels set for pupils at upper secondary school.

    Education in Swedish for immigrants is intended to equip adult immigrants with a basic knowledge of the Swedish language. A further purpose of Sfi is to teach reading and writing to immigrants who lack basic knowledge of these skills.

    Education for adults with learning disabilities (Särvux)

    Education for adults with learning disabilities aims to equip these adults with knowledge corresponding to that taught in compulsory and upper secondary schools for pupils with learning disabilities.

    Post-upper secondary vocational education and training instead of adult education

    Higher vocational education

    Vocational higher education programmes and courses may be organised by state higher education institutions, municipalities, county councils and private natural or legal persons. These programmes and courses will integrate strong links with working life and a sound theoretical foundation. They will also be designed and run by partnerships between businesses and education providers. Providers of these programmes may apply to the National Agency for Higher Vocational Education for eligibility for central government grants or special funds.

    Supplementary education

    Supplementary education is a supplement to the education system. It helps adults develop knowledge and skills in specific occupational fields and can help to preserve traditional trade skills, among other things.

    Liberal adult education

    Liberal adult education has a long tradition in Swedish society and is characterised by great freedom in setting its own objectives, while the Government defines the purposes of the government grants. These are to help to enable people to influence their own lives and encourage commitment to participating in developments in society. This support is also aimed at helping to close education gaps, raise the standard of education in society, and broaden interest and increase participation in cultural life. Liberal adult education includes folk high schools, study associations and student organisations at folk high schools. The Swedish National Council of Adult Education is responsible for distributing government grants to folk high schools, study associations and student organisations.


    Box 4030 171 04 Solna Solna Strandväg 132B, Solna

    +46 (0)10-470 03 00
    +46 (0)10-470 03 01