At higher education institutions there are four general degrees in the first and second cycle and about 50 professional degrees. The general degrees in the first cycle are the Higher Education Diploma (högskoleexamen) (two years of study) and the Degree of Bachelor (kandidatexamen) (three years of study).
Governed by the general regulations in the legislative framework, higher education institutions (universities and university colleges) are free to define their own goals and how the programmes are organised. Their main tasks are to:
- Provide education that is based on scientific or artistic grounds as well as on well-established experience
- Carry out research and artistic and other development work
- Co-operate with the surrounding society and inform the public about the institutions’ activities
In higher education there should be a close link between research and education. Scientific credibility and good practice are to be safeguarded. The higher education institutions must tailor their activities to attain high quality and make efficient use of available resources. Higher education institution should promote students' influence over the education, as well as the understanding of other countries and international relations. Higher education institutions should work actively to broaden recruitment to higher education among goups that are currently underrepresented in higher education. No student is to be the subject of discrimination based on gender, age, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or disabilities.
General Objectives for First and Second Cycle Education
Students within first and second cycle studies should develop:
- The ability to make independent and critical assessments
- The ability to identify, formulate and solve problems
- A preparedness to deal with changes in working life
In addition to acquiring knowledge and skills in the field covered by the course, students should develop the ability to:
- Seek and evaluate knowledge at scientific level
- Follow developments in knowledge
- Exchange knowledge with people without special expertise in the field
Professional degrees have additional specific learning outcomes and they are specified in the System of Qualifications (examensordningen) which is the Annex 2 to the Higher Education Ordinance (högskoleförordningen).