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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Funding in education


3.Funding in education

Last update: 30 January 2024

Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Preschool and school funding is shared between the state and the municipalities. The municipalities receive revenues from municipal taxes to finance municipal activities. State funds are paid as what is called ‘the general state grant’ to the 290 municipalities. Each municipality then allocates resources to individual schools and preschools. The preschool is financed in the same way, but also charges fees to cover part of its costs. The amount for these fees is regulated and a maximum fee determined centrally. Schools at compulsory level, municipal as well as grant-aided independent, are funded by municipal grants from the pupils' home municipalities and by state grants, i.e. are grant-aided and free of charge (and this includes school meals, tools and equipment as well). Sami schools (sameskola) and schools for pupils with impaired hearing (specialskola) are financed directly by the state.

Higher Education Funding

Higher education at universities and university colleges is financed directly from the state budget. When higher education institutions receive allocations from the Ministry of Education and Research (Utbildningsdepartementet) for the education on first and second cycle they receive the goals and framework for the coming budget/ calendar year. The goals stipulate:

  • Targets for certain courses in terms of number of degrees over a four-year period, as well as planning forecasts for a four-year period
  • Targets for the number of full-time students in certain subject areas which are a national priority (at present in science and technology)
  • Maximum total remuneration, i.e. the maximum amount that may be generated by the number of full-time students and their performance for the budget year
  • Possible specific commitments that may require additional compensation

The final allocation of resources is dependent on the results achieved at each institution in terms of student numbers (converted to full-time annual student equivalents) as well as study performance (converted to annual performance). Higher education institutions are obliged to consider the special needs of students with physical disabilities. Each university and university college must set aside 0.3 percent of its undergraduate grant for measures to assist students with physical disabilities. If the 0.3 percent is insufficient the institutions may apply for extra state subsidies.

Teachers at state universities and university colleges are appointed by the institutions and are state employees. Salaries at all institutions are individually negotiated between the staff member, the employer and a trade union.

Parallel with the state-funded institutions for higher education there is a number of independent education providers and intependent course providers. These institutions charge fees and have no grant-aid when they offer higher education to employers but when they offer education directly to students it is free of charge and state-funded just like at public institutions.

Adult Education and Training Funding

State and municipal adult education is grant-aided and free of charge. Advanced vocational education programmes receive grants from the state and are free of charge.

The organiser can decide to charge for learning aids. Private education organisers often charge fees. In some cases students can get study assistance to cover these, see 3.3 - Financial support for adult learners

In supplementary education a fee is charged for the courses. The cost can vary depending on whether the course is government-subsidised or not. Some courses entitle a student to a study grant, others do not.

The Swedish Board of Student Finance (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN)

The Ministry of Education and Research (Utbildningsdepartementet)