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Glossary

Sweden

16.Glossary

Last update: 13 February 2024
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A

Anpassad grundskola

Compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities

The compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities consists of nine years of schooling and is an alternative to compulsory school (grundskolan). Within the compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities there is a special orientation called the training school. This is intended for pupils who have a lack of knowledge in all or parts of compulsory schooling for pupils with intellectual disabilities.

Anpassad gymnasieskola

Upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities

Upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities is a free, voluntary type of school that young people with developmental disorders or acquired brain injuries can choose to attend once they have completed compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities. It consists of nine national programmes as well as individual programmes and programmes that diverge from the national programme structure. Each national programme spans four years and consists of fundamental subjects, programme-specific subjects, more in-depth programme-specific courses and assessed coursework.

Arbetsmarknadsutbildning

Labour market training programme

If an individual is unemployed, or at risk of becoming unemployed, he or she can in certain cases participate in a labour market training programme. The aim of the programme is to improve the opportunities to find work and make it easier for employers to find labour with the right expertise. The Swedish Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen) is the responsible administrative authority.

Arbetsplatsförlagt lärande (APL)

Workplace-based learning

As part of the school-based upper secondary vocational education and training (VET), students have a minimum of 15 weeks of workplace-based learning. Workplace-based learning is of outmost importance for the vocational education and training since the purpose of the education is to link to future professions and enable students to learn from professional supervisors in a real-life context.

B

Barnskötare

Childminder

A childminder works with children in preschools together with preschool teachers. To become a childminder one needs to complete a three year vocational education on secondary level. This degree is also avaibale through adult education. 

C

D

Doktorsexamen

Degree of Doctor

A Degree of Doctor may be received on completion of 240 credits at third cycle level, including a thesis equivalent to a minimum of 120 credits.

E

Enskild utbildningsanordnare

Independent higher education provider

A higher education provider that is ran by an other operator than the state (most commonly a foundation).

EQF (europeiska kvalifikationsreferensramen)

European Qualifications Framework

A recommendation on the European Qualifications Framework was established by the Council of Europe and the European Parliament in 2008. Today, 38 European nations have given their approval of the recommendation and support the EQF. More information about the EQF is available on the European Commission website.

F

Familjedaghem

Family day-care home

Family day care homes are part of the same organisation as the preschools. The children are then placed in small groups in the home of a childminder. 

Folkbildning

Liberal adult education

Liberal adult education is not tied to academic qualifications. The education is organised through folk high schools (folkhögskolor) and study associations (studieförbund). It aims to reach groups of people who have traditionally remained outside the education system.  An essential aspect of liberal adult education is that everyone has the right to apply to take part in it. The education does not provide a degree or qualification, and its content is not governed by legislation. For news about liberal adult education see the page of the Government Offices of Sweden.

Folkhögskola

Folk high school

Independent adult education colleges that are part of the Swedish liberal adult education (folkbildning). People with little previous education have priority of application. The students must be at least 18 years of age. The concept originally came from the Danish writer, poet, philosopher and pastor N. F. S. Grundtvig (1783–1872). One of the main concepts still to be found at the folk high schools today is "lifelong learning". The schools should educate for life. They should shed light on basic questions surrounding life of people both as individuals and as members of society. The first folk high schools in Sweden were established in 1868. Folk high schools provide, in addition to liberal adult education, a general course that gives its graduates basic eligibility to higher education. 

Fribelopp

Earned income allowance

While studying with student aid students can at the same time have an income up to a certain amount without affecting level of student aid. This amount is called earned income allowance. The limit is calculated per calendar year, January-June or July-December. If a student has a higher income than the earned income allowance they are not entitled to the same level of grants and loans.

Fristående kurs

Freestanding course

An academic course that is not part of a programme. A student can choose to study a group of freestanding courses instead of a programme and then get an academic degree based on them.

Fristående skola

Grant-aided independent school

Non-public schools that recieve municipal grants. Grant-aided independent schools may be run by, for example, private companies or NGOs. The grants are paid by the students' home municipalities and are based on the number of students. The schools may recieve additional grants for students with special needs. 

Fritidshem

Leisure-time centre

The leisure-time centre organises pedagogical activities for pupils from the age of 6 until the spring term the year they turn 13. It complements the compulsory school (grundskolan) and the preschool class (förskoleklassen) by organising activities for pupils at times when they are not staying in school, for example before and after the school day and during holidays. The activities give the pupils slightly different experiences and learn things they may otherwise not learn at school. 

Förordning

Ordinance

Ordinances are governmental regulations based on the laws decided on by the Swedish parliament (riksdagen). The Higher Education Ordinance (högskoleförordningen) for example includes governmental regulations regarding Swedish higher education. The Education Ordinace (skolförordningen) includes regulations for compulsory school and the Upper Secondary School Ordinance (gymnasieförordningen) includes regulations for upper secondary school. 

Förskolechef

Preschool head

The preschool head is employed by the preschool provider and responsible for the daily operations of the preschool. The main focus is on the development of pedagogical methods and leadership. The preschool head works with tasks such as support for childrens development and learning, support for collegial learning processes, contributing to the employees training and development, workforce planning and scheduling.

Förskola

Preschool

The Swedish preschool consists of pedagogical actvities for children aged 1-5. It is not compulsory but all children should be offered a place in preschool from the age of one if their parents wish to. The Swedish preschool has its own curriculum (läroplan).

Förskoleklass

Preschool class

Since the authumn of 2018 the preschool class is compulsory for all children from the year that they turn six. The preschool class follows the same curriculum (läroplan)  as compulsory school (grundskolan) . There are no syllabi for the preschool class. 

Förstelärare

First teacher

In addition to teaching, a first teacher’s work duties can for example include coaching other teachers, initiating pedagogical conversations, leading projects with the purpose to improve education, supporting teacher students and newly graduated teachers during their introductory year and being in charge of specific subjects. Individual teachers apply to become a first teacher through their employer, who in turn can apply for funding from the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket) to cover the wage increase.

Förskollärarexamen

Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Pre-School Education

The degree of Bachelor of Arts in Pre-School Education is the degree received after studying the Preschool teacher training programme. For details see Annex 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance (an unofficial English translation).

Förskollärarprogrammet

Preschool teacher training programme

The preschool teacher program equips students with the necessary skills in child development and health, leadership, conflict-resolution and social relationships. It also prepares future preschool teachers to stimulate and support children based on their different needs. 

Förvaltningschef

Chief administrative officer

A chief administrative officer is generally a civil servant within public administration. He or sher is responsible for the administration such as economy-, staff-, IT-, registry- and procurment. At universities and university colleges the chief administrative officer is the supreme employee beside the vice-chancellor (rektor), responsible for questions of legal, administrative and economic character.

G

"G", godkänt

Passed

On university level, the Swedish grading scale is defined as VG, väl godkänt (passed with distinction); G, godkänt (passed); I, icke godkänt (fail). A number of universities are currently in the process of transitioning to an ECTS based scale, with an A to F grading, pursuant to the Bologna process.

Grundläggande vuxenutbildning

The syllabi laid down by the Swedish National Agency for Education sets out the detailed goals for basic adult education (grundläggande vuxenutbildning). Courses are offered in the following subjects: Swedish/Swedish as a second language, English, mathematics, social studies, religious studies, history, geography, physics, chemistry, biology and home economics and nutrition. The syllabi are the same as for compulsory schools, but the courses may be split into several sub-courses. The curriculum for basic adult education set out within the 2012 Curriculum for Ault Education (Läroplan för vuxenutbildningen 2012).

Grundlärarexamen

Degree of Bachelor/Master of Arts in Primary Education

The Degree of Bachelor/Master of Arts in Primary Education  is the degree received after studying the Primary school teacher training programme (grundlärarprogrammet). A Degree of Bachelor/Master of Arts in Primary Education is awarded in one of three specialisations. A Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Primary Education with a specialisation in extended school teaching is a first-cycle qualification awarded after the student has completed the courses required to gain 180 credits. The degrees of Degree of Master of Arts in Primary Education with a specialisation in teaching in early years classes and grades 1-3 of the compulsory school and Degree of Master of Arts in Primary Education with a specialisation in teaching in grades 4-6 of the compulsory school are second-cycle qualifications awarded after the student has completed the courses required to gain 240 credits. For details see Annex 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance (an unofficial English translation).

Grundlärarprogrammet

Primary school teacher training programme

The program consists of core classes on teaching pedagogy including leadership in the classroom, theories of learning, early child development and coursework assessment. Students then focus on key subject areas they will be teaching in, and finally, participate in vocational experience which is done at a school. 

Grundskola

Compulsory school

Nine-year comprehensive compulsory school, equivalent to primary and lower secondary education. Swedish children start compulsory school at the age of seven. 

Grundsärskola

Compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities

The compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities was earlier known in Sweden as "grundsärskola". Since July 2023 it is called "anpassad grundskola" in Swedish. For more information see Anpassad grundskola.

Gymnasial lärligsutbildning

Upper secondary school apprenticeship education

Certain upper secondary schools offer an upper secondary school apprenticeship program as part of their vocational education (yrkesutbildning). The program can begin in the first, second or third upper secondary school year, and allows the student to spend at least half of their education in one or more work places. In this way the apprentice becomes part of a working team at a work place, establish contacts and get a foot in the door when it comes to getting a job.

Gymnasial vuxenutbildning

Upper secondary adult education (gymnasial vuxenutbildning) offers all subjects available at standard upper secondary schools except for sports and chess. The project work (projektarbete), which is mandatory for completion of upper secondary school, is not needed for completion of upper secondary adult education. The compulsory subjects, in which a grade is required for a certificate of the completion of upper secondary school, are Swedish/Swedish as a second language, English, social studies, religious studies, mathematics and natural science. While both the syllabi and learning goals are the same for adult upper secondary education and standard upper secondary school, the course contents, scope and emphases can differ. A work plan defines the measures for achieving the goals of each course and is put together by teachers, student representatives and other school staff. The school head has the final say over work plans. The curriculum for upper secondary adult education is set out within the 2012 Curriculum for Adult Education (Läroplan för vuxenutbildningen).

Gymnasiearbete

Upper secondary school assigment

In order for a student to receive a upper secondary school diploma, he or she must complete their gymnasiearbete. With this assignment the student ties together their studies and demonstrates that they are ready for work or further study. The assignment should be related to the particular program of study and can be done alone or in a group, yet each student will be assessed individually. 

Gymnasiegemensamma ämnen

Upper secondary foundation subjects

Foundation subjects in upper secondary school are subjects that all students must take regardless of which school programme they are studying. The eight common subjects are: English, History, Physical education and Health, Math, Science, Religion, Social studies, and Swedish/Swedish as a second language. Students study these subjects equally regardless of which program they are studying. 

Gymnasieskola

Upper secondary school

The Swedish upper secondary school includes three years of study. After those three years students with sufficient results receive an upper secondary higher education preparatory diploma (högskoleförberedande examen) or an upper secondary vocational diploma (yrkesexamen), depending on which national programme they have studied at. The Swedish upper secondary school includes 18 national programmes. It also includes five introduction programmes not leading to an upper secondary diploma and several specially designed programmes. 

Gymnasiesärskola

Upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities

Upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities was earlier called "gymnasiesärskola" in Swedish. Since July 2023 it is called instead "anpassad gymnasieskola". For more information see Anpassad gymnasieskola.

H

Högskola

University college

Higher education institution with limited or no right to award doctoral degrees. Some university colleges have additional degree awarding powers at third cycle level regarding a specific disciplinary domain. University colleges that currently have no authority to award doctoral degrees may apply to the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) for permission to award doctoral degrees within a particular field of which they have specific knowledge. The field is defined by the university college. 

Högskolan

Higher education

General term for the whole higher education area, including universities (universitet) and university colleges (högskolor). 

Högskoleförberedande program

Higher education preparatory programme

The higher education preparatory programmes prepare students for continued studies at university or university college, primarily within the area of the current programme. The higher education preparatory programmes do not prepare students for a specific type of employment after graduation, instead they work as a foundation for continued education within the higher education sector.

Högskoleexamen

Higher education diploma

The higher education diploma is a degree within higher education received after two years of study at first cycle level. It comprises 120 credits. 

Högskoleförberedande examen

Higher education preparatory diploma

The higher education preparatory programmes (högskoleförberedande program) in upper secondary school lead to a higher education preparatory diploma providing eligibility for higher education. 

Högskoleprovet

Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test, SweSAT 

The Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test takes place twice a year, in March/April and in October. The test is optional and costs a small amount of money to take. It measures knowledges and skills that are essential in all higher education programmes. When there are more applicants than places regarding a higher education course or programme, a minimum of one third of the students are to be selected based on the results of the Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test.

Högskolepoäng 

Higher education credits

Courses studied at higher education institutions are translated into higher education credits. 1.5 credits equal one week of fulltime study (40 hours of work including self-study). One year of fulltime study equals 60 credits. A Bachelor's degree requires a minimum of 180 credits, which translates into three years of fulltime study. One higher education credit equals one ECTS credit.

I

"I", icke godkänt

Fail

On university level, the Swedish grading scale is defined as VG, väl godkänt (passed with distinction); G, godkänt (passed); I, icke godkänt (fail). A number of universities are currently in the process of transitioning to an ECTS based scale, with an A to F grading, pursuant to the Bologna process.

Introduktionsprogram

Introductory programme

For students that are not eligible for a national programme (nationellt program) in upper secondary school, there are five introductory programmes. None of the introductory programmes provides an upper secondary diploma, but the idea is that they should lead either to the student enrolling in a national programme or to employment. The introductory programmmes are carried out full time and the students follow individual study plans.

J

K

Kandidatexamen

Degree of Bachelor

A degree received after three years of fulltime study at first cycle level. It comprises 180 credits. 

Kommun

Municipality 

Local authority with extensive autonomy. The Swedish municipalities are responsible for preschool (förskolan), preschool class (förskoleklassen), compulsory school (grundskolan), upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan) and adult education at compulsory and upper secondary level (kommunal vuxenutbildning). There are 290 municipalities in Sweden. 

Komvux (kommunal vuxenutbildning)

Municipal adult education

The municipalities (kommunerna) are obliged to provide adult education on compulsory school level and upper secondary school level. The starting point is the needs and conditions of the individual. Those who have received least education should be given priority.

Komvux som anpassad utbildning

Municipal adult education for adults with intellectual disabilities

Education for adults with intellectual disabilities covers education at compulsory school and upper secondary school level. Education at the compulsory school level (Municipal adult education at basic level for adults with intellectual disabilities) should correspond to that provided in the compulsory school for pupils with intellectual disabilities (anpassad grundskola) or in the training school. At the upper secondary level (Municipal adult education at upper secondary level for adults with intellectual disabilities), the education should correspond to that provided in the national programmes of the upper secondary school for pupils with intellectual disabilities (anpassad gymnasieskola). It is also possible for municipalities to apply for state grants to run vocational adult education and apprenticeship education in for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Konstnärlig högskola

University college of fine, applied and performing arts

Higher education institution within fine, applied and performing arts. They have limited or no right to award doctoral degrees. They may have additional degree awarding powers at third cycle level regarding a specific disciplinary domain. If they currently have no authority to award doctoral degrees they may apply to the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) for permission to award doctoral degrees within a particular field of which they have specific knowledge. There are five institutions within this category in Sweden. 

Kunskapslyft

Adult Education Initiative

Adult Education Initiative is the umbrella term for a series of ongoing state initiatives within the field of adult education. These include the funding of permanent student places within a number of different forms of education and schools for adults, along with initiatives to increase the quality of adult education. The initiatives also affect other associated policy areas, such as youth policy, labour market policy, regional policy and integration policy. The Adult Education Initiative includes programmes in adult vocational education, higher vocational education, folk high schools and university and university colleges.

Kursplan 

Syllabus

The syllabus is a document that describes a the course's purpose, content, prerequisities, and more. Each course corresponds to a grade in a subject. The syllabus is a legally binding document describing what kind of teaching and examination an expected an admitted student is promised. 

Kvalificerad yrkeshögskoleexamen

Advanced higher vocational education diploma

The requirements to obtain an advanced higher vocational education diploma are based on the Swedish Qualifications Framework (Sveriges referensram för kvalifikationer, SeQF) level 6. In order to award such a diploma, the programme must comprise a minimum of 400 HVE-credits (YH-poäng) which equals two years of full-time studies. Time spent in workplace training (lärande i arbete, LIA) must be at least 25 per cent of total programme hours. The programme must also comprise a thesis. 

L

Lagrådsremiss

Proposal referred to the Council on Legislation for consideration

A proposal referred to the Council on Legislation for consideration is a draft of a law that the Government sends to the Council of Legislation which checks that the proposal is not contrary to any existing law. After that the Government adjusts the proposal and sends it to the Parliament for vote.

Landsting

County council

County councils are self-governing entities and the highest decision-making body within a county (län). County councils manage for example health care, public transportation and regional planning. 1 January 2020 the official Swedish name of county council was changed from "landsting" to "region". 

Lektor

Senior subject teacher

A teacher at compulsory school (grundskola) or upper secondary school (gymnasieskola) level who has passed a degree of Licentiate (licentiatexamen) or a doctoral degree (doktorsexamen) and has demonstrated excellent quality of teaching over a period of service of at least four years. It is the education provider that appoints the position. The education provider receives governmental grants to add SEK 10 000 to the monthly salary of a senior subject teacher. 

Senior lecturer

A teaching position at higher education (högskolan) level that requires a doctoral degree and pedagogical training. A senior lecturer normally works both as a teacher and with reasearch. 

Lärande i arbete, LIA

Workplace training

A higher vocational programme normally has several periods of workplace training. Workplace training gives the students the opportunity to learn about the profession they are aiming for and offers an opportunity to combine theory with practice.

Licentiatexamen

Degree of Licentiate

A Degree of Licentiate may be received on completion of 120 credits at third cycle level, including a thesis equivalent to a minimum of 60 credits. The degree could be a step towards a Degree of Doctor (doktorsexamen). 

Län

County

Sweden is divided into 21 counties. The duties of the counties include for example health care and public transportation. The administrative duties of the counties are operated by one of the 21 county administrative boards (länstyrelser).

Länsstyrelse

County administrative board

Sweden is divided into 21 counties and each county has a county administrative board. The county administrative board is in charge of a range of tasks such as implementing national objectives, co-ordinating the interests of the county, promoting the development of the county and establishing regional objectives.

Lärarlegitimation

National certification for teachers

In December 2013, a system of teacher and preschool teacher certification came into force. A teacher or preschool teacher can apply to be certified after a degree in initial teacher training or initial preschool teacher training. If a teacher or preschool teacher seriously neglects their work, their certification may be withdrawn; such decisions will be taken by a special committee - the Teachers' disciplinary board (Lärarnas ansvarsnämnd) - under the Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket). Certification is required for a teacher to be able to independently set grades and the general rule is that only certified teachers qualify for permanent employment.

Läroplan

Curriculum 

The curricula are steering documents that Swedish schools have to follow. There are a curriculum for the preschool (förskolan), a joint curriculum for compulsory school (grundskolan), the preschool class (förskoleklassen) and the leisure-time centre (fritidshemmet) and a curriculum for upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan). 

Läslyft

Boost for reading

The boost for reading is a professional development initiative for teachers in preschool, preschool class, compulsory school and upper seconadry school. The aim is to improve the quality of education by giving teachers a variety of tools to develop students' ability to read and write.

M

Masterexamen

Degree of Master (120 credits)

A two years degree at second cycle level which may be taken by someone who has a previous Degree of Bachelor (kandidatexamen). At least 60 credits must be taken in the main field, including a degree project equivalent to 30 credits. 

Magisterexamen

Degree of Master (60 credits)

A one year degree at second cycle level which may be taken by someone who has a previous Degree of Bachelor (kandidatexamen). At least 30 credits must be taken in the main field, including a degree project equivalent to 15 credits. 

Maxtaxa

Maximum tax

Since 1998 there has been a maximum fee for schoolchildren and school activities in Sweden, including preschool (förskola), leisure-time center (fridishem), and educational care (pedagogisk omsorg). This tax ceiling varies annually. 

Modersmålsundervisning

Mother tongue tuition 

The term relates to the tuition which is offered to pupils with another mother tongue than Swedish. It is not used when describing tuition in Swedish for Swedish-speaking students. 

N

Nationella prov

National tests 

The national tests are taken by students in third, sixth and ninth grade in compulsory school (grundskolan) and as part of certain courses in upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan). They cover several subjects; mathematics, Swedish, English, natural science subjects (biology, chemistry and physics) and social subjects (civics, history, geography and religion). The subjects differ between third, sixth and ninth grade in compulsory school and between compulsory school and upper secondary school. In third grade for example only knowledges and skills in mathematics and Swedish are tested. The national tests are not external examinations, but a way of monitoring achievement at pupil, school and national level. 

Nationellt program

National programme

Upper secondary school consists of 18 national 3-year programmes. 12 of these are vocational programmes (yrkesprogram) which provide a foundation for working life and six are higher education preparatory programmes (högskoleförberedande program) which provide a foundation for further education in the higher education sector.

Närhetsprincipen

Principle of proximity

There is a principle according to the Education Act (Skollagen) that children have a right to be placed in schools in the proximity of their homes. However, they can prefer to go to another school further away and they should be placed there in that case if there is place after other children who have been placed first according to the principle of proximity. It is up to each municipality to decide what proximity means in this case.

O

Områdesbehörighet

Field-specific entry requirements 

Field-specific entry requirements regulate what kind courses you need to have studied during secondary education in order to get access to a certain university programme. 

P

Pedagogisk omsorg

Pedagogical care

Pedagogical care is an alternative to preschool (förskola) or leisure-time centers (fritidshem) for children ages 1-12 years. It may include staff taking care of children in their own home, or a multi-family solution. The care should strive to stimulate the children's development and learning and be designed to prepare children for continued education. The responsible authority should consistently report on the activities and monitor development. The responsible authority is the municipality if it's a municipal school or the school board if it's an independent school. 

Problembaserat lärande 

Problem Based Learning (PBL)

PBL is an educational approach where learning is based on reality-based situations where students gather information that is discussed and reflected in groups, often with the help of a supervisor. A central principle in PBL is that the students themselves take responsibility for their learning. 

Programgemensamme ämnen 

Programme specific subjects 

Programme specific subjects refer to core subjects all upper secondary school (gymnasiet) students within the same programme must take. For example, all upper secondary school students studying the Science programme must study Biology 1, Physics 1, Chemistry 1 and a foreign language. 

Proposition

Government bill 

Government bills are proposals from the government (regeringen) to the parliament (riksdagen), applying new laws or funding. The budget bill for example includes proposals regarding state funding for the upcoming budget year, for education as well as other areas.

Prorektor

Pro-vice-chancellor 

A pro-vice-chancellor is usually a person tasked with assisting the higher education institution's vice-chancellor and being the vice-chancellor's deputy when he/she is absent. 

Q

Qualifications Frameworks in the European Higher Education Area (QF-EHEA) 

This framework describes the higher education qualifications of countries participating in the Bologna process.  National Qualification Frameworks provide a mapping between higher education qualifications and an overarching framework, allowing the cross-comparison of qualifications from different countries. Read more about Sweden as a member of the QF-EHEA

R

Region

County council

Regions are a form of county councils, which are self-governing entities and the highest decision-making body within a county (län). County councils manage for example health care, public transportation and regional planning. In the form of region the county council has an expanded responsibility for additional functions in society. They were formerly know as (landsting).

Rektor 

School head (preschool, compulsory school and upper secondary school)

The school head leads and manages the pedagogical activities and is the head of teachers or preschool teachers and other staff. According to the Education Act (Skollagen SFS 2010:800) the school head has the overall responsibility for the school and its development.

Rektor 

Vice-chancellor (university) 

The vice-chancellor has overall responsibility for the activities of the University as a whole (in cooperation with the pro-vice-chancellor) and is responsible under the University Board for leading the organisation. This includes monitoring the organisation and taking initiatives for renewal and change. The vice-chancellor issues the regulations that are required and has a general supervisory duty regarding the organisation. The vice-chancellors of state universities are appointed by the Swedish Government.

Rektorsprogrammet

School head training

The school head training is a state regulated continuing professional development programme at academic level that strengthens school leader's ability to lead and manage. The studies comprise 30 higher education credits and cover the areas: school law and public authority, target and result management and school leadership.

S

Sameskolan

Sami school

Children of Samis can attend the Sami school during the compulsory school years 1-6. Other children can also attend the Sami school if there are special reasons. The curriculumn and the syllabi of the compulsory school apply to the Sami school, but the Sami school also has a syllabus in Sami. After the Sami school, pupils go on to the compulsory school.

SeQF (Sveriges referensram för kvalifikationer)

Swedish Qualifications Framework

The Swedish National Qualifications Framework is adapted to suit the current standards in Sweden, with its basis on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). Read more about SeQF.

Sfi (svenska för invandrare)

Swedish tuition for immigrants

Swedish tuition for immigrants aims at giving adults with a mother tongue other than Swedish basic knowledge of the Swedish language. The education should provide language tools for communication and active participation in daily, societal and working life and also facilitate continuing education. 

Skolväsendets överklagandenämnd

The Board of Appeal for Education 

Skolväsendets överklagandenämnd, is an independent authority similar to a court of law to which students or their guardians can turn to appeal certain decisions made in connection with preschool classes, compulsory schools, upper secondary schools and adult education.
One can only appeal certain types of decisions, for example decisions concerning action program, decisions regarding placement in particular teaching groups and decisions regarding admission into a school for students with learning difficulties, an upper secondary school or into Swedish tuition for immigrants.

Skolbarnomsorg

After-school care

After-school care refers to municipal supervision of schoolchildren outside school hours, usually in the form of leisure-time centres (fritidshem). In order for a child to be entitled to after-school care, both parents must be studying or working. Children with unemployed parents are not entitled to after-school care unless the child has a need due to family circumstances. 

Slutbetyg

Final grade

A final grade is a grade document that includes all courses passed in high school or adult education (komvux). The final grade can only be obtained through traditional three-year high school education and usually includes 2,500 high school points. 

Specialskolan

Special school

Children who due to a functional impairment or for other special reasons cannot attend the compulsory school (grundskolan) or the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities (grundsärskolan) can attend the special school. This includes children that are blind or have visual impairments as well as children that are deaf or hearing impaired or have a severe speech disorder.

Studiecirkel

Study circle 

The study circle is the most common form of activity characterising the study associations (studieförbund). Study circles offer different subjects, such as artistic subjects, languages and social studies, through regular informal education during a limited time period.

Studieförbund

Study association 

The study associations are part of the Swedish liberal adult education (folkbildning) which aims at reaching groups of people who have traditionally remained outside the educational system. Study circles (studiecirklar) are the most common activities characterising the study associations.

Studiemedel

Post secondary student aid

Student aid at higher educational level or for adult education at upper secondary level. It consists of student grants (studiebidrag) and a repayable student loan (studielån).

Studiebidrag

Student grants

The student grant is part of the student aid (studiemedel) that students can apply for through The Swedish Board for Study Support (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN). The student grant doesn’t have to be repayed as long as the student has completed a major part of the studies.

Studielån

Student loan

As part of the student aid (studiemedel), students can apply for student loans through The Swedish Board for Study Support (Centrala studiestödsnämnden, CSN). The loan has to be repayed over a period of a maximum of 25 years and before turning 60.

Studie- och yrkesvägledare

Career and guidance councelor

There are especially trained career and guidance counselors at compulsory schools (grundskola), upper secondary schools (gymnasieskola) and in schools for municipal adult education (kommunal vuxenutbildning). Although career education and guidance is the responsibility of all school personnel, the career and guidance counselors have specialist knowledge that plays a central role in career education and guidance. In order to be employed as a career counselor in the public school system, the applicant must have an education that is intended for such work.

Svenska som andraspråk

Swedish as a second language

Swedish as a second language is a subject in Swedish schools and in Swedish speaking schools in Finland. The aim is to give students with another mother tongue than Swedish the ability to develop their communicative language skills and strengthen their multilingual identity. Students with another mother tongue than Swedish can choose to study Swedish as a second language instead of Swedish. 

Svenska utlandsskola

Swedish schools abroad 

There are a number of Swedish/Scandinavian schools abroad for students who live abroad with at least one guardian. The schools offer education in Swedish and strive to align themselves with the Swedish national curriculum. The 18 official Swedish schools abroad, which also receive government grants, can be found in Belgium, England, France, Kenya, Mocambique, Portugal, Russia, Saudi-Arabia, Spain, Germany and Austria.  

Särvux (särskild utbildning för vuxna)

Special education for adults

Municipal adult education for adults with intellectual disabilities was earlier known as "särvux" in Swedish (special education for adults). Since July 2023 it is called with its new name. For more information see Municipal adult education for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Komvux som anpassad utbildning

Municipal adult education for adults with intellectual disabilities

Special education for adults 

covers education at compulsory school and upper secondary school level. Education at the compulsory school level should correspond to that provided in the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities (grundsärskolan) or in the training school. At the upper secondary level, the education should correspond to that provided in the national programmes of the upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities (gymnasiesärskolan). It is also possible for municipalities to apply for state grants to run vocational adult education and apprenticeship education in special education for adults.

T

Talman

The speaker has the assignment to direct the work of the Parliament (riksdag) in cooperation with the leaders of the political parties. Among the speakers tasks is to lead the negotiations in conjuntion with general elections and changes of government and present new Prime minister candidates.

Timplan

Time schedule

The minimum number of hours that each subject is to be taught is specified in the time schedule for compulsory school (grundskolan) and upper secondary school (gymnsieskolan). The schools are free to decide on the distribution of the hours over the nine years in compulsory school and over the three years in upper secondary school. They are also free to decide on when a subject is to be introduced as long as the goals set for each subject are achieved. 

U

Universitet

University

Higher education institution with the right to award doctoral degrees. Universities have degree awarding powers at first, second and third cycle level. 

Ur och skur förskola

Rain or shine preschool

Ur och skur förskola is an educational pedagogy based on nature living and outdoor education. These types of schools teach both indoors and outdoors all year round, encouraging children to engage with nature and stay physically active while alternating between lessons and activities.  

Utbildningsplan 

Education plan

The education plan is an overall document that sets out the objectives, main context, scope and who the education organiser is. The objectives and content of the education are then defined in the syllabuses, as determined by the education management team. 

V

"VG", väl godkänt

Passed with distinction

On university level, the Swedish grading scale is defined as VG, väl godkänt (passed with distinction); G, godkänt (passed); I, icke godkänt (fail). A number of universities are currently in the process of transitioning to an ECTS based scale, with an A to F grading, pursuant to the Bologna process.

Vuxenutbildning

Adult education

Consists of three types of schools: municipal adult education, special education and adult education in Swedish for immigrants. Types of schools follow the same curriculum, but have different curricula and syllabuses. The studies should be based on an individual study plan shall be provided for each student.

W

X

Y

YH-poäng

HVE credits

Studies within higher vocational education (yrkeshögskola) are specified through HVE credits, where five credits correspond to one week of fulltime studies. 200 HVE credits equal one year of fulltime studies.

Yrkesexamen

Vocational diploma 

The vocational programmes (yrkesprogram) in upper secondary school lead to a vocational diploma providig a foundation for working life and further vocational education.

Yrkeshögskolan

Higher vocational education 

General term for post-secondary non-tertiary education. The programmes are usually between one and three years and most of them are free of charge. The students are able to receive a Diploma in Higher Vocational Education (yrkeshögskoleexamen) after one year of fulltime studies (EQF level 5) and an Advanced Diploma in Higher Vocational Education (kvalificerad yrkeshögskoleexamen) after at least two years of full time studies (EQF level 6). 

Yrkeslärarprogrammet

Vocational teacher training program 

This degree trains future teachers for vocational programmes. 

Yrkesprogram

Vocational programme

Vocational programmes in upper secondary school provide the students with a foundation for working life and further vocational education. All students in vocational programmes do also have the opportunity of obtaining basic eligibility for higher education by choosing courses within the framework of individual options, and for certain programmes, from the subjects specific to the programmes, or the programme specialisations. All vocational programmes in upper secondary school include workplace-based learning (arbetsplatsförlagt lärande, APL) for a minimum period of 15 weeks. 

Higher vocational programme

Post secondary vocational programmes are started as a response to the needs of the labour market and delivered in close cooperation with employers. Vocational programme providers are typically institutions or establishments such as universities, local authorities or private education providers. The programmes are tailored to suit the needs of the labour market so the range of programmes and specialisations change over time.

Yrkeshögskoleexamen

Diploma in higher vocational education

The requirements to obtain a higher vocational education diploma are based on the Swedish Qualifications Framework (Sveriges referensram för kvalifikationer, SeQF) level 5. In order to award such a diploma, the programme must comprise a minimum of 200 HVE-credits (YH-poäng) which equals one year of full-time studies. The programme must also comprise a thesis.

Z

Å

Ä

Ämneslärarprogrammet

Subject teacher training programme 

This programme is desgined for students interested in teaching at the high school level. Depending on the subject the student is interested in teaching, the programme will prepare them to be engaging and educated teachers. The programme will also prepare students to handle issues in a classroom setting such as conflict management, leadership, identity development, and diversity issues like ethnicity, gender, and disabilities. 

Ö

Öppen fritidsverksamhet

Open leisure-time activities

Open leisure-time activities address children age 10-12 who do not need the care and supervision that is given in leisure-time centres (fritidshem) and in pedagogical care (pedagogisk omsorg). With open leisure-time activities, children are not enrolled and the families decide themselves how often the child participates. Open leisure-time activities are goverened by the the Education act (skollagen).

Öppen förskola

Open preschool

The function of an open preschool is to offer young children a pedagogical group activity in close cooperation with the adults accompanying them. The children are not enrolled in the open preschool, instead the adults decide when and how often they want to participate. The open preschool is supposed to be fun and stimulating for the children and the activities should be designed with both the children's and the adults' needs in mind. 

Överklagandenämnden

See: Skolväsendets överklagandenämnd.