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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Main providers


8.Adult education and training

8.3Main providers

Last update: 27 November 2023


This chapter aims to offer a brief description of various categories of publicly subsidised adult education institutions, their number and their geographical distribution. Section 8.4 - Main Types of Provision offer more information about each category.


Municipal adult education (kommunal vuxenutbildning, Komvux), special education for adults (särskild utbildning för vuxna, särvux) and Swedish tuition for immigrants (svenskaundervisning för invandrare, sfi) are available in all 290 municipalities. Municipal adult education may be offered by various educational providers. In 2019, 38% of the participants in municipal adult education received their training in a school operated by a provider other than the municipality. The proportion of students in training provided by organisations other than the municipality has doubled over the past decade. 
  • Special education for adults was organised by 166 of 290 municipalities in the academic year 2021/2022. The home municipality is responsible for providing special education for adults, although it can be organised by independent actors or another municipality. Each municipality should actively work to inform adults in the municipality of their right to participate and encourage them to do so. On 1 January 2007, the right to special education for adults at the basic level entered into force for adults who do not have the skills, knowledge and competence that education and training at compulsory special school is intended to provide and who are capable of benefiting from this education. 
  • Swedish tuition for immigrants: Municipalities are obliged to offer Swedish tuition to adult immigrants who lack basic knowledge of the Swedish language. Courses should normally be available within three months of the individual’s registration as a resident of a municipality. In 2017 there were 342 different providers of Swedish tuition for immigrants, of which 239 were municipalities, 34 folk high schools (folkhögskolor), three study associations (studieförbund) and 36 other types of organisations, including companies. 

Provision targeting the transition to the labour market

Labour market training (arbetsmarknadsutbildning) is mainly vocationally oriented adult education that is given priority on labour market policy grounds and directed towards persons who are at least 25 years old, and who are, or who are at risk of becoming, unemployed.
  • Labour market training is most often organised by private educational providers; some programmes are organised by university colleges with a special orientation towards this kind of education provision. 26 296 people took part in labour market training at some point in 2017.
  • 4800 people participated in the course to enhance study motivation at a folk high schools in 2019.

Folk high schools and study associations

The organisers of liberal adult education (folkbildning), the study associations (studieförbund) and folk high schools (folkhögskolor) are largely financed through support from the state, county councils and municipalities. The Swedish National Council of Adult Education (Folkbildningsrådet) is responsible for allocating the state support to adult education associations and folk high schools.
  • Folk High Schools are distributed across Sweden. There are 156 schools in total, 114 of which are run by various civic or social movement organisations and associations, whilst the remaining 42 are run by county councils or regions.
  • The ten study associations offer 280 000 study circles and 341 000 cultural programmes each year through its member organisations.