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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Management staff for higher education


10.Management and other education staff

10.5Management staff for higher education

Last update: 15 February 2024

Requirements for Appointment

The vice-chancellor (rektor) of a higher education institution – a university (universitet) or university college (högskola) - is its legal representative and responsible for its teaching, research and administration. Either a professor or a senior lecturer may become a vice-chancellor or a pro-vice-chancellor (prorektor) of a higher education institution. Usually there is a special post as chief administrative officer (förvaltningschef) which is the supreme employee beside the vice-chancellor, responsible for questions of legal, administrative and economic character.

The Government appoints vice-chancellors of state universities and state university colleges for up to six years on the basis of a proposal by the board of the institution concerned; academic as well as administrative skills are taken into account in the selection. The appointment may be renewed twice, each time for a maximum of three years. The board appoints the pro-vice-chancellor of the institution. The pro-vice-chancellor is appointed for no longer than six years.

The appointments of vice-chancellors and pro-vice-chancellors are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance

Appointments of vice-chancellors and pro-vice-chancellors of independent institutions are made by the institution. 

Conditions of Service

The vice-chancellor (rektor) of a higher education institution and the pro-vice-chancellor (prorektor) are employed by the institution. Conditions of service are decided by the government, regarding employment at state universities (universitet) and state university colleges (högskolor), or by the independent institution. 

The rules for holidays and retirement within state sector are the same for the management staff within higher education as for other employees within state sector. In general working hours are not regulated for those in managerial position. The number of holidays depends on your age (from 28 to 35 days per year) and you reach 35 days at the age of 40 years. The retirement age depends on the year you were born and the retirement age is going up by each generation. It is possible to retire from the age 61 years up to the age of 67 years which then affects the size of the pension entitlement. The standard retirement age for those retiring in 2024 was 65 years (giving the standard pension entitlement). Employees have in general the right to continue working, if they so wish, until the maximum retirement age. If the employer agrees they can continue working longer than that. In 2026 the standard retirement age in Sweden will change to 67 years with the new minimum retiring age becoming 64 years and the maximum 69 years.

The monthly salary for vice-chancellors varies depending on the size of the institution but in 2024 the average was SEK 87 300 (around 8 700 EUR) according to Yrkeskollen. The pro-vice-chancellors' salaries within higher education would be a bit below the one for the vice-chancellors. The monthly salary for chief administrative officers in Sweden (not only within higher education) in average in 2024 was SEK 69 200 (around 6 900 EUR) according to Yrkeskollen.