Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Ongoing reforms and policy developments


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

Last update: 27 November 2023

This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2021.

The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.

The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels:

  •  Early childhood education and care
  •  School education
  •  VET and Adult learning
  •  Higher education
  •  Transversal skills and Employability.

Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.

Overall national education strategy and key objectives

The key objectives, or goals, for the Swedish preschools, compulsory schools and upper secondary schools are stated in the Education Act (Skollagen), the curriculum, the course syllabus and other regulations. The Education Act is determined by the Swedish parliament while the curriculum and course syllabus are determined by the government. 

The key objectives for Swedish higher education are stated in the Higher Education Act, public service agreements and ordinances such as the Higher Education Ordinance. The Higher Education Act is determined by the Swedish parliament while public service agreements and ordinances are determined by the government.

Overview of the education reform process and drivers

The Swedish parliament determines the laws and the government determines regulations for preschool, compulsory school, upper secondary school and higher education.

Swedish schools are goal-directed and the parliament steers the education by establishing goals in the Education Act (Skollagen) while the government determines the curricula and the course syllabi as well as other regulations for the education system. Within the framework set by the parliament and the government, the municipalities and owners of grant-aided independent schools implement the steering documents in order for their pupils to reach the goals/learning outcomes set for a certain school level.

The objectives for Swedish higher education are stated by the parliament in laws such as the Higher Education Act (Högskolelag) and by the government in public service agreements and ordinances such as the Higher Education Ordinance (Hogskoleforordning). The parliament also makes decisions regarding the establishment of new higher education institutions and regarding the financing of higher education.

The Ministry of education and research (Utbildningsdepartementet) and the central authorities connected to it have the overall responsibility for the central administration of the Swedish educational system. The Ministry sets the frames for the education system and the agencies have the task to implement law and ordinances.