Applicants and admitted to higher education in 2016

There was a 1 per cent decrease in number of applicants to Swedish higher education at first and second cycle studies, autumn term 2016.

For autumn 2016, 130 000 people without previous higher education studies applied to universities and institutions of higher education.

This is a decrease of one percent compared to the previous autumn when the figure was 131 000. Among those applying without previous higher education studies, 59 percent were women and 41 percent were men in autumn 2016.

The number of applicants without previous higher education studies has decreased for those aged 19-23, but 19-year-olds still account for the largest share of the applicants. The number of 19-year-old applicants in relation to the same age population as a whole has decreased compared to autumn 2015.

In addition to applicants without previous higher education studies, there is a large number of applicants who have already studied at university or institutions of higher education. A total of 417 000 persons applied to programmes and courses at universities and institutions of higher education in autumn 2016. This is an increase of two percent compared to the autumn of 2015. Out of the total number of applicants, 62 percent were women and 38 percent were men.

Drop in number of admissions without previous higher education studies

Up until the beginning of August 2016, 54 000 people without previous higher education studies were admitted. This is a decrease of one percent compared to the previous autumn. Of those admitted, 57 percent were women and 43 percent men.

A total of 236 000 applicants to programmes and courses were admitted in the autumn of 2016, which is a decrease compared to the previous autumn.

Smaller proportion of admissions compared to the previous autumn

Of those applicants without previous higher education studies, 42 percent were accepted in autumn 2016. The corresponding figure for autumn 2015 was 43 percent. Between 2000 and 2011 the number of applicants has varied but has constantly exceeded 50 percent and been as high as 57 percent in 2001. Since 2011 the share of admissions has decreased.

The proportion of those admitted to their first choice of programmes out of the total number of those admitted to programmes has seen an increase from 55 to 61 percent for persons without previous higher education studies.

Teaching degrees continue to increase in popularity

Of the 170 600 qualified applicants, 17 800 persons combined applied for one of the different teaching degrees as their first choice. The number of qualified first-choice applicants to the teaching programmes has increased from 12 500 to 17 800 over the last five years. The individual professional degree with the most qualified first-choice applicants was the MSc in engineering, which had 12 000 first-choice applicants. The Bachelor of Science (BSc) in nursing programme had 8 600 applicants, and the BSc in social work programme had 7 100.

Programmes can also be classified by specialisation. Most of the qualified firstchoice applicants applied to programmes specialising in social science, law, trade and administration (53 100) followed by healthcare and medical services and social work (39 600), teaching methodology and teacher training (30 000) as well as technology and manufacturing (24 600).

Greatest competition for places in psychology and medicine programmes

Among professional degree programmes with at least 100 applicants, the programmes that had the most qualified first-choice applicants per admitted student were psychology (9,4 qualified first-choice applicants per admitted student), medicine (6,6), veterinary science (6,3), physiotherapy (5,8), and law (5,4). By and large, these programmes were the same as those that had the highest number of applicants in autumn of 2015.

Grouping the programmes by specialisation, the most popular were oriented towards agriculture and forestry as well as animal health and healthcare and social services (3,6 and 2,8 qualified first-choice applicants per admitted student respectively). Somewhat less popular were the areas of social science, law, trade and administration (2,5).

Since the spring term 2007, all applications to higher education in Sweden are administrated via the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR), previously Swedish Agency for Higher Education Services.

The statistics presented in this report cover applications and admissions via the UHR coordinated admissions system to higher education at Swedish universities and higher education institutions. In previous terms, admissions were also possible via the local admissions systems of individual universities and higher education institutions, known as LANT. Apart from these two systems, it is possible to gain admission to higher education through special entrance tests administered by individual universities or higher education institutions.

Applications are made by people without previous studies in higher education and by students who have been enrolled before. Applications can be for entire programmes or for individual subject courses.

In the UHR coordinated admissions system, there are two admission rounds that apply to foreign students. These rounds are not part of the regular procedure for autumn 2016 and are therefore only reported separately under the heading “Utländska sökande och antagna” in this report.