Overall responsibilty and regulations

The Swedish Parliament and Government decide on the regulations that apply to the higher education area.

The Swedish Government

The Swedish Government is responsible for:

  • Granting university status
  • Enacting legislation regulating the higher education sector
  • Funding higher education courses and study programmes
  • Funding a high proportion of research
  • Appointing vice-chancellors of higher education institutions
  • Regulating the agencies involved in the higher education sector

The Ministry of Education and Research

The Ministry of Education and Research is responsible for issues relating to schools, Higher Education Institutions, research, adult education, popular education and student finance.

To the website of the Ministry of Education and Research

The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)

In Sweden, public-sector HEIs are agencies in their own right that report directly to the Government and the Ministry of Education and Research. One exception is Sveriges Lantbruksuniversitet (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), which is accountable to the Ministry for Rural Affairs.

All higher education is offered by public-sector HEIs or by independent education providers granted degree-awarding powers by the Government. Third-cycle courses and programmes are offered by universities or university colleges that have been granted entitlement to award third-cycle qualifications.

In Sweden, there are approximately 50 public-sector university colleges, independent HEIs and independent higher education providers in Sweden. The majority of them are public-sector university colleges.

The Parliament (Riksdag) decides which public-sector HEIs are to exist. The Government can decide whether a HEI has university status.