Supervision by the Swedish Higher Education Authority

What does the supervision of UKÄ (Swedish Higher Education Authority) involve?

In its role as the supervisory authority for public sector higher education institutions, the authority focuses on students' rights. This means that the authority scrutinises the higher education institutions to ensure that they comply with the laws and statutes that apply to higher education. Scrutinies can result from specific assignments from the Government, the authority's own initiatives or a complaint made by an individual or organisation.

Scrutinies are based on the laws and statutes that apply to higher education in Sweden, mainly the Higher Education Act, Higher Education Ordinance and the Administrative Procedure Act. Higher education institutions can also decide on their own local regulations. We can make sure that these local regulations are complied with and that they do not contravene any laws and other statutes.

The authority is also the supervisory authority for independent education providers entitled to award qualifications laid down in the Higher Education Ordinance (such as Chalmers University of Technology, Stockholm School of Economics and Jönköping University). These independent education providers are required to comply with only a limited number of the regulations that apply to public-sector higher education institutions.

The authority mainly acts in one of three ways in its role as a supervisory authority: it adjudicates on application of the law, conducts inspections and makes analyses of specific questions.

Adjudications

These are based in most cases on complaints from individuals or organisations, above all from students and student unions. Complaints play an important role for the exercise of supervisory authority as they provide examples of how the regulations are applied in practice. The authority can also take up cases on its own initiative.

Read more about how to make a complaint

Swedish Higher Education Authority's inspections

We undertake inspections of the higher education institutions every year. The authority does so to check that they are complying with the laws and statutes that apply to their operations. 

The authority's inspections are also intended to see whether the higher education institutions have their own control routines and records and this is monitored by making random checks during the inspection.

Before the inspection takes place the institutions are sent a number of questions to answer. The student unions also receive these questions and are given an opportunity to express views on how the regulations are applied.