What we do
The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) is an independent government agency. Our operations comprise three main areas.
The operations of the Swedish Higher Education Authority are laid down in the instructions issued by the Government. These instructions define our areas of responsibility and the tasks to be undertaken. However, UKÄ takes decisions and applies the law independently.
Each year the Government issues a public service agreement that specifies the targets and the funding for these operations. The Government also assigns on-going tasks during the year, these are referred to as government assignments.
Three main areas
- Quality assurance of higher education and research, and appraisal of the degree-awarding powers of public-sector higher education institutions.
- Legal supervision of higher education.
- Monitoring efficiency, follow-up and horizon scanning as well as responsibility for statistics in the higher education sector.
Quality assurance and degree-awarding powers
We evaluate the quality of higher education and research in Sweden. It is vital for students, employers and society at large that all higher education and research is of high quality.
Four separate evaluations form a national system for quality assurance. The objectives of UKÄ’s reviews are to assess the performance of the study programmes and contribute to the higher education institutions’ work with quality improvements in higher education.
Student rights and legal supervision
To ensure that student rights are respected we monitor and review how the higher education institutions apply the laws and statutes.
UKÄ also provides administrative support for the Suspensions Board for Higher Education and the Higher Education Appeals Board. The Suspensions Board hears cases concerning the suspension of students in higher education. The Appeals Board reviews appeals against decisions made in the higher education sector and higher vocational education sector.
Statistics, follow-up and analysis
- We are responsible for monitoring the effective use of resources by the higher education institutions.
- We follow up and analyse the operations of the higher education institutions, primarily to provide the Swedish Riksdag and Government with material on which to base decisions about higher education.
- We are responsible for the official statistics from the higher education institutions and decide on what information is to be collected and how it is processed. This includes, for instance, figures on the number of students in different programmes, distribution of the teaching staff by age and gender, as well as the higher education institution's financial reporting.
- We monitor developments in the higher education sector, mainly in Europe and the USA but also in the rest of the world.