In Sweden there are approximately 50 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) offering higher education in various forms.

Public authorities and independent education providers

The majority of universities and university colleges are public authorities, subject to the same legislation and regulations as other public authorities in Sweden, as well as the particular statutes, ordinances and regulations relevant to the higher education sector.

A small number of universities and university colleges are self-governing and independent. They operate on the basis of an agreement with the Government and are obliged to follow the statutes, ordinances and regulations relevant to the higher education sector. In addition, there are a small number of independent organisations with degree awarding powers in Psychotherapy.

List of Higher Education Institutions in Sweden


A HEI is governed by a board. The governing board is responsible for ensuring the effective management of the HEI and for planning its future development. It is ultimately responsible for all the affairs of the institution. These boards consist of a chair and no more than 14 other members. Eight of the members are external members appointed by the Government on the proposal of the higher education institution.

The Government always appoints the chairperson of the board and the board then elects a vice-chairman. The Vice-Chancellor must always be a member of the board.


A vice-chancellor is appointed by the Government to manage the day-to-day running of a HEI for a maximum of six years. A pro-vice-chancellor is appointed for a maximum of six years.


HEIs enjoy a great deal of freedom within the framework of the statutes, ordinances and regulations laid down by the Government. HEIs can make decisions about the following:

  • Organisation of the HEI into units and decision-making bodies
  • Allocation of government funding within the organisation
  • Quality assurance procedures
  • Content and design of courses and study programmes
  • Number of available places on courses and study programmes
  • Admission and enrolment procedures
  • New professorships
  • Research focus
  • Contract education

The self-governing and independent higher education institutions have greater freedom with regard to the governance and management of their affairs.