Our legal supervision
The Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKÄ) is a regulatory authority. This means that we review the compliance of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with the applicable rules and regulations in Sweden.
What does UKÄ review?
UKÄ has oversight of public HEIs with a focus on students’ rights, reviewing the compliance of HEIs with applicable rules and regulations. It applies, among other things, to the provisions of the Higher Education Act, the Higher Education Ordinance and the Administrative Procedure Act. We also review whether HEIs comply with their own rules.
How does our supervision work?
UKÄ has different working methods for supervision: we process complaints, primarily from students; carry out HEI supervision; conduct targeted inspections when warranted, and have projects in which we investigate special issues.
Supervision can be initiated on behalf of the Government; on our own initiative, or following a complaint from an individual or an organisation.
What do we review?
UKÄ has oversight of state HEIs in Sweden and independent higher education providers entitled to award qualifications. Examples of independent higher education providers that we can review include Chalmers University of Technology, Stockholm School of Economics, and Jönköping University Foundation. However, they are only required to follow the same rules that apply to state HEIs to a limited extent.
What is a supervisory case?
Complaints are typically submitted to us by students and student unions. We can also open a case on our own initiative. Supervisory cases are important because they provide an example of how the rules are applied in practice.
What is HEI supervision?
In 2017, UKÄ tested a new method for legal supervision. Supervision is connected to UKÄ’s reviews of HEIs’ quality assurance procedures. The focus is on reviewing the legal issues covered in the Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance in the European Higher Education Area (ESG).
The result of HEI supervision may then provide a basis for UKÄ’s reviews of the HEIs’ internal quality assurance procedures, which are part of the system for quality assurance of higher education.
What is an inspection?
UKÄ carries out inspections at HEIs when we receive indications that a HEI has shortcomings in a certain legal area. The purpose of these targeted initiatives is to review on site the HEIs’ compliance with the regulations that apply to their operations. The results of the visit are compiled in a report.
What decisions can be appealed and how?
The Higher Education Appeals Board (ÖNH)
Some decisions taken by a HEI may be appealed. Most decisions are appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board. Examples of decisions that may be appealed include: that the applicant is not qualified; that a student will not receive his or her diploma; that a student may not defer his or her studies or be granted leave from studies; and that a student may not be granted credit transfers from previous studies. Employment decisions may also be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board.
Disciplinary measures (warning or suspension)
The decisions of Swedish HEIs on disciplinary measures may be appealed to the administrative court.
Independent higher education providers
Decisions by independent higher education providers may not be appealed to the Higher Education Appeals Board. Independent higher education providers may have internal rules regarding reconsideration of their decisions. For more information about this, consult the relevant HEI.