In Sweden every child from the age of six, has equal access to free education. The school system is regulated through the Swedish Education Act, which ensures a safe and friendly environment for students. The school year in Sweden runs from mid/late August to early/mid June. The Christmas holiday from mid December to early January divides the Swedish school year into two terms, one in the autumn and one in the spring.
In Sweden, förskola (pre-school) is provided by municipalities for children ages one to five. The amount of municipal subsidy for pre-school depends on the child’s age and whether the parents work, study, are unemployed or on parental leave for other children. The job of the pre-school is to provide a platform for lifelong learning. It is to support families in their responsibility for their children’s upbringing, development and growth. It is also to be organised so that it enables parents to work or study.
Pre-school combines child care with pedagogical work in an activity that takes day-long responsibility for the whole child. There is great scope for play and creativity as well as for the child’s own exploration. Pre-school is to be a fun, secure, learning experience for all the children who attend.
Municipalities should provide pre-schooling for children from the age of one:
▪ When parents are working or studying.
▪ When parents are unemployed or on leave of absence.
Children of parents who are unemployed or on leave of absence should be offered a place for at least 3 hours a day or 15 hours a week. Some municipalities provide more hours. Pre-schools are open all year round. Daily opening hours are adapted to suit the work or studies of parents and the needs of the children.
The compulsory school, or the compulsory school for learning disabilities, Sami school or the special school is compulsory in Sweden. Each school year is divided into two terms, one in the autumn and one in the spring. In Sweden most children begin their first year at school in the autumn term when they reach the age of 7. It is also possible that children start when they reach the age of 6 and in special cases 8.
The Compulsory school consists of nine school years. In Sweden most children begin their first year at school in the autumn term when they reach the age of 7.
It is also possible that children start when they reach the age of 6 and in special cases 8. Education should be equivalent irrespective of where pupils attend school.
Swedish compulsory schooling consists of three stages:
• lågstadiet (years 1–3)
• mellanstadiet (years 4–6)
• högstadiet (years 7–9).
Children between ages 6 and 13 are also offered out-of-school care before and after school hours.
Grading: Pupils do not start receiving official grades until the 6th grade. The grading system goes from A to F, where A is the highest possible grade and E the lowest pass grade.
All youth in Sweden who have completed compulsory school are entitled to a three-year upper secondary school education. Gymnasium (upper secondary school or high school, years 10–12) is optional. There are 17 regular national programs of 3 years to choose from, 6 of which are preparatory for higher education such as university, and 12 of which are vocational. While entrance requirements vary between programs, all of them demand students to have passing grades in Swedish, English and mathematics from their final year of compulsory schooling.
The Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket)
There are 148 folk high schools – independent adult education colleges – in Sweden.
As of autumn semester 2011, higher education is free of charge only for Swedish, EU/EEA, and Swiss citizens.
Each folk high school decides independently what courses it provides, and freely designs its teaching.
This means that courses can be quite different from each other.
There are several types of course: year-long courses, short courses, summer courses or distance courses.
Long courses are of the following types:
General courses, which are an alternative to municipal adult education. They correspond to, and provide the same eligibility as, compulsory comprehensive school or upper secondary school.
Special courses oriented towards: specific areas of interest (such as music, art, the environment, international) professions (such as youth recreation leader, treatment assistant, sign language interpreter) groups (e.g. people with various disabilities, immigrants, migrants etc)
The training is divided into three levels based on each other:
Basic level (three years)
Advanced level (one to two years)
Doctoral level (two to four years)
The scope of a course or a training program is counted in higher education credits. One semester’s full-time studies correspond to 30 higher education credits. A full-time academic year comprises 60 higher education credits.
Universities in Skåne:
Folk High Schools
There are 148 folk high schools – independent adult education colleges – in Sweden. Each folk high school decides independently what courses it provides, and freely designs its teaching. This means that courses can be quite different from each other.
There are several types of course: year-long courses, short courses or summer courses.