Education in Sweden

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2016-60-11-84-91
A. Volkov, Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation (

Abstract. The article describes development of education in Sweden. From age of six every child in Sweden has equal access to free education. The school system is regulated through the Swedish Education Act, which specifies the minimum amount of time to be spent on each subject and ensures a safe and friendly environment for students. The act also mandates 9 years of school attendance for all children from the year they turn 7.The number of independent schools with public funding, so called charter schools, is growing in Sweden. Following a law change in the 1990s, parents and their children can choose among tuition-free schools, whether municipal or private. The quality of Swedish education has been keenly debated over the past decade, following declining results among Swedish students in international comparisons. Sweden has moved to improve performances and to raise the status of the teaching profession for long-term benefits. Swedish higher education is characterized by students taking responsibility for their own studies and the relaxed and informal relationship with teachers. The Swedish system of higher education has changed significantly in recent years as a result of what is known as the Bologna Process. The aim is to create an integrated European Higher Education Area. In terms of research Sweden aims to be one of the most R&D-intensive countries in the world with both broad and specialized research.

Keywords: Sweden, school education, gymnasium, higher education, universities, funding of education, reforms of educational system 


1. The Swedish Institute. Facts about Sweden. Available at: (accessed 22.01.2016).

2. OECD Reviews of Migrant Education. Sweden. Paris, OECD, March 2010, pp. 17-18.

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For citation:
Volkov A. Education in Sweden. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2016, vol. 60, no. 11, pp. 84-91.

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