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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.10 Current debates and reforms

Last update: 31 March 2023

Increased opportunities for basic eligibility to higher education for vocational programmes

In a government bill from 2022, the Swedish government proposes that all national vocational programmes in upper secondary school should contain what is required for pupils to achieve basic eligibility for higher education. In order for this to be possible without reducing vocational preparation, the scope of the programmes must also be expanded, both in terms of upper secondary school credits and guaranteed teaching time. However, it must be possible for the pupil to opt out.

Lack of upper secondary vocationally trained labor is one of the biggest and most acute problems in the Swedish labour market today. More skilled plumbers, electricians and childcare workers are needed. Making vocational programmes more attractive is part of the solution. The bill proposes the necessary changes to the law. The amendments to the law are proposed to enter into force on 1 January 2023 and will be applied for the first time to education that begins in the autumn term of 2023. 

Policy measures on ELET

The government decided in 2021 to commission a special investigator to propose measures for more young people to reach the goals of their upper secondary education, either in upper secondary school or in municipal adult education. The investigation In goals - ways forward for more young people to reach the goals with their upper secondary education (I mål – vägar vidare för att fler unga ska nå målen med sin gymnasieutbildning SOU 2022:34) set out proposals for national targets and improvements in upper secondary school. The main focus is on introductory programmes, aimed for students who after finishing compulsory education are not eligible for a national upper secondary programme. Currently, more than half of the students who start an introductory program do not transfer to a national programme. 

In order to develop the introductory programmes, the investigation proposes that a definition must be introduced in the Education Act of coherent vocational training (vocational packages) that can be applied to training on introductory programmes. The responsibility for the local programme councils should be expanded so that the cooperation between school and working life also includes vocational training organised in introductory programmes and in upper secondary special schools.
In order to facilitate the transition to adult education (komvux), the investigation proposes that an obligation should be introduced in the Education Act to offer students, who leave upper secondary school without having achieved a degree and students who leave upper secondary special school, a final guidance interview. The provision on exemptions from the eligibility requirements, which enables younger students to be accepted in adult education (komvux), should be adjusted and brought up from the regulation on adult education to the school law.

Better opportunities for students to reach the knowledge requirements - active support and student health work and strengthened education for students with intellectual disabilities

In February 2021, the Inquiry into students' opportunities to reach the knowledge requirements (Utredningen om elevers möjligheter att nå kunskapskraven) submitted their proposals to, among other things, improve the school's support work, make student health more accessible and strengthen the special needs school.

The inquiry proposes, among other things, that:

  • The National Agency for Education shall be commissioned to produce compilations of knowledge in the areas of student health and support that can contribute to improving the principals' and teachers' opportunities to choose effective initiatives.
  • A requirement for access to special teachers or special educators in student health must be introduced. The purpose is to increase the quality of mapping support needs and designing interventions, and to give teachers better support in the work of designing inclusive learning environments
  • A guarantee for early support measures must be introduced for students who study the subjects Swedish, Swedish as a second language and mathematics according to the compulsory special needs school's syllabi.