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EACEA National Policies Platform



Last update: 28 November 2023
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Aktivitetsersättning: Activity compensation. A specific sickness benefit from the Swedish Social Insurance Office (Försäkringskassan), available for young adults from the year in which they turn 19 years old.  The Swedish Social Insurance Office, together with the Public Employment Service (Arbetsförmedlingen), offers the young individuals with activity compensation help with rehabilitation activities and with finding a workplace for work training.

APL, Arbetsplatsförlagt lärande: Workplace-based learning. According to the upper secondary school ordinance (Gymnasieförordningen), all pupils in Sweden in upper secondary schools vocational programmes and within special needs upper secondary schools national programmes shall accomplish part of their training at a workplace. This is called workplace-based learning (arbetsplatsförlagt lärande, APL)


Barnperspektiv: Child perspective: Having a child perspective means regarding their rights and interests on the basis of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).





Folkbildning: Liberal adult education. Adult education not tied to academic qualifications. The education is organised through folk high schools (folkhögskolor) and study associations (studieförbund). It aims at reaching groups of people who have traditionally remained outside the educational system.  

Folkhögskola: Folk high school. Independent adult education colleges that are part of the Swedish liberal adult education (folkbildning). Every folk high school provides a general course that gives its graduates basic eligibility to higher education. People with little previous education have priority of application. The students must be at least 18 years of age.

Förordning: Ordinance. Ordinances are governmental regulations based on the laws decided on by the Swedish parliament (riksdagen). The Higher Education Ordinance (högskoleförordningen) for example includes governmental regulations regarding Swedish higher education. The Education Ordinace (skolförordningen) includes regulations for compulsory school and the Upper Secondary School Ordinance (gymnasieförordningen) includes regulations for upper secondary school. 


Gemensam beredning: Joint preparation. All government decisions are taken jointly. Additionally, an institutionalised mechanism, the Joint preparation procedure (Gemensam beredning) is a common process for all government ministries. The Joint preparation procedure implies that government affairs that fall within the remit of several ministries should be prepared in consultation with other ministers concerned. This also applies within a ministry when a case involves more than one minister. Related to youth policy, the Joint preparation procedure takes place relatively often because of the cross-sectoral character of youth policy.

Grundskola: Compulsory school. Nine-year comprehensive compulsory school, equivalent to primary and lower secondary education. Swedish children start compulsory school at the age of seven. 

Grundsärskola: Compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities. Compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities consists of nine years of schooling and is an alternative to compulsory school (grundskolan). Within the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities there is a special orientation called the training school. This is intended for pupils who have a lack of knowledge in all or parts of compulsory schooling for pupils with learning disabilities.

Gymnasieskola: Upper secondary school. The Swedish upper secondary school includes three years of study. After those three years students with sufficient results receive an upper secondary higher education preparatory diploma (högskoleförberedande examen) or an upper secondary vocational diploma (yrkesexamen), depending on which national programme they have studied at. The Swedish upper secondary school includes 18 national programmes. It also includes five introduction programmes not leading to an upper secondary diploma and several specially designed programmes. 

Gymnasiesärskola: Upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities. Upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities is a free, voluntary type of school that young people with developmental disorders or acquired brain injuries can choose to attend once they have completed compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities. It consists of nine national programmes as well as individual programmes and programmes that diverge from the national programme structure. Each national programme spans four years and consists of fundamental subjects, programme-specific subjects, more in-depth programme-specific courses and assessed coursework.


HVB-hem: Residential care homes for young persons.

Högskola: University college. Higher education institution with limited or no right to award doctoral degrees. Some university colleges have additional degree awarding powers at third cycle level regarding a specific disciplinary domain. University colleges that currently has no authority to award doctoral degrees may apply to the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet) for permission to award doctoral degrees within a particular field of which they have specific knowledge. The field is defined by the university college. 


ISCED:  The reference international classification for organising education programmes and related qualifications by levels and fields.



Kommun: Municipality. Local authority with extensive autonomy. There are 290 municipalities in Sweden. Local self-government is an important element of the democratic system in Sweden, as specified in the Instrument of Government, one of the fundamental laws of the Swedish Constitution. Under the Instrument of Government, municipalities have the right to levy taxes. The law also details what municipalities may do (voluntary activities) and what they must do (compulsory activities). The framework for local government activities is set up by the Riksdag and the Government in laws and ordinances.

Kommunal vuxenutbildning (Komvux): Municipal adult education. The municipalities (kommunerna) are obliged to provide adult education on compulsory school level and upper secondary school level. The starting point is the needs and conditions of the individual. Those who have received least education should be given priority.


Landsting: County council. Sweden is divided into 21 counties. Political tasks at this level are undertaken by the county councils, whose decision-makers are directly elected by the people of the county. Under the Instrument of Government, county councils have the right to levy taxes. The law also details what county councils may do (voluntary activities) and what they must do (compulsory activities).

Liberal Adult education (folkbildning): Liberal adult education is non-formal and not tied to academic qualifications. The education is organised through folk high schools (folkhögskolor) and study associations (studieförbund). It aims to reach groups of people who have traditionally remained outside the education system.

LSU: National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations. The National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations, LSU, is a coordinating body for about 100 Swedish youth organisations. The members consist of all kinds of organisations. LSU operates as a platform on issues concerning youth, both international and national, and provides a network for national as well as international organisations dealing with youth issues.

Länsstyrelse: County administrative boards. The county administrative boards are government bodies in the counties.

Läroplan: Curriculum. The curricula are steering documents that Swedish schools have to follow. There is a joint curriculum for compulsory school (grundskolan), the preschool class (förskoleklassen) and the leisure-time centre (fritidshemmet) and a curriculum for upper secondary school (gymnasieskolan). 


Myndighet: Public/government agency. The remit of each ministry includes responsibility for a number of government agencies. The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society and Swedish National Agency for Education are two examples. The agencies must apply the laws and carry out the activities decided and financed by the Riksdag and Government.


Nationell samordnare: National coordinator. A national coordinator is a person appointed by the government who operates outside ordinary government structures in order to coordinate and implement government policy. The coordination may take place between national government agencies and between actors at national and local level.

Nyanlända: Newly arrived. A person who has lived abroad and who is now a resident in Sweden. After having stayed four years in Sweden a person shall not longer be considered newly arrived.



Proposition: Government bill. Government bills are proposals from the government (regeringen) to the parliament (riksdagen), applying new laws or funding. The budget bill for example includes proposals regarding state funding for the upcoming budget year, for youth policy as well as sectorial policies.




Skolval:  School elections. School elections are arranged in connection with parliament elections, local (municipal) elections and elections to the European Parliament. In these mock elections, pupils vote according to the same procedure as in ordinary elections.

SOU, Sveriges offentliga utredningar: Swedish Government Official Reports. Before the Government can draw up a legislative proposal, the matter in question must be analysed and evaluated. The task may be assigned to officials from the ministry concerned, a commission of inquiry or a one-man committee. The reports setting out their conclusions are published in the Swedish Government Official Reports series (Statens Offentliga Utredningar, SOU).

Specialskolan: Special school. Children who due to a functional impairment or for other special reasons cannot attend the compulsory school (grundskolan) or the compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities (grundsärskolan) can attend the special school. This includes children that are blind or have visual impairments as well as children that are deaf or hearing impaired or have a severe speech disorder.

Studiecirkel: Study circle. The study circle is the most common form of activity characterising the study associations (studieförbund). Study circles offer different subjects, such as artistic subjects, languages and social studies, through regular informal education during a limited time period.

Studieförbund: Study association. The study associations are part of the Swedish liberal adult education (folkbildning) which aims at reaching groups of people who have traditionally remained outside the educational system. Study circles (studiecirklar) are the most common activities characterising the study associations.

Studiemedel: Post-secondary student aid. Student aid at higher educational level or for adult education at upper secondary level. It consists of student grants (studiebidrag) and a repayable student loan (studielån).

SFS, Svensk författningssamling: The Swedish Code of Statutes. All current laws are published in the Swedish Code of Statutes (in Swedish only). Copies of the Code are kept at the Library of the Riksdag and most public libraries. Full-text electronic versions of valid laws and ordinances are available in Swedish on the Riksdag website.

Sveriges ungdomsråd: The Swedish Youth Council. The Swedish Youth Council is a civil society organisation. Local youth councils are members of the central Swedish Youth Council, and the local councils are also either CSOs or organised by municipalities. The majority of the members are enrolled in secondary education.

Särskild utbildning för vuxna (särvux): Special education for adults. Special education for adults covers education at compulsory school and upper secondary school level. At the upper secondary level, the education should correspond to that provided in the national programmes of the upper secondary school for pupils with learning disabilities (gymnasiesärskolan). It is also possible for municipalities to apply for state grants to run vocational adult education and apprenticeship education in special education for adults.



Ungdomsperspektiv: Youth perspective. In Sweden, all government decisions and actions that affect young people between 13 and 25 years of age ought to have a youth perspective. This according to the youth policy bill from 2014, Med fokus på unga – en politik för goda levnadsvillkor, makt och inflytande. A youth perspective is based on the human rights and states that young people are to be seen and treated as a diverse group of individuals with different backgrounds and different conditions. It also states that young people’s independency is to be supported and that all youth should have the possibility of influence and participation.

Universitet: University. Higher education institution with the right to award doctoral degrees. Universities have degree awarding powers at first, second and third cycle level. 





Yrkeshögskola: Higher vocational education. Post-secondary vocational education. The programmes are usually between one and three years and most of them are free of charge. The students are able to receive a Diploma in Higher Vocational Education (yrkeshögskoleexamen) after one year of full-time studies and an Advanced Diploma in Higher Vocational Education (kvalificerad yrkeshögskoleexamen) after two years of full time studies.