The Swedish Higher Education Authority - Universitetskanslersämbetet - evaluates higher education programmes to ensure that your chosen programme is of high quality.

All subjects and professional programmes at the bachelor's (first cycle) and master's (second cycle) level are evaluated. If the subject awards less than 60 credits (which gives the Swedish 'högskoleexamen' or Higher Education Diploma), it is not evaluated. In the 'Jämför utbildning' section of the Swedish website, the results of all evaluations are given. As soon as a new evaluation is completed by UKÄ, it is posted there. If you'd like to know when your programme will be evaluated, UKÄ has a schedule on their website (in Swedish). 

To 'Jämför utbildning' (in Swedish)

To the evaluation schedule on Universitetskanslersämbetets website (in Swedish)

Programme goals and study results

Universitetskanslersämbetet assesses how well a student's study results match the goals for the programme. The goals are found in the qualification descriptors and are grouped in three areas that are the same for all programmes:

  • Knowledge and understanding
  • Proficiency and ability
  • Judgment and approach

All qualification descriptors can be found in annex 2 of the Higher Education Ordinance.

Higher Education Ordinance, annex 2 at uhr.se

How does it work?

Evaluations are completed by a group of evaluators consisting of subject experts from universities and university colleges in Sweden and abroad, students, and individuals from working life. The role of Universitetskanslersämbetet is to see to it that all evaluations are done in the same way.

During the evaluation process, the evaluation group looks at students' independent work, internal evaluations completed by universities and university colleges that are submitted, students' experiences, and questionnaires to those who have completed the programme and have started working. The following is reviewed in the evaluation process:

  • In students' independent work, how well the student has met the goals for the degree project is assessed.
  • With the help of alumni questionnaires, an evaluation is made of how well the degree leads to a job.
  • The internal university evaluations are reviewed to determine how well they show that students and programmes meet the stated goals.
  • During group interviews with students, questions are asked about how well the education provided contributes to the student reaching the programme goals.
  • Student questionnaires are sent to students who completed their degree programme two years earlier.

Of all factors considered, it is the independent work that has the most bearing in evaluations.

Universitetskanslersämbetet completes their assessment and decides on a grade

The evaluation group's evaluation results in a grade on the following scale:

  • Very High Quality - students (and therefore the programme) meet the assessed goals in the qualification descriptor with a good margin.
  • High Quality - students (and therefore the programme) meet the assessed goals in the qualification descriptor.
  • Inadequate Quality - students (and therefore the programme) do not reach one or more of the assessed goals in the qualification descriptor. 

The evaluation group must motivate each assessment.

Based on what findings the evaluation group presents, Universitetskanslersämbetet makes a decision regarding which grade each programme receives. If the programme has inadequate quality, a follow-up is done which leads to either an approval, or that the programme may no longer award degrees.

Each evaulation takes approximately one year. All subjects and professional degrees were evaluated between 2011 and 2014.

If your programme is determined to have inadequate quality

If a programme is given the grade "Inadequate Quality", this means that the university or university college is given one year to address and fix any problems.

In most cases, Universitetskanslersämbetet's follow-up reveals that stated problems were rectified. It seldom happens that Universitetskanslersämbetet must revoke (take away) degree-awarding powers.

The university or university college can even decide to close a degree programme. Often, higher education institutions do everything they can to improve their programme when they've received criticism in an evaluation.

If a degree programme receives the grade "Inadequate Quality", one or more of the following can happen:

  • If the university or university college within one year can show that they've taken actions that guarantee the degree programme will meet all of the qualitative goals, Universitetskanslersämbetet can decide that they may keep their degree-awarding powers.
  • If Universitetskanslersämbetet doesn't deem the measures taken to be adequate, degree-awarding powers will be revoked (taken away).
  • The university or university college can decide themselves to close the programme.
  • For independent education providers - such as SLU or the Swedish National Defense College - Universitetskanslersämbetet sends their follow-up to the government for a decision.

Revokation of degree-awarding powers during an application period

If a university or university college loses its degree-awarding powers for a degree programme during an application period, the programme is deleted from the admission application. Normally, the university cancels the programme and notifies the applicant, either through 'My pages' on Universityadmissions.se or 'Mina sidor' on Antagning.se, or via a special letter sent to the home address.

It's a good idea to apply for several courses and programmes. Doing so will give you other choices in case your first choice is cancelled. Courses and programmes can be cancelled for other reasons as well.

Page last updated 2016-05-12