From preschool onwards, Swedes are encouraged to think independently. It’s one way Sweden maintains its long and proud tradition of innovation.
This innovative spirit can be seen in the fact that Sweden consistently tops European rankings in terms of research investments as a percentage of GDP and in the number of published scientific works per capita.
The educational system is based on tax-financed education for all, supported by publicly subsidized programs for further education, retraining, adult schools and study groups. The private business sector, meanwhile, offers an advanced system of further education and self-improvement.
No one is left behind; the Education Act states that children in need of special assistance at school should receive it. The law also says there must be equality in education for all children, wherever they live in Sweden and regardless of ability or disability.
Interestingly, the proportion of high-school graduates is slightly higher among people with disabilities than those without. The opposite is true in higher education, although an increasing number of students with disabilities are now going to university and college.
The quality of Swedish education has been keenly debated over the past decade. As a result, Sweden has implemented school reforms in recent years to improve results and raise the status of the teaching profession.
Swedish higher education is characterised by students taking responsibility for their own studies, and the relaxed and informal relationship with teachers. In terms of research, Sweden aims to be one of the most R&D-intensive countries in the world.
Curious about student life in Sweden? These video interviews at Swedish universities offer a glimpse of how international students think and feel about their student activities and new life in Sweden.