Education is the foundation of the Swedish welfare system. All citizens should have access to free education, and of equal quality regardless of their income. The free education for all is enshrined in law, and is effective from kindergarten through graduate school.
There are about forty higher education institutions in Sweden. They are, for most of them public. The government is responsible for setting guidelines, and universities are free to determine their programs.
Since the beginning of 2007, Swedish universities have adopted a new structure conforming to the Boulogne process, which aims to harmonize provides teaching in European universities.
Sweden is also putting in place a new system of credits "högskolepoäng" (higher education credits), compatible with the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). In this system, one year of study equals 60 credits. The adoption of this system will therefore facilitate the transfer notes from one university to another, particularly as part of the Erasmus exchange.
So there are three cycles in Swedish higher education:
1st round: Possible to prepare a degree in two years, the "högskoleexamen" equivalent of the French DUT, or a degree in three years, the "kandidatexamen", which corresponds to the license and that provides 180 ECTS credits, as in France.
2nd cycle: In the second cycle two options are possible. The "masterexamen" is produced by two years, while the "magisterexamen" requires only a grade. An undergraduate degree, university or professional, is required to enroll in the second cycle. For foreign students must have obtained 180 credits at degree level to enroll in 2nd cycle.
3rd cycle: two postgraduate degrees exist in Sweden again differentiated by the number of years of education they require. The "licentiatexamen" award two years of research, the "doktorsexamen" requires four years of research, approaching the French doctorate.
The academic year consists of two semesters. The fall semester begins in late August until January. The second semester begins immediately and continues until early June.
Students have a wide choice in their options and can make truly personal and original way. The course is divided between lectures and equivalent to TD (tutorials). These require a significant participation of students; Teachers guide the discussion, which is mainly fed by the students. One thing that may surprise foreign students is the simplicity of relations between students and teachers, who often take their coffee together during the break.
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