Swedish Government Prioritizes Quality and Excellence in Higher Education

The Swedish government has made a strategic decision to enhance the focus on quality and excellence within higher education. In pursuit of this goal, the government has directed the Swedish Higher Education Authority (Universitetskanslersämbetet – UKÄ) to further strengthen quality assurance in the national system.

Minister of Education, Mats Persson, emphasized the need for a clearer orientation towards excellence to ensure that higher education and research in Sweden remain competitive globally. He stated, “To stay competitive in international arenas, there is a need for a stronger focus on excellence. Therefore, the government is reinforcing UKÄ’s mission in quality assurance.”

The national quality assurance system fundamentally relies on each higher education institution taking responsibility for its internal quality assurance. In addition to this, there is a national quality assurance system overseen by UKÄ. The agency’s role includes scrutinizing the quality assurance efforts of institutions, conducting educational evaluations, thematic assessments, and reviewing degree-granting authority.

In alignment with the new directive outlined in the agency’s regulation letter for 2023, determined by the government, UKÄ is tasked with proposing how the national quality assurance system can evolve to further enhance quality and promote excellence in Swedish higher education. The proposals are expected to be developed within the framework of the current quality assurance mandate as per the agency’s instructions and should not impose additional administrative burdens on universities and colleges. The proposals are to be developed through a dialogue with the institutions.

The agency is required to submit its findings by September 6, 2024. This initiative underscores the government’s commitment to maintaining and advancing the quality and global standing of higher education in Sweden.