Startpage for Swedish National Agency for Higher Education

Please note! The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education was closed down on 31 December 2012. Instead two new agencies have been established: the Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Swedish Higher Education Authority. This website will continue to operate as the new agencies will have links to information it contains.  

Report 2012: 8 R

Bridging programmes for international graduates

This is a summary in English. The report is available only in Swedish.

The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education’s public service agreements for 2012 included the task of surveying and analysing bridging programmes for international graduates as well as describing the extent to which their students had found employment relevant to their qualifications or alternatively continued their studies.

The National Agency conducted its survey of the programmes through a questionnaire circulated to all the higher education institutions that could be concerned. This survey reveals that almost all of the programmes offered can be placed in one of three categories:

  • Programmes for lawyers, teachers, physicians, nurses and dentists within the framework of the Government’s “integration measures”.
  • Bridging programmes that supplement various qualifications on the basis of individual needs offered by two higher education institutions on their own initiative
  • Labour market programmes commissioned by the Swedish Public Employment Service under the name of Korta vägen [Fast track].

Important experiences from these programmes are that the students are motivated and can attain excellent results. In many cases, however, the programmes have to be individualised and the students’ previous knowledge examined. Lack of student success is often the result of inadequate knowledge of Swedish, but social and financial problems can also lead to students failing to complete their studies.

It has been possible to follow up the students who began to study as part of the “integration measures” or one of the other bridging programmes in 2009 or earlier through registration data.  The findings are presented in the report.

The National Agency considers that the higher education institutions and other stakeholders should develop routines to follow up students who have taken part in bridging programmes. These should be designed in a way that can answer the question of whether the programmes have enabled students to improve their position in the labour market in comparison to corresponding Swedish groups or groups educated in Sweden. When the Government gives higher education the task of providing bridging programmes, this should include a requirement to follow up the programmes using established routines.

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