Subject areas and study programmes

Since 2001, Högskoleverket (Swedish National Agency for Higher Education) has conducted evaluations of all subject areas (main fields of study) and study programmes at higher education institutions (HEIs) leading to degrees in the arts, sciences, social sciences and artistic fields as well as vocational and professional qualifications. These evaluations take place on a cyclical basis and on all levels: first cycle (undergraduate), second cycle (Master's) and third cycle (doctoral).

Purpose of the evaluations

  • To contribute to developing the content and quality of subject areas and study programmes
  • To ensure that subject areas and study programmes fulfil the goals and stipulations of the Higher Education Act and Higher Education Ordinance
  • To provide students with information prior to choosing a subject area or study programme.

Results of the evaluations

The results of the evaluations of subject areas and study programmes undertaken in a particular year can be found in an annual publication:

A new quality assurance system from 2011

The new quality assurance system started in January 2011. In Focus on knowledge — quality in higher education (Government Bill 2009/10:139), the Government proposed changing the direction of the national quality assurance system for higher education institutions to meet the new demands that are based on the goals of greater freedom, internationalisation and high quality. It should be a quality assurance system that strengthens the incentives to achieve high standards regarding learning outcomes of study programmes. Universities and higher education institutions that have study programmes of high quality will be rewarded through increased appropriations.
The Government considered that these three assessment criteria should be included when evaluating study programme outcomes:
  • the students' degree projects,
  • the self-evaluations of higher education institutions in combination with site visits, and
  • questionnaires sent to alumni and students.

The report: The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education´s quality evaluation system 2011—2014 »

More information about the new system »

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