Adult education in Sweden

Bøger på Stockholms Stadsbibliotek
Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash
In Sweden, adult education is called ‘Komvux’. In this article, you will find information about who can apply for adult education, and about what applies if you live in another Nordic country and want to supplement or complete your upper secondary education.

Adult education is called ‘Komvux’ in Sweden. ‘Komvux’ is an abbreviation of ‘kommunal vuxenutbildning’ (municipal adult education). Komvux enables people to study individual courses or complete an entire programme.

General information about Komvux

Komvux consists of three school forms: municipal adult education, special education for adults, and an educational programme in Swedish for immigrants. The adult education course or programme you choose should be based on your needs and circumstances as a pupil.

The main purpose of Komvux is to enable you to supplement your upper secondary or secondary education.

Application to Komvux

You apply to Komvux in your home municipality in Sweden.

If the application is for a programme arranged by another municipality, the home municipality must send, as quickly as possible, the application to the other municipality with a notification about whether the home municipality undertakes to pay the costs of the applicant’s educational programme.

It is not necessary to sent a notification if the municipalities have a previous agreement. It is the municipality arranging the programme that decides whether the applicant can be admitted to the programme.

Komvux in Sweden when you live abroad

In order to study on an adult education programme in Sweden, a general requirement is that you live in Sweden. However,  people who live in a Nordic country may also be admitted to an adult education programme at upper secondary level in Sweden. You do not need to be registered in the Swedish Population Register to study at Komvux.

People registered in the population register in another Nordic country

If you are registered in one of the other Nordic countries or in the Faroe Islands, Greenland or Åland and want to study at Komvux, you apply on the same terms as other applicants from the municipality. This means you must be qualified for admission to the educational programme.

If you have not completed your earlier education in Sweden, you must have an educational qualification equivalent to Swedish secondary education or corresponding adult education in order to be admitted. You must have acquired, through your earlier education in your home country, qualifications deemed equivalent to Swedish secondary education or to an adult educational programme.

If you satisfy this requirement, you can apply on the same terms as applicants in the Swedish municipality where the educational programme is arranged.

People registered in the population register in Sweden but living in another Nordic country

If you are staying in another Nordic country, but are registered in a municipality in Sweden, your right to education is not the same as if you were a Nordic applicant.

Consequently, if you apply for admission to Komvux in your home municipality in Sweden, it is your home municipality that is responsible for the education. You not have the right to a place on a Komvux programme or course in any other municipality than your home municipality.

Study at Komvux in Sweden by distance learning from abroad

If you are entitled to study at Komvux, you can do so through distance learning from another Nordic country.

However, you should be aware that most municipalities require - through agreements - that you come to the school to take the final examinations in every single course in person on the school premises.

If the course contains a national test (nationellt prov), this must also be held on the school premises.

Consequently, physical presence is required for courses that are completed at a distance.

More information

It is the municipalities in Sweden that are responsible for adult education. On their websites you can find more information about adult education. Contact the municipality for answers to your questions.

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