Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list

Country Guide Sweden

CARe country guides, developed from May to October 2020, contain systematised relevant information on the national labour markets in the 10 project countries, with the aim of supporting researchers at risk/with refugee background in finding support, job and training opportunities in their host countries. 

In the development and revision of the country guides, the CARe consortium is receiving invaluable help by the selected group of national experts coming from relevant national institutions and CARe focus groups.




Higher Education Institutions in Sweden

In Sweden there are 50 higher education institutions, 37 of those are universities or university colleges. Both universities and university colleges can conduct research but older universities tend to be more research-intense than university colleges and newer universities. 

More facts about higher education in Sweden.

Read more about structure of Swedish higher education qualification and admission to higher education in Sweden


Swedish research

In international comparisons, Sweden is investing largely in research and development (R&D), as the percentage of GDP invested in R&D plus the percentage of population working in research. In Sweden private companies are conducting the majority of the research and accounting - almost 60% of the funding of the total Swedish R&D system compared to 25% within the Swedish higher education institutions (HEI). Read more aboutSwedish research in figures and the Swedish Research Barometer.

Approximately 50% of the research funding allocated by the Swedish government is transferred to the HEIs. The other 50% is granted to researchers through for example, government research organisations. Read more about research funding in Sweden, government agencies and other funding.

At Swedish HEIs the percentage of external research funding vs governmental funding varies from 35-82%.


Third-cycle education in Sweden, organisation and application

Doctoral education/third-cycle education in Sweden covers 240 credits and is equivalent to four years of fulltime studies. In order to be admitted to doctoral studies you need to have a completed degree at Master’s level or equivalent (more information on general and specific entry requirements). There is no national application process for PhD-education, but all positions are announced at the university website. The application procedure varies among the HEIs. There are two financial models for doctoral education where the majority of all PhD-students in Sweden are employed on a doctoral studentship or receives a doctoral grant. The other alternative is funding through stipends and paid leave.

Read more about the the third-cycle education in Sweden, admission and entry requirements and funding conditions for doctoral candidates.


Experiences from researchers:

In Sweden gender equality was seen as a positive aspect by the focus group participants. However, the academic competition was seen high and the participants highlighted the difficulty to move from academia to the private sector.

Full reports on the CARe Focus Groups and Employer Survey are available here.

To raise factual inaccuracies or to provide us with updated information and feedback on the guide, please do not hesitate to contact us at