European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case SE-2020-14/703 – measures in Sweden

More places and more distance learning at higher education institutions for unemployed

Fler platser och mer distansundervisning på universitet och högskolor

Country Sweden , applies nationwide
Time period Open ended, started on 30 March 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Supporting businesses to get back to normal
– Enhancing employability and training
Author Anna-Karin Gustafsson (Oxford Research) and Eurofound
Case created 16 April 2020 (updated 09 May 2020)

Background information

To increase opportunities to study at higher education institutions, the government has made a general expansion of the number of places, as well as specific expansions of places on summer courses and a foundation year, so that more people have the opportunity to obtain eligibility to enter into further education/training, for example in health care professions. In addition, funding to higher education institutions has been increased to strengthen their capacity and develop work on distance learning. Funding has also been allocated for internet-based education, also known as MOOCs (massive open online courses), which are free of charge and open to the public. Anyone who is given notice of the termination of their contract will be able to use these courses to quickly begin knowledge acquisition. To compensate for increased workload, the Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Swedish Board of Student Finance will also receive increased funding.

Content of measure

The measure to introduce more places and more distance learning at higher education institutions includes: 1. Foundation year (supplementary courses, e.g. in care, health care or technical fields), incl. student aid (SEK 0.28 billion); 2. Summer courses, incl. student aid (SEK 0.18 billion); 3. More students in higher education institutions, incl. student aid (SEK 0.15 billion); 4. Distance education, incl. MOOCs (SEK 0.06 billion); 5. More people eligible for supplementary teacher education programmes, Further education for unqualified teachers (SEK 0.02 billion); 6. Reinforcements to the Swedish Board of Student Finance and the Swedish Council for Higher Education (SEK 0.02 billion).

Use of measure

It is too early to say how many will make use of the strengthened education opportunities.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to businesses Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Informed Informed
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: Peak or cross-sectoral level



Views and reactions




Eurofound (2020), More places and more distance learning at higher education institutions for unemployed, case SE-2020-14/703 (measures in Sweden), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.