A bill proposing new regulations in the field of Higher Education was presented to Parliament in 2005. The new system came into force in July 2007. In the new system of degrees there will be two degrees of different lengths in each cycle.
Students might not always be offered all of the combinations above for obtaining a degree. For example, the högskoleexamen is not offered for most educations, and many educations require students to obtain the kandidatexamen before obtaining a magisterexamen or a masterexamen. Most third cycle programmes require the student to have obtained at least a magisterexamen before being allowed to enroll, although the legal requirement only is the kandidatexamen.
All degrees and qualifications are described using learning outcomes.
In July 2007, a new system of credits compatible with the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System, ECTS, was introduced, where one academic credit point (högskolepoäng) in the new system corresponds to one ECTS credit point, or two thirds of a credit point in the old system (poäng).
Some Swedish universities have decided to introduce the ECTS standard grading scale for all students, while others only will use it for international students. However, since so called criterion-referenced grading is practiced instead of relative grading in the Swedish educational system, the 10%, 25%, 30%, 25% and 10% distribution of the students among A, B, C, D and E will not be obeyed.
Some universities have decided to only give grade Failed or Passed (F or P) at certain courses, for example internship and thesis projects, or at some assignments, for example laboratory exercises.
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Several Swedish universities are preparing to employ all doctoral students from 2015, changing from the current system in which PhD students receive financial support that varies according to the funding source.
Sweden’s Higher Education Ministry is to give doctoral students better working conditions and rights, in legislation being put before parliament.
A survey of PhD graduates in Sweden has revealed that fewer than half of those responding believed their PhD was a factor in getting a job and that just one in six were contributing directly to the development of products and services stemming from research.
One in four doctorate candidates in Sweden are foreign citizens. There were 4,179 of them in 2008 in a PhD student population of 16,900, an increase since 1999 of 62%. Of newly-recruited doctoral students in 2008, 32% or 1040 people were foreigners, up from 19% in 1999. The annual increase was 19% between 2007 and 2008 alone, indicating a significant change in the recruitment pattern.