Recognition of foreign degrees; more newcomers to Sweden are using the digital self-service instead of sending in an application for validation

July 1, 2020

Recognition of foreign degrees
UHR (The Swedish Council for Higher Education), reported on May 18, that less people are submitting applications for recognition of their foreign degrees. Between January and April 2020, UHR received 7283 applications, and comparing that to last year’s 8962 applications in the same period, they can see a 19 percent decrease.
UHR states that this is probably a result of the corona pandemic, as well as the fact that more people are using their digital self-service assessment tool. UHR assesses foreign finished secondary and post-secondary degrees, providing newcomers in Sweden with an official document stating what their foreign degree is equivalent to in the Swedish educational system. This can help individuals plan their studies, as well as serve as an attachment to their CV to increase chances of being shortlisted for jobs.
Lars Petersson, head of the department of recognition of foreign degrees, believes that less people have been in contact with study and career counselors and representatives at Arbetsförmedlingen (the Public Employment Agency) during the pandemic, which is how most people usually hear about UHR’s services.
As more people are using the digital self-service function, UHR has been able to shorten the time it takes them to finish an assessment of a submitted application. The digital service includes assessments from 50 different countries, however the manual assessment will look at degrees from any country. Between January and April 2020, applications with degrees from Syria, Iran, Iraq, India and Turkey were the most common.
The digital self-service is available in Swedish and might be a little tricky to use on your own, so please contact us if you need some help with this to find out what your high school degree is equivalent to in the Swedish system and if you are eligible for certain higher education (or what you are missing to be eligible and how to go about completing your degree!).
Please note that the self-service is only for upper secondary degrees. Post-secondary degrees still needs to be submitted to UHR for recognition if you want one. This is usually not necessary to apply to universities, you can do this with your own documents directly if you have them in English, French, Spanish, German, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish or Finnish for bachelor level studies, and  Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English, French or German for Master level studies. However, getting your degree recognized might help you plan further studies and again, it is proven helpful in job applications.
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