This spring’s courses and programmes attracted more applicants than any other spring semester. Up until the second selection, 266,640 persons had submitted an application – an increase of five per cent in comparison to one year ago. The number of accepted applicants was also a record – 173,459 after the second selection, ten per cent more than spring 2019.

“It is gratifying that more people are applying for and being admitted to higher education courses and programmes,” says Karin Röding, Director General of the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR). “Especially when it comes to programmes for professions experiencing a shortage of personnel, such as nursing and teaching.”


UHR is tasked by the government to stimulate interest in higher education and has published an analysis of spring admission statistics.

“Even the range of courses is increasing,” says Carina Hellgren, Head of Unit. “In the second selection to spring 2020, higher education institutions offered 644 programmes, an increase of one percent compared to last spring. The number of courses available in the second selection this spring increased as well - by three percent - from 14,207 in the spring of 2019 to 14,650.”

Competition for places

There was competition for about 15 per cent of courses and programmes, that is, there were more applicants than places and some qualified applicants had to be placed on a waiting list. A total of 55 per cent of all applicants had to compete for their first choice course or programme.

Courses and programmes that lead to certain professional qualifications

UHR reports separately on six programmes that lead to professional degrees: engineering (bachelor’s and master’s level), medicine, teaching, nursing and social work.

All six programmes had more applicants in the spring of 2020 than they had thirteen years ago. Compared to last spring, the number of applicants for medicine, teaching and nursing programmes increased, while engineering and social work programmes saw a decrease in applicants.

For some of these separately reported programmes, competition among first-time applicants is tougher than the average for spring 2020. For example, 100 percent of all applicants for nursing programmes and 67 percent of those who applied for teaching programmes had to compete with other qualified applicants for their first choice.


Torbjörn Lindquist
+46 (0)10-470 04 05

Press Office
+46 (0)10-470 06 91