That the pandemic had a significant impact on society last year was made clear in the work of UHR's Swedish-English dictionary team. E-examination, remote examination and moderated off-campus examination are examples of new terms for 2020.


“We chose to focus on terms related to this area”, said Jari Rusanen, dictionary coordinator at UHR.

The Swedish-English dictionary for higher education has been in existence since 1984 and today contains over 1,700 terms. During 2020, just over 50 words were added or updated. Examples of new terms are examination session, half-time study, credit-bearing and national official transcript of records.

The total number of dictionary page views in 2020 increased with 40% compared to the previous year. The most-often searched words were docent (docent in English), civilingenjörsexamen (Degree of Master of Science in Engineering) and avgiftsbelagd (not a term in the dictionary).

The needs of the higher education sector in focus

The largest user group for the dictionary is employees at higher education institutions and their needs largely control content.

”The majority of Sweden’s higher education institutions are represented in the dictionary’s reference group. We also have representatives from different expert authorities, such as the Swedish Higher Education Authority and the Swedish Language Council”, said Jari Rusanen.

Students are represented by the Swedish National Union of Students. Last year, the student perspective received extra focus and a number of terms related to students were updated and explained more fully. Some examples are studentinflytande (student influence), studentkår (students’ union), and studentnation (student social club). 

“There are usually a lot of discussions in the reference group. Sometimes we start with terms that English-speaking universities use, but it’s not always the case that they have an equivalent in the Swedish higher education sector”, said Jari Rusanen.

Search for terms in UHR’s Swedish-English dictionary (in Swedish)

About the dictionary

UHR's Swedish-English dictionary for higher education has been developed as a tool to support the higher education world. It is also used by other authorities in their international work.

Terms can be searched in both Swedish and English, but dictionary work begins with a focus on Swedish terms which are then translated to English. The dictionary uses British English in their translations, although some terms have American English synonyms marked with /US/.