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University of Gothenburg

Evaluation Through Follow-up - ETF

ETF logotype

The Evaluation Through Follow-up (ETF) is a large cohort-sequential database which is used for evaluation and research about schools and education in Sweden.

The research infrastructure ETF stands for "Evaluation Through Follow-up" and is one of the largest research databases in Sweden in the field of education. ETF is part of the national evaluation of the school system, but ETF's data are also used in social science and social research in a broad sense. The database contains nationally representative samples of students from ten cohorts, born between 1948 and 2004. The special thing about ETF is the longitudinal design where individuals from these cohorts are followed through the education system. The design makes it possible to both follow students through the education system and to compare cohorts from different times. The database is a collection of information from surveys and tests. In addition, school administrative data such as school, class, study choices and grades are incorporated in the database.


In educational research, one is often content to collect information about students and their education at a single point in time, such as year 6 or year 9. The longitudinal design is especially useful for those who wonder why different students take different paths through the education system or whether it matters which path you take for how it goes later in life. ETF is unique in an international perspective as these longitudinal studies follow so many individuals for such a long time. Even fewer studies follow more than one cohort. For each cohort, administrative data, questionnaires and various measures of students' study conditions and educational results are collected. Since similar data has been collected in each cohort, it is possible to compare students who grew up and went to school during different time periods. It is useful information in discussions about how school reforms or societal changes affect students' educational careers. ETF thus enables both longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys of large and nationally representative student samples.

Management and contact

Jan-Eric Gustafsson, professor emeritus, scientific leader,

Bo Nielsen, database questions,

Ilze Lace, documentation,

Other members of the management group

Joanna Giota, professor,

Curt Hagquist, professor,

Alli Klapp, associate professor,

Allan Svensson, professor emeritus,