VALUTA - Validation of the higher education admissions system

Research project
Inactive research
Project period
2001 - 2004
Project owner
Jan-Eric Gustafsson

Riksbankens Jubileumsfonds Kulturvetenskapliga donation.

Short description

The project contained several different sub-projects that in different ways aimed to investigate how the admission system worked.

A brief description of the VALUTA research project

Significantly more people apply to the university than the number of study places allows, so a selection must be made among the applicants. The selection procedure consists partly of a definition of who is qualified and partly of provisions on how the selection of qualified candidates is to take place. The selection takes place mainly with the help of a few measuring instruments that are the same for almost all study places within the university. The measuring instruments are primarily graduation grades from upper secondary school and results from university entrance exams, but at some study places there is also a special admission that may consist of a work exam or interview. The result of these forms of admission is of great importance for the individual, but also for the university itself, as the measuring instruments should in the best way predict study success.

The project contained several different sub-projects that in different ways aimed to investigate how the admission system worked. A detailed description of the different projects can be found in the project application (in Swedish), but examples can be mentioned: studies aimed at investigating the extent to which the university entrance exam benefits or disadvantages different groups of people , a study that compares the upper secondary school's now goal-related grades with the previous norm-related ones, studies of admission via special exams and the admission procedure effects for different groups of applicants and for study success, finally on effects on the college exam results when the exam is taken repeatedly.

The project lasted from 2001-2004. A large part of the work has in the first two years been devoted to building a large database that formed the empirical basis for most of the sub-projects. Various registers with information on, among other things, employment statistics, school and population statistics have been compiled by Statistics Sweden, which has also de-identified the individuals. At the end of the project, the project had access to extensive data on individuals born in the years 1972 –1984, a total of about 1.3 million individuals.

The project was conducted in collaboration between research groups in Gothenburg and Umeå, which were led by Professor Jan-Eric Gustafsson and Professor Christina Stage, respectively. The project was financed in its entirety by the Riksbank's Jubilee Fund's Cultural Science donation.

Research environment

Prerequisites, Education and Results - FUR