To the top

Page Manager: Educational Affairs
Last update: 6/5/2019 1:02 PM

Tell a friend about this page
Print version

Recognition of prior learning - About the University, University of Gothenburg, Sweden Till startsida
To content Read more about how we use cookies on

Recognition of prior learning

Since the fall of 2016, the University of Gothenburg is developing the university’s processes for recognition of prior learning. Development is made in close cooperation with the Swedish Council for Higher Education and other Higher Education Institutions in Sweden.

The University of Gothenburg aspires to be a centre of learning where education is available to all students. The student composition should reflect the surrounding society and be an inclusive, open and accessible university for everybody, regardless of background.

The university’s development work aims to formalise methods and processes for application, assessment and recognition of prior learning and thus reach new prospective students and meet their needs. This will be one way to work towards widening access to university studies. 

What is recognition of prior learning?

Recognition of prior learning involves evaluating, documenting and giving recognition to an individual’s prior knowledge and skills from working life, club activities or other life experiences that may measure up to parts of course or provide qualifications.

Prior learning may include competences that are:

  • Formal - within the recognised educational system
  • Non-formal – organised education but outside of the educational system. May include staff training or other skill development.
  • Informal – other learning made through work, other activities or organisations.

One goal of the present work, locally, regionally and nationally, is that recognition of an individual’s prior learning for a course or a program should apply to all Higher Education Institutions in Sweden and not only where the recognition was made. 

Who can have their prior learning recognized at the University of Gothenburg?

Those who want to be admitted to a course or program can apply to have their prior learning assessed. For example, those who lack diplomas because of being forced to flee their homeland, or those who have worked a long time in a profession, but lack formal documentation.

Application for recognition of prior learning at University Admissions (external site, only available in Swedish)

Prior learning and exemptions at

A person can also get their prior learning recognized if already being admitted and registered as a student, but wish to receive credit based on previous studies. In this way, an ongoing education can be shortened and the student can avoid study whatever he or she have knowledge of already.

Current initiatives

Within the framework of the university’s work with widening access and participation there is a project aimed at developing the possibilities for prospective students to have their prior learning assessed and to formalise the university’s process of recognition of prior learning. The project has been active during 2017 and 2018 but the development continues in 2019 on a local, regional and national level.

The development of methods and routines for the assessment and recognition of prior learning means that there will be a more formalised process in place at the university. Also, there is ongoing work in cooperation with the Swedish Council for Higher Education and other Higher Education Institutions in Sweden aiming at making a recognition made at one Higher Education Institution recognised regionally or even nationally.

Valideringsnätverk Väst

Valideringsnätverk Väst is a network that seeks to map and develop methods for assessing prior learning, especially in the cases of informal or non-formal learning or when the applicant has no documentation of their prior learning.

The project has developed manuals for how to work with recognising prior learning at Higher Education Institutions and looked at how the process can be formalised. In parallel with the development of methods, these are also tested in real-life situations.

This is Valideringsnätverk Väst:

  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Halmstad University
  • Jönköping University
  • Region Västra Götaland
  • University of Borås
  • University of Gothenburg
  • University of Skövde
  • University West
  • Validering väst

Contact us

Please contact us if you have any questions regarding the university's work with recognition of prior learning.


Pernilla Hultberg

Read more about recognition of prior learning

Swedish Council for Higher Education

The Swedish Council for Higher Education evaluates foreign qualifications in order to provide support for people looking for work in Sweden, people who wish to continue studying, or for employers who wish to employ someone with foreign qualifications. 

Recognition of foreign qualifications (external site)


Page Manager: Educational Affairs|Last update: 6/5/2019

The University of Gothenburg uses cookies to provide you with the best possible user experience. By continuing on this website, you approve of our use of cookies.  What are cookies?