Datum 2020-12-16
Artikeltyp News

The difference between university and university college in Sweden

This article was written before our official name change on January 1, 2022 from Mälardalen University (MDH) to Mälardalen University (MDU).

In Sweden there is little difference for the individual student if you study at a university or a university college. The main differences are related to research and don’t affect students much in their everyday studies.

Universities and university colleges differ from one another primarily in that universities have general powers to award degrees at research studies level, whereas university colleges need to apply for such powers for research studies within specific areas.

Another difference is the amount of money universities get from the government to conduct research. So basically there are two main differences. A third one for us would be that officially becoming a university is a recognition of our contribution to society.

  • Awarding degrees at research studies level
  • State funding
  • A matter of recognition

Today MDH has 228 doctoral students pursuing research studies in all of MDH’s six research specialisations, based on MDH’s powers at present to conduct research studies, which we have applied for and been granted.

Universities also have more extensive state funding for their research. At MDH we are prominent in collaboration with companies and organisations, and we stand out in terms of having been able to raise a lot of research funding from external sources. If we get even more funding, we’ll be able to further increase our research activities.

Since MDH at present already has the power to award degrees at research studies level as well as significant funding for our research (albeit from external sources) the formal university status is mainly a matter of recognition for our importance to the region and country as a whole.