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Below you will find examples of the kind of study programmes in various countries for which you can get financial aid.
Officially recognised educational institutions
Educational institutions in Sweden are supervised by the Ministry of Education and Research. Contact the Swedish financial aid authority Centrala studiestödsnämnden (CSN) for information about which educational institutions and study programmes are covered by the financial aid system. If financial aid is available from CSN for a specific study programme, the educational institution in question is under public supervision.
Admission to higher education is by application through the antagning.se and universityadmissions.se websites, which are maintained by the Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitets- och högskolerådet). All of the educational institutions that you find through these services are under public supervision.
Studies for which you can get financial aid
You can get financial aid for a degree that consists of independent courses (fristående kurser).
- Financial aid is available for Svenska för utländska studerande (30 credits per term) if it is an independent course included in the degree requirements.
You cannot get financial aid for the following courses:
- Svenska som främmande språk, which does not count towards a higher education degree.
- Behörighetsgivande kurs i svenska, which does not count towards a higher education degree.
- Basår studies are at the high school or upper secondary school level, which means that any credits you earn do not count towards a higher education degree.
Officially recognised institutions of higher education
In the United Kingdom, officially recognised institutions of higher education are those which are authorised to award degrees recognised in the UK as well as institutions which are not themselves authorised to award recognised degrees but whose degrees are awarded by another recognised educational institution.
Officially recognised institutions of higher education can be found on the BIS (Department for Business Innovation & Skills) website: http://www.bis.gov.uk/policies/higher-education/recognised-uk-degrees. The recognised institutions of higher education are listed in the section titled "Recognised bodies". The section titled "Listed bodies" includes educational institutions which cannot themselves award recognised degrees but whose degrees are awarded by another recognised institution of higher education (in the section titled Recognised bodies). In the case of the educational institutions under "Listed bodies", it is worth noting that the institution as a whole may not be officially recognised although a specific degree programme is.
All educational institutions found on the UCAS website are officially recognised.
Officially recognised vocational and private educational institutions
Institutions offering vocational education and training or further education are officially recognised provided that the degrees are conferred by such bodies as City and Guilds, Edexcel, AQA, CCEA, OCR or WJEC.
The educational institutions found on the British Council website are not necessarily officially recognised because only the English language courses offered by the institutions are accredited by the British Council.
Private educational institutions are financed entirely or partly by tuition fees. While private educational institutions must adhere to health and security regulations, they are not necessarily inspected by the public authorities (i.e., officially recognised). Private educational institutions recognised by independent accrediting organisations comply with defined standards, and compliance is verified by means of regular inspections. Private educational institutions can decide for themselves whether they wish to seek recognition under an accreditation programme. Among private educational institutions, those which are recognised by an accrediting organisation are officially recognised.
Financial aid is not available for Access, Foundation and Bridging courses preparing course participants for university admission.
The exception is the following type of Foundation course:
- course which is part of the degree programme proper; i.e., the course constitutes a so-called year zero of a normal three-year programme, the total length of the degree programme being four years.
The United States Department of Education does not exercise oversight over educational institutions in the same way as the Finnish authorities, for example. Instead there is an accreditation system used to monitor and evaluate the quality of education providers.
A college or university can be accredited by an accreditation commission if it fulfils certain basic requirements defined by the commission (relating for example to the structure and content of degree programmes). Accreditation, then, is not a ranking of individual educational institutions. While accreditation is a privately operated and essentially voluntary process, it is used as a criterion in many situations, for example when evaluating the quality of educational institutions. Kela uses accreditation information as one criterion of whether to provide financial aid for study in the United States. Accreditation information is also used if a student wishes to transfer credits to another educational institution or makes reference to a degree earned in the United States in order to qualify for a civil service position in Finland. Applicants should check the accreditation of the educational institutions they are applying to.
Accreditation can be specific to educational institution or apply to an entire branch of education.
Individual educational institutions are accredited by regional and national accreditation commissions. Accreditation focuses on the educational institution as a whole and not specific courses of study. It is best to choose a school that has been accredited as a whole.
With specialised accreditation, a specific branch of education is accredited. Accreditation is awarded by a national accrediting body (such as a professional organisation). Not all branches of education, however, have a dedicated accrediting body.
Accreditation is awarded for a limited period only. All accredited educational institutions are reassessed at defined intervals (typically 5-10 years) or sooner if the accrediting body considers it necessary to re-assess the institution (for example because of negative feedback). Check the latest list of accredited institutions to make sure that the information is up to date.
Be aware that there are also some "rogue" accrediting bodies and therefore simply checking the accreditation status of the educational institution is not enough. You should also check that the body that issued the accreditation is on the list of recognised accreditors.
If you have questions about accreditation, please contact Fulbright Center.