The Ministry of Education and Research has a staff of 200. The great majority are non-political officials who stay on in the Ministry in the event of a change of government or minister. The Ministry is headed by Gustav Fridolin, who is Minister for Education. Helene Hellmark Knutsson, Minister for Higher Education and Research and Anna Ekström, Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education and Training, also belong to the Ministry.
Working directly under their Ministers the State Secretaries lead work in the Ministry. The Ministry also has political advisers and press secretaries, who belong to the political staff of their Minister. The press secretaries are responsible for contacts with journalists. Unlike other officials in the Government Offices, ministers and political appointees leave their posts when there is a change of government.
Alongside the State Secretaries, the Ministry of Education has two senior officials, the Director-General for Administrative Affairs and the Director-General for Legal Affairs, who are not politically recruited.
The Directors-General assist in leading and coordinating the work of the Ministry. They are also responsible for ensuring that drafts are prepared for primary legislation and other regulations and that these are lawful, consistent and uniform. In addition, they ensure that Government business is processed correctly.
Divisions and secretariats
The Ministry’s divisions handle day-to-day work on the Ministry’s various policy issues, with the assistance of the Legal Secretariat. The divisions prepare matters for government decisions. One of their most important tasks is to produce background material to support government bills in their area of responsibility. The divisions also handle contacts with the agencies under the Ministry.
The Ministry has five secretariats that assist the Ministry’s leadership and divisions in matters such as administration, communications, international coordination and legal review.
Division for Schools
The Division for Schools is responsible for issues concerning preschools, leisure-time centres and other educational activities, preschool classes and compulsory schools as well as compulsory school for pupils with learning disabilities, special needs schools and Sami schools.
Division for Upper Secondary and Adult Education
The Division for Upper Secondary and Adult Education is responsible for matters relating to upper secondary schools, upper secondary schools for pupils with learning disabilities and adult education, including post-secondary vocational training and adult skills development programmes that are not offered at higher education institutions. The Division is also responsible for matters concerning student financial support, including repayment of student loans and student welfare issues at different educational levels.
Division for Youth Policy and Liberal Adult Education
The Division is responsible for the coordination and development of youth policy issues and liberal adult education issues, including the cross-sectoral objectives and follow-up.
Division for Higher Education
The Division for Higher Education is responsible for issues concerning first cycle (bachelor), second cycle (master) and third cycle (doctoral) education at universities and university colleges.
Division for Research Policy
The Division for Research Policy is responsible for general research policy issues and research cooperation in the EU and internationally.
The Legal Secretariat deals with legal issues within the Ministry of Education and Research’s area of responsibility. The main task of the secretariat is to participate in all legislative work.
Secretariat for Analysis and International Activities
The Secretariat coordinates EU and international issues in the OECD, the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Council of Europe, and other international cooperation forums that concern more than one division. In addition, the Secretariat is responsible for international travel and visits of the ministry leadership.
The administrative office of the Swedish National Commission for UNESCO is located at the Secretariat. The office coordinates Sweden’s board responsibilities in UNESCO and other UNESCO issues.
Through its analysis unit, the Secretariat is also responsible for special activities that refer to processing and analysing statistics for the purpose of monitoring developments in the areas of education, research and youth policy, and for national and international comparisons in the education area.
The Budget Secretariat coordinates, develops and provides support to the Ministry’s work on the central government budget, agency management and administrative policy issues. The Secretariat is responsible for the Ministry’s financial administration, including internal budgets, planning and follow-up of activities, procurements and coordination of gender mainstreaming.
Human Resources Secretariat
The Human Resources Secretariat provides the Ministry’s senior officials with support on operative and strategic human resources issues, including labour law, leadership, employeeship, working environment, salary review and skills supply.
The Communications Secretariat provides support to the ministry leadership and other divisions in their communications. The Secretariat plans and carries out communication initiatives on the Ministry’s priority issues.
The Secretariat also has correspondence officers who reply to questions from the general public.