On campus or distance learning? Here’s what Sweden’s universities have planned for autumn

After a spring of remote learning, universities and higher education institutions across Sweden now have the green light to welcome students back to campus, but restrictions still apply.

On campus or distance learning? Here's what Sweden's universities have planned for autumn
Many exams, lectures, and even inductions for new students will still be carried out digitally. File photo: Veronica Johansson / SvD / TT

Students and staff should continue to follow Public Health Agency recommendations, which means keeping social distance from other people, staying at home if feeling at all unwell, and practising good hand hygiene.

The nationwide ban on public events of over 50 people only applies to university events like lectures if members of the public are allowed to attend, but institutions are still limiting large events of this kind.

However, the exact rules in place vary slightly between universities, so here's an overview of what's been decided. 

Uppsala University

Most courses will take place on campus, “with some digital elements”. Students are asked to contact their department and head of course to find out exactly what applies to them.

Lund University

Campus-based education and exams will go ahead on university premises, but in a limited form. Teaching and exams which cannot be carried out at a distance, or cannot be carried out “without significant difficulties”, will be prioritised when allocating access to space.

Gothenburg University

Teaching on campus will be limited in autumn, and partly carried out remotely. Certain students and activities will be prioritised in granting access to the university buildings, including for orientation, students in their final year, international students, and exams which can't be done digitally.

Photo: Emelie Asplund/

Stockholm University

The university plans to “gradually” open its premises. During the first part of the autumn term, a combination of distance and campus-based learning is planned.

Umeå University

Teaching and exams will take place as planned on campus to as great an extent as possible. Students in their first or final semester will be given priority. This means teaching and exams may need to be done in the evenings if required from an infection prevention perspective and if possible for those taking part.

Linköping University

The university plans a gradual return to operating as usual on its premises, but some teaching may need to happen digitally to reduce the spread of infection. New students and courses with a high proportion of new students will be prioritised for campus-based teaching, as well as exams and parts of other courses which would be difficult or impossible to carry out off campus or remotely.

Karolinska Institute

Theoretical teaching will partially continue at a distance, with other groups and activities prioritised on campus such as practical teaching or exams and new students.

File photo: Anders Wiklund / SCANPIX

KTH Royal Institute of Technology

The university plans to reopen its premises gradually, with teaching happening both digitally and on campus. Large lectures will not be held in their usual lecture rooms and may take place in small groups or online. Students starting their first year will be given priority, and other students (except those taking laboratories or workshops) will mostly have digital teaching and exams.

Luleå University of Technology

The first part of the autumn term, up until October 30th, is planned to take place both physically and digitally. All students should be prepared for changes and remote learning, but students starting their first term will be prioritised in campus access. The same rules will apply to the second part of the term unless a new decision is taken before then.

Karlstad University

Studies will take place both on campus and digitally, with a priority for students in their first year of a campus-based programme when granting access to the premises. A decision on the latter part of the autumn term will be announced no later than September 30th.

Linnaeus University

On-campus teaching and exams will be limited in autumn. The premises will primarily be used for induction activities and exams for first year students on a campus-based programme. 

Örebro University

The university plans to return to campus-based teaching, but not entirely, and in combination with digital teaching. Priority will be given to new students. As a general rule, exams will take place digitally up until October 31st with the exception of practical exams such as in laboratories or art. 

Photo: Tor Johnsson/SvD/TT

Mid Sweden University

Some teaching will take place on campus and some digitally. Students with practical elements to their teaching which must be carried out in person will be given access to the premises, but other teaching will in the first instance take place remotely.

Malmö University 

Teaching will take place at least partially digitally up until November 8th. Digital learning will be the default but exceptions may be made, for example for elements of courses that require face-to-face teaching. Inductions for new students will also take place digitally. A decision on the rest of the term will be presented by September 1st at the latest.  

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

Some teaching and exams will take place on campus. Studies which took place at a distance during spring and which worked well are recommended to continue at a distance during the autumn term. 

This list is based on information gathered by the TT newswire and correct as of July 27th. The rules may change based on new advice from Swedish authorities.

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Covid deaths in Sweden ‘set to rise in coming weeks’

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has warned that the number of weekly Covid deaths is set to rise, after the number of people testing positive for the virus rose for the sixth week running.

Covid deaths in Sweden 'set to rise in coming weeks'

According to the agency, an average of 27 people have died with or from the virus a week over the past three weeks. 

“According to our analyses, the number who died in week 27 (July 4th-July 11th), is more than died in week 26 and we expect this to continue to grow,” the agency wrote in a report issued on Thursday. 

In the week ending July 17th (week 28), 4,700 new cases of Covid-19 were registered, a 22 percent rise on the previous week. 

“We are seeing rising infection levels of Covid-19 which means that there will be more people admitted to hospital, and even more who die with Covid-19,”  said Anneli Carlander, a unit chief at the agency. “The levels we are seeing now are higher than they were last summer, but we haven’t reached the same level we saw last winter when omicron was spreading for the first time.” 

While 27 deaths a week with for from Covid-19 is a rise on the low levels seen this spring, it is well below the peak death rate Sweden saw in April 2020, when more than 100 people were dying a day. 

The number of Covid deaths recorded each week this summer. Source. Public Health Agency of Sweden
A graph of Covid deaths per day since the start of the pandemic shows that the current death rate, while alarming, remains low. Photo: Public Health Agency of Sweden

Carlander said that cases were rising among those in sheltered accommodation for the elderly, and also elderly people given support in their own homes, groups which are recommended to get tested for the virus if they display symptoms. The infection rate among those given support in their homes has risen 40 percent on last week. 

This week there were also 12 new patients admitted to intensive care units with Covid-19 in Sweden’s hospitals.  

The increase has come due to the new BA.5 variant of omicron, which is better able to infect people who have been vaccinated or already fallen ill with Covid-19. Vaccination or a past infection does, however, give protection against serious illness and death.