According to a report published in 2017 by Statistics Sweden (SCB), every tenth person who has completed initial vocational education and training (VET) and is aged between 18 and 34 years had been abroad for at least two weeks within the framework of his/her upper secondary education. This proportion is much higher than the benchmark of 6% set by the European Union. The report also gives statistics on international mobility for learning purposes and the scope of mobility among Swedish learners.

The report builds on a pilot survey initiated by the European statistical authority, Eurostat. Two European benchmarks (mobility among those who have completed post-secondary education and mobility among those who have completed initial vocational education training) and an indicator for the area (general mobility for learning purposes among young people) were measured for the first time. Sixteen countries took part in the pilot in 2014. The percentage of Swedish learner mobility was higher than the European benchmark, with most visiting a workplace during their time abroad. Three out of ten visited a school.

International mobility among young people in Sweden in 2014 was already quite high: around one in three young people aged 18 to 34 years went abroad for learning purposes once in their lives. Among these, the percentage of women was slightly higher than for men. Activities included taking part in a student exchange scheme or some other participation in formal education, for instance within the framework of compulsory school, upper secondary education or higher education. Non-formal education activities were also included. A quarter of those aged 18 to 34 years had been abroad once for learning purposes outside their formal education; again the proportion was slightly higher among women than among men. The most common activities were language courses, study/sports/class trips or work-related courses/conferences/study visits. The Youth on the move initiative is an example of projects supporting mobility: it aims to strengthen young people’s education and employability, partly through studying or training in another country.

The Statistics Sweden report, based on Eurostat data, shows Swedish VET learners at the top of surveyed countries in Europe, in terms of young people with periods of VET training experience abroad. However, more needs to be done as VET students have less experience of studies abroad compared to those in post-secondary education.

Internationell rörlighet för utbildning bland unga i Sverige