BRUSSELS - The conception of higher education as a public good and a public responsibility is changing. Most European countries use cost sharing and there is a trend towards shifting the burden of study costs onto students.
The Swedish National Union of Students, SFS, is an association of student unions at the universities and university colleges in Sweden. Membership to SFS is voluntary.
The purpose of SFS is twofold; to represent the interests of its members and, on a national level, supervise and spread the information about questions concerning education, science and student welfare issues.
SFS was founded in 1921 with the aim to be an organisation that attended international student meetings. Nowadays (August 2013), the organisation is a political advocate for students' interests composed of 50 member unions and representing about 300.000 out of 340.000 students in Sweden. SFS acts as the collective voice for students' to the Swedish Parliament, the Government, the political parties, the National Agency for Higher Education, the National Board of Student Aid and the National Admissions Office to Higher Education.
Mission and vision
SFS believes that Sweden must be a world leading knowledge nation and is characterised by a progressive higher education policy. In SFS's vision of the knowledge nation, a higher education of high quality is essential for societal development and part of the core of the Swedish welfare.
In the knowledge nation, higher education will produce public and individual benefits. Equal opportunities in higher education is a foundation in Swedish higher education and it is obvious that education is free of charge. There is also a comprehensive social security system for students that create good economic opportunities for higher education studies. Academic studies are a national responsibility.
Good quality higher education is a right for all students. Higher education is based on science or art and steeped constantly towards further development and improvement. For students, education contributes to both specific expertise and personal development.
SFS is the national student organisation in Sweden that operates all the common issues related to students at the national and international level through a dynamic organisation of committed students.
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