Swedish language training and education for adult immigrants occurs under the intersecting policy areas of integration, labour market participation and education. Since the first initiatives in the 1960s, it has undergone numerous reforms. Today it is, for the large part, a highly formalised education while at the same time some certain aspects of language training are practically unregulated. Importantly, asylum seekers and refugees have significantly different access to language training and education. In the following we consider language training and education for asylum seekers and refugees aged 16–64 years. Swedish for immigrants (Svenska för invandrare, sfi) is a formal municipal adult education with national school and course curricula accessible free of charge to all adult immigrants who do not have basic Swedish proficiency. Refugees (with domicile registration) generally participate in the education as part of the Introduction Program coordinated by the Public Employment Service. Asylum seekers do not have access to this education. Asylum seekers and refugees of school age can enter the education system and access language education as part of this. Adult asylum seekers can also access Swedish training through the third sector, including study associations, folk high schools and NGOs. Swedish language training and education is contested and this Policy Brief by the GLIMER Swedish team highlights some conflicting tendencies and how these could be considered in relation to further development work.

DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.5082347