Programme Recognition and Credentials
International students often ask about the recognition and status of the programme or university they are considering. This page is meant to give international students further details about the status of BTH and our MSc programme.
Recognition and Quality Assurance
The Master's programme in European Spatial Planning and Regional Development was established in 2002 by the University Board of Blekinge Institute of Technology (Blekinge Tekniska Högskola, BTH). BTH is a government-funded higher education establishment under the jurisdiction of the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research. The Swedish state is the principal of BTH and the Vice-Chancellor and the members of the University Board are appointed by the Swedish government.
BTH is a university college with full university status in the field of technology/engineering (including spatial planning). This means that BTH has the independent right to award Master's degrees and PhD degrees in these fields.
University Colleges and Research (link to Swedish National Agency for Higher Education)
The government agency responsible for the assessment and review of education and research quality of Swedish universities is the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education. The most recent evaluation of education and research in spatial planning was conducted by the agency in 2005. The evaluation found no reason to question the academic credentials of the planning education and research at BTH. The evaluation (in Swedish) can be downloaded below.
To see the list of Swedish Universities and University Colleges that are entitled to award which degrees and qualifications, see link below.
Swedish National Agency for Higher Education
Evaluation of planning education and research at BTH (PDF, in Swedish only)
Entitlement to award qualifications (link to Swedish National Agency for Higher Education)
The question of accreditation and recognition is an important matter for international students. In many countries, the status and quality of a university is assessed by independent recognition and accreditation boards. In Sweden, independent (non-governmental) university accreditation/recognition boards, such as those in the US, do not exist. Instead, all universities are established/approved by the central government and its agencies and university education is state-funded. Most universities also have the Swedish government as principal (i.e. they are formally government bodies).
How higher education institutions function in Sweden (link to Swedish National Agency for Higher Education)
The principal of Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) is the Swedish state and BTH's activities are assessed and monitored by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education.
BTH is listed in the UNESCO / International Association of Universities database of recognised higher education establishments. The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education is the National Information/Contact centre of the international recognition networks, ENIC-NARIC and ENQA.
Sweden is a party to the 1979 UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas, and Degrees concerning Higher Education in the States belonging to the Europe Region. This convention, on the mutual recognition of higher education degrees and diplomas, is signed by most European states, as well as Canada.
Sweden is also a party to the 1997 UNESCO Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education in the European Region ("Lisbon Recognition Convention").
Applicants and students are advised to contact their national agency (or similar) responsible for international higher education credentials for further information.
Applicants/students from Canada can find information on the website of the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials. US applicants/students can find information on the website of the US Network for Education Information.
Membership, collaboration and affiliations
The Spatial Planning Unit at Blekinge Institute of Technology is a full member of AESOP - the Association of European Schools of Planning.
The programme is delivered in co-operation with Nordregio - the Nordic Centre for Spatial Development
The programme is supported by the board of Centre for Spatial Development and Planning (CTUP).
Scholarship and Internship Connections
Non-Nordic applicants to the Master's programme in European Spatial Planning and Regional Development can be considered for a number of scholarship programmes from the Swedish Institute (an agency of the Swedish government). In addition, the programme has been designated a "Master for Key Personnel" programme by the Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA. (This Master scholarship programme was discontinued by SIDA in 2007).
Read more on our Scholarships and Funding page and www.studyinsweden.se.
The programme has also been succesful in securing internships for graduates from the programme. These have been organised and managed by CTUP and funded by the Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA).