Government-supported (but often privately owned) arts and culture schools on the levels between secondary and university level education exist all across the country. In many fields, these schools are, at least in practice, a necessary preparation for admission to university level arts education. This field, to some extent, overlaps with popular education (folkbildning) especially in the case of folk high schools (folkhögskolor) focusing on aesthetic and artistic subjects. Most art and culture schools on this level are either part of popular education (folkbildning), or vocational schools (yrkeshögskola).
Vocational schools (yrkeshögskola) are a part of the education system that was given its current shape through a reform in 2015. In the field of arts and culture, these exist in three main categories: schools preparing for university level art education, professional education for work in the arts and culture sector, and professional education for work in the heritage sector. In 2019, a total of 2 880 students were admitted to vocational schools in the field of arts and culture, 220 fewer than the previous year (statistics from Statistics Sweden, SCB).
Of the 154 folk high schools (folkhögskolor) in Sweden, most offer aesthetic programmes at the post-compulsory educational level, specializing in music, fine art, handicrafts, performing arts or creative writing. In the autumn of 2016, more than 7 000 students participated in such programmes, a number which had then increased at least since the 1990’s. Studies indicate that these courses have a central position in the infrastructure of Swedish professional arts education. In 2016, almost 60 percent of students finishing such programmes applied to university level education within 12 months, primarily for studies in the arts and humanities, but also in social sciences and pedagogy, and for teacher training. Interestingly, 27 percent of the participants had studied university level courses and programmes before folk high school studies (Fürst, Levelius & Nylander 2018).