Approved leave from studies and non-completion of studies

Last changed: 22 November 2021

It is important that you contact SLU if you want to take leave from your studies or discontinue them.

Approved leave from studies on special grounds

You can be granted a leave of absence from your studies if there are special grounds. You will then be guaranteed a place on the programme courses you apply for when you return.

Please note if you are a fee-paying student: If you are granted a leave of absence from your studies and have no reason other than studies to stay in Sweden, your residence permit for studies may be revoked. Read more at The Migration Agency web or contact them.

Examples of special grounds include social, medical or other exceptional circumstances such as caring for a sick child, national military or civilian service, military basic training or tasks related to student organisations. You must be able to provide documentation to support your special grounds.

  • Starting in semester 2, you can apply for approved leave from studies. Applications for approved leave from studies submitted during semester 1 are counted as applications to defer.
  • You can participate in examinations for courses you have already started during your leave from studies. Contact SLU’s Admissions Office if you want to discontinue your leave and register on new courses.
  • If you have been accepted onto exchange studies and have registered, you do not need to apply for approved leave from studies for the period you will be spending on your exchange. 

You must submit supporting documentation if you will be taking a leave from your studies on special grounds.

  • Medical reasons: certificate from the healthcare services/psychologist/
    The certificate must have been issued in the past two months.
  • Military service – copy of the summons from the Swedish Defence Conscription and Assessment Agency.
  • Pregnancy – medical certificate.
  • Care of a sick child – documentation from the Swedish Tax Agency confirming that you are the child’s guardian and that the child is no more than 480 days old when you start studying.
  • Care of next of kin – documentation confirming you are caring for next of kin.
  • Student’s union post – documentation confirming this is a full-time position. It must also include information about the period when this post will take place.

If you receive student finance, remember to tell National Board of Student Support (CSN) about your leave from studies.

If your application is rejected, you can appeal the decision with the Higher Education Appeals Board.

Apply for approved leave from studies

  1. Complete the form: Application for approved leave from studies on special grounds.
  2. Email the form and documentation supporting your special reasons to admissions@slu.se, or post them to:
    SLU
    Division of Educational Affairs/Admissions Office
    Box 7010
    750 07 Uppsala
  3. You will receive a decision if your application is approved. The decision will be sent to the email address you registered on universityadmissions.se. Upload this decision via My Pages on universityadmissions.se when you return to your studies.
  4. If your application is rejected, you will be informed in writing. This information will be sent to the email address you have provided on universityadmissions.se.

Absence from your studies without special grounds

If you are absent from your studies without having special grounds, you will only be readmitted if there are places on the course(s) you have applied for when you return. This applies, for example, if you are absent due to research, other studies or work.

If there are more eligible applicants than places for compulsory programme courses, a selection process will take place. During selection, the degree programme students who are studying at a normal pace will take priority over those who have been absent without special reason. This is stipulated in the SLU admission regulations.

Please note that if you have not followed the normal pace of study within your programme (approved leave from studies without special grounds), you will be down-prioritised in all future application rounds.

Talk to a study counsellor and the responsible department if you are planning to be absent without special grounds. Always inform your programme director of studies and the department running the course. You do not need to inform the SLU Admissions Office.

Returning to your studies after approved leave on special grounds

If you have been granted a leave of absence on special grounds, you must apply for the courses you will be taking when you return to university. Apply via universityadmissions.se during the regular registration period for the semester directly after your leave. Please note that you must log in as a degree programme student when applying. Remember to upload your approved leave from studies decision with your application.

Following your approved leave from studies on special grounds, you will be guaranteed a place on the courses totalling 30 credits that you have ranked the highest in your application. Therefore, when it is time for you to return to your studies, it is important that you think carefully about how you will prioritise your courses. You will only be guaranteed places on courses included in your programme. Talk to a study counsellor or programme director of studies if you are unsure about which courses you need to apply for.

Deferment of studies

You can apply for deferment (postpone when you start) if you have special grounds.

It is best if you apply for deferment before the programme starts. However, you can apply throughout the first semester as long as you are registered on the programme. You can defer your studies for a maximum of 18 months, unless there are exceptional circumstances for extending this period (Chapter 7, Section 33, Swedish Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100)).

Special grounds include social, medical, or other exceptional circumstances such as caring for a sick child, national military or civilian service, military basic training or tasks related to student organisations.

You must submit supporting documentation if you will be applying for deferment.

  • Medical reasons: certificate from the healthcare services/psychologist/
    The certificate must have been issued in the past two months.
  • Military service – copy of the summons from the Swedish Defence Conscription and Assessment Agency.
  • Pregnancy – medical certificate.
  • Care of a sick child – documentation from the Swedish Tax Agency confirming that you are the child’s guardian and that the child is no more than 480 days old when you start studying.
  • Care of next of kin – documentation confirming you are caring for next of kin.
  • Student’s union post – documentation confirming this is a full-time position. It must also include information about the period when this post will take place.
  • Refusal of leave of absence for studies – supporting documentation from the employer confirming you have applied for a leave of absence but have been refused, or documentation confirming you wanted to leave your position in advance but were refused.
  • Refused an appointment at the embassy – you must provide evidence that you started the residence permit application process in good time, but you were unable to be given an interview due to reasons beyond your control. SLU will hold on to the tuition fees you have paid until the following year’s application period. You can ask to be refunded at any time, however this will mean you lose your right to deferment. Read more about our study fees refund policy.

Please note: You can ask to be refunded at any time, however this will mean you lose your right to deferment. Read more about our study fees refund policy.

Apply for deferment

  1. Accept the place you were offered via universityadmissions.se.
  2. Send an email applying for deferment. Include supporting documentation that confirms any special grounds and send the email to admissions@slu.se.
  3. You will receive your decision (approval or rejection) via email. 
  4. If you have been granted a deferment, you need to apply for the programme via universityadmissions.se before the start of the semester you intend to start studying. Submit your application during the regular admissions round for that semester. Upload the deferment decision via My Pages on universityadmissions.se when you apply.

If you have any questions about deferment, contact admissions@slu.se

Appeals

If your application is rejected the decision will be emailed to the address you have provided. You can appeal the decision. Read more about how to appeal here.

Non-completion of a course

You can submit an early withdrawal from your course within three weeks from the course start. Withdraw from your course early via Ladok student or universityadmissions.se. If you withdraw from the course early on, you can reapply at a later date. Remember to notify the course coordinator that you are withdrawing from the course.

If you submit your withdrawal after the first three weeks of the course, or if you simply fail to attend and stay registered, you cannot apply for the course again. Instead you will need to contact the department (course coordinator or course administrator) to be re-registered if you would like to take the course in the future. You will only be re-registered if there are course places available. Therefore if you already know you will not take the course, it is better for you to withdraw during the first three weeks.

Non-completion of a programme

If you are certain you no longer want to continue with your studies, you will need to notify the university. Once you withdraw from your studies, you will lose your right to a place on the programme. You can still complete the courses you have already started. If you want to return to the programme, you will need to reapply and be readmitted.

If you want to withdraw from your studies, you must do so in writing. Use the non-completion of studies form. Email the form to admissions@slu.se.


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