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About Sensus

We provide meeting places.

We offer you the chance to participate in study circles, courses, certification programmes, corporate training and lectures. We also run more than 30,000 cultural events every year.

Sensus activities, which are available in every Swedish municipality, range from management training, vocational training, therapy groups and diversity projects to rock music, church music and theatre.

You are welcome to get in touch with us if you would like to be involved in a cooperative effort with others or if you represent an organisation that might be interested in starting a project in collaboration with us.

Adult education in Sweden

Both folk high schools and special associations provide adult education inSweden. 

The Swedish concept of adult education emerged more than a century ago. Adult education was a way for various popular movements to promote social change and provide their members with the skills to build a modern society. That need has not gone away.

Adult education is a complex and elusive phenomenon just as it has always been. Fundamental to the concept is that both the topics that are covered and the ways that they are presented must change over time as people and society face new challenges. The focus in the early days was on building local libraries and arranging lectures.

Study circles have become increasingly important, while cultural programmes and a wide range of courses are now integral to the effort.

Ambitious social goals have always been a pillar of adult education. The basic idea is that participants actively seek and acquire knowledge while growing and developing as they interact with each other. Government at both the local and national level has provided extensive support to adult education efforts ever since the mid-1900s. It seems like everyone is involved in one way or another – Sweden has sometimes been called a "study circle democracy."

The first study circle took place in 1902, and the first adult education association was formed in 1912.


Ideas are what make the Sensus Study Association tick. 

We have 33 nationwide organisations and even more local ones. Our 450 employees collaborate with some 12,000 community leaders. As Sweden's fourth largest adult education association, we have a total of 370,000 participants enrolled in our study circles and courses.

Our organisation is broken down into eight regions, which offer activities in every Swedish municipality. We also have a national office to deal with matters that concern the entire country.

Vision and policy statement

The Sensus concept

We empower people to learn and develop through cultural experiences and encounters with others.

We offer innovative meeting places where people strengthen their skills, dare to test new boundaries and focus on the future.

The Sensus vision

All people see themselves as creative, developing beings who have the responsibility and power to affect their lives and surroundings.

Because everyone has the chance to contribute their own special abilities and talents, both the local and global community are filled with a spirit of trust.

Businesses and other organisations grow and develop based on the knowledge and commitment of their members.

The Sensus policy statement

We empower people to grow and develop. New knowledge and skills are needed to take on the challenges that life presents. In order to create a more hopeful future, we need greater insight about ourselves, as well as the values and structures that hold society together. Every human being must have the chance to fully participate in and shape their lives.

We offer in-depth learning. We avoid oversimplification, and we aren't afraid of the big questions that humanity is facing. That's why we focus not only on occupational training, but cultural diversity and life issues.

Learning and knowledge are always based on the experience of individual human beings. Dialogue lets you see your views and opinions through the eyes of another person. In other words, acquiring knowledge is both a personal and social activity.

All of a person's abilities and experiences are needed in order to:

  • ensure the kind of commitment and responsibility on which democracy and international cooperation are based
  • create stimulating, safe and healthy workplaces and other settings
  • promote vibrant organisations in which all members can make their unique contributions

Our approach to learning is firmly rooted in decades of adult education efforts aimed at satisfying the needs of individual human beings. We work closely with businesses and other organisations to develop ideas, methods and courses. We are in the vanguard when it comes to approaches that take advantage of the desire to experience, learn, create and develop that is everybody’s birthright.

The Sensus principles

Proceeding from the free flow of ideas, Sensus focuses on democracy, education and culture. We sponsor activities throughout Sweden in close collaboration with our member organisations. Everyone who wants to participate must have the opportunity to do so.

Sensus believes that:

  • all human beings are unique and equally valuable
  • everyone has the ability to grow and develop
  • dialogue, reflection and the opportunity to create are vital to preserving democracy and making it a more meaningful part of life


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