In Sweden, the education system is completely nationalized (no private sector whatsoever) so as to not disadvantage students based on where they live, their parents' wealth, or their parents' level of attention to them. The Swedish Ministry of Education sets guidelines that distribute federal funding equally among all schools depending on the size of the student body, mandate how that money should be spent by the school administration, outline all school rules, and ensure the same curricular and extracurricular options among all schools in order to ensure equal opportunity but unequal outcomes depending on the hard work and merit of each individual student. Schools also have extensive counseling programs to help students in need, so suicide rates are extremely low in Sweden.
Colleges are still nationalized, controlled by the Ministry of Education, and completely free to Swedish citizens; however, colleges are open to anyone regardless of district, so they are tiered into separate levels of academic intensity and given funding accordingly. Tier 1 colleges, also known as vocational schools, offer trade certifications and generally last 6 months. Tier 2 colleges, also known as community colleges, offer associate's degrees and generally last 2 years. Tier 3 colleges, also known as universities, offer bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorates and the length of the program depends on the degree that one is pursuing. Tier 4 colleges, also known as elite universities, offer the same degrees as regular universities but the degree is much more respected and the cirriculum is of a greater intensity.
The Royal University of Stockholm, the most respected institute in Democritus, is considered to be above all other universities and, thus, has no tier. It is also the largest campus in the region due to the fact that it offers every single degree known to man; it has dozens of schools within the campus, from the medical school to the comedy school. As it is one of the main source of Swedish scientific breakthroughs, it receives a huge amount of federal funding and is known as the world capital of education and research by many. The Royal University does not discriminate between natives and non-natives when deciding to accept or reject an application (although non-natives have to pay a steep tuition), so about 10% of its students come from abroad, bringing back the Swedish language, culture, and political ideology to their home countries.
The Ministry of Education has officially banned "donations" (public bribes), "legacy" admissions (a way for the 1% to pass on degrees to undeserving heirs), "affirmative action" (institutionalized racism), and all other practices deemed as unmeritocratic. It has mandated that all colleges, however, take socioeconomic class into consideration as well as other legitimate disadvantages such as illness when going through applications.