Scandinavian international university

SIU is a private open University in Sweden, working mainly with distance learning in personal development, SIU is focusing on competence development for individuals, teams and organizations.

Uneståhl took leave of absence from Örebro university 1990 to start Skandinaviska Ledarhögskolan( and Scandinavian International University(with the main goal of developing models and training methods to reduce the gap between School/University Success and Life Success.


SIU educational work was based on the Swedish University law §2 which said that the goal of all education is Personal development. Thus, knowledge is not enough. The most important thing is how knowledge is transferred to actions in Life (Competence). This means that an important part of SIU education is methods for transfering Knowledge to Competence by the PAT principle (Practice, Applications and Training). In addition to that, SIU has developed unique methods to establish competence without the need of knowledge. In Sport, for instance, knowledge can even be an obstacle by causing too much of “thinking”. In some recruiting today remarks from the school/university is less valued than Social and Emotional competence. However, people with high social competence has usually no formal education in the field and usually do not know what and how they do to be so socially competent.


The “PAT” principle means that an important part of SIU education has to do with “Mental Training”.  Mental Training was created by Uneståhl 1969 and the practical training programs was developed during the 1970´s in cooperation with 12 Swedish National Teams and 2 Olympic Teams (1976 and 1980). In the 1980´s Mental Training became a part of many areas in the society (Schools, Health, Work, etc.) and at the same time spread to the Sport area in other countries (Unestahl was invited by the Olympic committees in 12 countries between 1976 and 1988). From 1990 the big area has been Personal development (including Problemsolving) for everyone and up to 2017 the number of Swedish people who has experience of Mental Training exceeds 2,5 million. This does not mean that so many has any formal education in Mental Training. Instead, most people has used the training programs for various needs (Leadership, Parenting, Teaching,Coaching, Sport,Teamwork, Stress-reduction, Self-image, Creativity, Sleep, Weight, Smoking, Tinnitus, Chronic pain, child birth, etc.)

As Mental Training like Physical Training is a self-coaching procedure, build on Empowerment and “Life- as a do it yourself project”, where everyone becomes his own guru and trainer, it is very well suited for online distribution. Thus, most courses are distance- and online-courses with participatory study start and study rate.


Besides from the Sport area the Mental Training focus has been on Sweden but 2013 started the work to introduce Mental Training in other countries. One example is the project “Mental Training for Peace – from Inner Peace to outer Peace” in north Irak together with the Kurdistan government.

The overall international Mental Training goal is to reach half of the world population before 2021 and all before 2037. This does not mean that everyone will use it but the goal is to offer a short and simple introduction in Mental Training to everyone. In order to reach the first goal the introduction has to be translated to the 7 most common language. So far we have 4 languages ready


The SIU education is based on the “Uneståhl Learning Pyramid” with the five principles – LEARNING – in/for/from/about/during the whole – LIFE. All of the five principles are based on research by Unestahl and others (the State bound learning principle, the Zeigarnic principle, the Learning to Learn principle, the 3 L (Life-Long-Learning) principle, etc.


SIU was from the start a part of Örebro university, which meant that the credits was “Swedish State University credits” (högskolepoäng), which later was transferred to the European system ECTS credits. As SIU since 1990 is a private University, credits are given as ”International units (IU)”. IU is related to the common international rating way to evaluate studies, based on quantitative assessments. One IU is a day of full-time studies which means that 100 IU corresponds to 20 old Swedish points and to 30 ECTS.


SIU is one of the organizers of the next world congress on Excellence In Sweden 2019. More information and registration on

The SIU 5 principles

  • LEARNING – in/for/from/about/during the whole – LIFE.
  • The SIU Ultimate Goal
  • The development of professional and personal LIFE COMPETENCE
  • The SIU Credits
  • SIU is a private University, and therefore ”International units (IU)”. IU is related to an international way to evaluate studies. The international rating systems for academic studies based on quantitative assessments. An IU is a day of full-time studies. The Swedish governmental system is adapted to the European (Bologna Agreement).

Characteristics of the SIU process learning and distance education

  • You decide when you want to start.
  • You can study the year around.
  • Education is brought to you (Home University) through text, sound and videos.
  • You decide the speed of your studies.
  • In the video lectures you will meet the Guru and founder mental training Lars-Eric Uneståhl Ph.d.