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Foreign student numbers plummet in Sweden

Foreign student numbers plummet in Sweden

Published: 28 Jun 2011 17:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Jun 2011 17:10 GMT+02:00

Fewer than 1,300 non-European students have paid the new tuition fees required for them to study at Swedish universities, according to higher education officials. In the 2009-10 academic year, there were more than 16,000 non-European university students in Sweden.

“It looks like the drop in students from outside the EU may be quite steep. It is now up to all good forces in the country to come up with a good scholarship programme that could make Sweden an attractive place for higher education again,” said head of the agency Lars Haikola in a statement on Tuesday.

The deadline to pay the fees lapsed on June 15th. According to the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket), only 1,280 students had paid their fees by then.

Previously free, fees at Swedish universities will range from a minimum of 100,000 kronor ($16,000) per annum to around 230,000 kronor, depending on the programme and school, from the 2011 autumn term.

Since the decision to introduce fees was taken, experts have warned that Swedish universities will see a significant drop in interest from abroad.

And already in May, figures from the Swedish Agency for Higher Education (VHS) showed that the number of international admissions to Swedish universities had dropped by two thirds compared to last year.

Fresh figures from the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) also show that 6,277 people applied for a student visa in Sweden during the first 6 months of 2010.

So far this year the number of applicants has only reached 3,747.

In the 2009-10 academic year, more than 16,000 non-European university students studied in Sweden. Although the figures aren’t strictly comparable, as the larger number comprises all places of higher education in Sweden and both the autumn and spring term, they point to a significant drop, according to the agency.

According to Torbjörn Lindqvist, analyst at the National Agency for Higher Education, it has been hard to foresee what impact the new tuition fees would have on applicants, despite the warnings.

“I think that it was expected that there would be a drop, we had seen that from other countries introducing similar schemes, but how large it would be no one could say in advance,” he told The Local.

What practical effects this will have on Swedish universities, and just how large the actual drop in foreign students will be, still remains to be seen.

“Many universities will find themselves with less students than they had expected and some might have a problem filling their courses,” said Lindqvist.

The government has initiated two scholarship programmes that will cover the fees for about 300 applicants, according to Lindquist. But sadly that will not cover everyone.

“I think the expectations are that the Swedish higher education will hold such a high international standard that students will come anyway,” Lindquist told The Local.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:36 June 28, 2011 by fikatid
Swedish universities will drop further down from the top international universities rank. Good job, Sweden!
18:47 June 28, 2011 by skatty
The drop shouldn't be unexpected; certainly more students apply for University,when the education has no tuition.

Actually, this tuition and fee for studying in Sweden is a good thing to learn how well the Swedish Universities compete with other Universities in EU, by the same application standards. You see there were a sharp reduction, may be somehow unexpectedly sharp for Swedes.

Now, I suggest to the authorities in Sweden to bring the same standards of applications, who immigrate to Sweden; I mean, let bring the welfare system down, somehow in the level similar to UK, and then see what reduction you get with immigrant and refugees.

It may surprise Swedes!
18:48 June 28, 2011 by graphixperson
This doesn't factor in exchange students, who pay their fees at their home university.
18:53 June 28, 2011 by canuk
This is the best thing that could have happened to sweden. I for one am not interested in paying to educate people from outside of europe through my taxes. The comment by fikatid about dropping down the list is ridiculous....its quality not quantity that matters and if they drop its becuase the latter.

I think that the comment about immigration by skatty is interesting however instead of following the UK, they should follow denmark. They have the right ideas.

WHY IS IT SWEDENS JOB TO SAVE THE REST OF THE WORLD?
19:04 June 28, 2011 by adigunbabatunde@yahoo.com
its working...grattis!!!
19:30 June 28, 2011 by RobinHood
"I think the expectations are that the Swedish higher education will hold such a high international standard that students will come anyway," - Torbjörn Lindqvist, the National Agency for Higher Education.

Applications have dropped from 16 000 to 1300. Is this man insane?

Would someone please calculate how much the Swedish taxpayer has saved by no longer having to provide free education to 14 700 non EU university students every year. Enough to build several new hospitals I would guess.
20:11 June 28, 2011 by Grävling
In response to canuk, how can Sweden save the work when it can't even save it's self? However, you are right, though also wrong. It's not one country's job to save the world, it's every countries job to do it, and at this rate it's not gonna happen.

Strangely, even though sweds (like myself) now do not pay for non EU's, you can bet the monies saved will not go on making Sweden better.
20:14 June 28, 2011 by Iraniboy
1300? That's way too much! I wonder if those who got scholarship are also inculded.

The tuition fee may seem as if it is paid to student but it actually paid to Swedish teachers. Less students less jobs for Swedes. But one should find a balance between these two. First of all I think the tuition fee is really high in comparison with other countries. Second I think it was better if they had a variable tuition fee for foreign students and higher for popular programmes and less for unpopular one so they feed the education when it is needed.
20:27 June 28, 2011 by kiskin78
@canuk and RobinHood

Yea, you can keep your taxes to yourself. Why is it so wrong in your viewe to give noneuropeans an opportunity to develope themselves?. To grow and be more productive people.

If only you can be realistic to see how much some of you have extorted from the rest of the world (outside of europe).

Anyway, keep to yourselves. We shall not die for;

"Those endowed with the swiftness of an egle can fly and go ahead. Let then. We shall journey slowly and we too shall arrive".
20:57 June 28, 2011 by Hladir
I'm surprised the Swedish Higher Educational system is not better regarded internationally. That said, people often don't make rational choices - rationally, I know that many of the international University rankings are biased towards the Anglo-Saxon institutions, and that the fact Swedish alumni do not receive a disproportionately large number of Nobel prizes is not a reflection of the standards of Swedish research (it says something about taking conflicts of interest seriously). However, that said, when one is thinking within a culture of self-promotion, that fact the top institutions are not in their top positions because they offer accessible, quality education is irrelevant - they are at the top (however that came about).

The education of 16,000 foreign students falling on the Swedish tax payer probably isn't a sustainable balance (although, I suppose it could be considered aid or a soft global influence...). Particularly when there are so many capable students priced out of their home country's educational systems within the EU. I think with the worsening educational situation in many EU countries (UK, Greece, Italy, Spain and so on), Sweden is right to recognise it's opportunities and responsibilities within the knowledge economy of Europe.
21:01 June 28, 2011 by Omicron
@ canuk

"WHY IS IT SWEDENS JOB TO SAVE THE REST OF THE WORLD?"

Please give us a break! I guess yo are joking when you say Sweden saves "the world"
21:15 June 28, 2011 by Grävling
One other point I think is worth looking at is how much money the students bring into the country, year so we pay for there education, but they pay rent, food bills, power, beer. For arguments sake, they maybe spend about 7500 a month? Times that by the amount of students and that is quite a bit of cash Sweden is loosing out on.
21:20 June 28, 2011 by Hladir
Gravling - depends how much it costs to educate the students per year. I know it's a great deal cheaper to live for a year in Sweden than it is to pay the costs of education for a year at the OECD average.
21:23 June 28, 2011 by Horace
In most master programs, I think there are only 1 class for each course. I don't see how 1 class for 10 people is any less expensive than 1 class for 40 people. There might be more papers to correct but you would get more phd students anyways to help correct those.
21:29 June 28, 2011 by Hladir
Horace - I agree if it's only a matter of space in lecture theatres. However, costs such as admin staff (and facilities) increase with the number of students. PhD students should really be trained and paid to mark student papers in any case - it's quite a responsible job.
21:30 June 28, 2011 by eppie
@hladir

Well most costs for education are buildings and teachers. And they are already here. Cost savings will not be that great.

And the losers? Highly educated university staff, local businesses etc.

@skatty

The 'amount of wellfare' has nothing to do with the amount of immigrants you get.

The US is still the most popular destination, even though people know the chance of them living in poverty is more than 90 %.
21:51 June 28, 2011 by IranianBoy
The budget for outside EU students until last year was 500 million kronor each year (according to this: http://www.thelocal.se/30544/20101201/)

if 5 million swedes pay taxes, it would be 100 kronor for each of them each year. this year the budget has dropped to 30 million kronor for scholarships for outside EU students. so EACH SWEDISH TAXPAYER SAVES 93 kronor (equal to 15$) FOR THE WHOLE YEAR. So this is what taxpayers win by this new law.

now let's see what Sweden loses:

each of these students spent about 6000 kronor in sweden each month and all of this money came from outside sweden and from their home countries. this means that 1058400000 kronor (1 BILLION KRONOR) will not come to sweden's market from outside! ( 6000 kronor each person each month * 14700 drop in students who will attend * 12 months

add this 1 BILLION KRONOR that does not come to sweden's market, to that 470 million spending cuts that swedish government won't pay for SWEDISH UNIVERSITY TEACHERS AND EMPLOYEES and then make the conclusion yourself.

These figures should embarrass any parliament that have passed such a job killing and anti economy law. interestingly, the right wing government of Sweden that is approving and enacting this policy, bears the reputation of doing the right economical thing for Sweden!

If Sweden wants to tackle the problem of immigrants, I think it should begin with the uneducated and hard line religious proportion that is the source of criticism; not the students who the only thing that they do is contributing to science and technology in this country.
21:52 June 28, 2011 by Hladir
@eppie

Well, I doubt it will mean 14,000 odd less students will be studying in Sweden in any case. Some of the gap will surely be filled by Swedes and EU students.

On the matter of costs. There will likely be savings in admin and support costs as well as local service provision (students don't pay taxes for some of the local services they receive) - and depending what is ultimately subsidised, there will likely be considerable savings (some several million Krona I would guess).

However, what I wonder is whether the Universities were actually coping with the volume of students last year. Does anyone know? The answer to that might make it clearer who employed within the Universities might be the losers. Yes, those businesses in the niche student market may well be impacted negatively.
22:24 June 28, 2011 by Orangemen
The amount of tax revenue lost from the 15000 students drop off would have more than covered the so called burden of the taxpayer to cover the tuition fees for non-European students. Furthermore, the significant amount of jobs that will now be lost because of the drastic reduction of students will further contribute to less tax revenue generation. Swedish universities are middling at best. Students are clearly choosing the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the U.S.A to pursue a far superior post-secondary education. Now Sweden will be as attractive as going to Albania to study. Kudos to shortsightedness; It suits Sweden very well.
22:28 June 28, 2011 by planet.sweden
Free education for the entire world all paid for by 5 million Swedish taxpayers always was a daft idea, the sort that would bankrupt the country pretty swiftly.

As a Swedish tax-payer I'm pleased the government has stopped this particular utopian madness.
22:36 June 28, 2011 by WhoIsPayingTax
Haha...can wait to see the end of this.the funniest thing is who is paying these tax you guys are talking about. I pay close to 4000kr every month of tax, 95% of my friends in school have some job that they are doing / studying and which they pay tax too. Mind you we dont take CSN where u dont have to pay tax. So who is paying tax, the non-eu student that have some kind of job while studying in sweden, the swedish that are working.

Some student that dont work still have some kind of support from home just like IranianBoy stated. So this student are contributing to the economy. Students dont live on social, they give something back to the econony in all aspect. Am not saying sweden should not introduce fee but i think is just too high.
22:57 June 28, 2011 by me_i_sverige
Well, it will be interesting to see many universities closing some of their departments due to lack of students. The universities located in small cities are to be affected. This also means lost jobs to Swedes and lost economic opportunities in that area. However, in the end, it is Sweden to make a decision. Why didn't they put a reasonable fee (say 25000-50000 sek per year). They would have gotten more students. The worrying thing would be to know if these students (who had paid tuition fees for 2011-2012 ) are really a genuine students.
22:58 June 28, 2011 by Omicron
@planet.sweden

"Free education for the entire world all paid for by 5 million Swedish taxpayers always was a daft idea, the sort that would bankrupt the country pretty swiftly."

From where did you get this crazy idea? Such allusion borders pathological grandiosity. You must have a different definition of the world. The number of Chinese university students in CHINA is more than the entire population of Scandinavia and you claim your country is providing free education to the world!
23:02 June 28, 2011 by DAVID T
CSN is currently missing the address information for some 20,000 debtors. Their total debts amount to 2.7 billion kronor ($340 million).

All these are outside the eec - not only did Sweden provide free education but also loans that these parasites had no intention of paying back - so who ends up paying?
23:10 June 28, 2011 by kenny8076
they are failing to mention that on top of the university fees students will also have to pay for housing, food, travel, books, school activities...... All while Sweden CAN NOT offer employment. Its not like when a European goes to the U.S. to study and can find minimal work required to help themselves through college...... Add another 100,000 a year for all the extras on top of tuition and THAT is why no one will come here!
23:20 June 28, 2011 by kiskin78
@DAVID T

Are you kidding me?. How did CSN money end up in the hands of students from outside EEC?.

ONLY SWDISH OR PERMANENT RESIDENCE IN SWEDEN CAN RECEIVE CSN MONEY.

Have you understood it now?. So now you know how ignorant you are. It is people like you that are quick at blaming foreigners for crimes, even the ones typically committed by swedes.
23:28 June 28, 2011 by Enjoyourlife
Finland and Norway are still free anyway. The school fees in Denmark is better! It is advisable to pay this fees in Uk, Canada and USA. There is even no work in Sweden to begin with. The sad thing is, the door to Uk, Canada and USA for non EU student is closed,
23:31 June 28, 2011 by mikmak
Well, I guess a third of the "students" didn't go to Sweden to study anyway, according to The Local http://www.thelocal.se/34566/20110625/

Wonder if there will be more or less fake students now that fees have been introduced.
23:58 June 28, 2011 by Hladir
@mikmak

This is precisely the point.

- Incidentally, does anyone know how many Swedish and EU students were turned away last year? -

When we know how many students will be studying in Sweden 2011-12, not only the proportion of international students, the economics of the policy will be clearer. EU students also bring money into the economy, as do Swedish students (from parents savings and disposable income etc).

Also, I'm sure Sweden subsidizes local services - so the cost to the tax payer for every (real) incoming student is always higher than the cost of educating students alone. when the money brought into the country is added to the costs, there is still a deficit that the Swedish tax payer has to cover. The ideological question is, is that worth paying?
01:05 June 29, 2011 by DAVID T
@kiskin78

read this my "swedish" friend

http://www.thelocal.se/18706/20090406/
01:32 June 29, 2011 by blursd
"'It looks like the drop in students from outside the EU may be quite steep. It is now up to all good forces in the country to come up with a good scholarship programme that could make Sweden an attractive place for higher education again,' said head of the agency Lars Haikola in a statement on Tuesday."

I think the proper response to this statement (and the whole article as a whole really) could be summed up with the single word ... "DUUUHHHHHH!"
03:02 June 29, 2011 by cutthecrap
Good for Sweden, you are well rid of these spongers.
03:16 June 29, 2011 by underskyofsweden
Don't mistake!!!

Actually the Swedish government didn't introduce tuition fees just only because of what called " burden on the taxpayers" in order to save 500 million SEK!

Sweden is a rich country with big potential for everyone who wants to come here and study in a high standard level of educational aspects as you can see these facilities are still free and widely open for the European students!

So, in terms of financial aspects they don't really care about what European or Non-European students spend here as living expenses or how much they pay moms and create new jobs!!! This is actually why the Swedish government has no practical plan to keep these well-educated people here or provide better situations to integrate them to the Swedish job market after their graduation!

There is also NO point in terms of universities quality drops as VHS claims due to attending a large amount of unwilling or not serious students just because of free tuition fees! If they care about that then they could set some more strict conditions(e.g. higher GPA) for the admission process of foreign students NOT for the tuition fees and only for Non-Europeans!

The major motivation for introduction of tuition fees for Non-European students was more strategic and political than financial or technical! Think SMART guys!
07:10 June 29, 2011 by RobinHood
It's surprising how bitter some posters here have become now they are deprived of the extraordinarily generous privilege of a top-class education financed by other people's money. A privilege not available to Swedes who might want to attend a university in countries most of these posters come from.

No doubt these posters have been campaigning equally hard in their own countries for free university education for Swedes.
07:36 June 29, 2011 by TheLight
Funny, but wasn't that what they targeted by introducing the fees?

So why all these noise on the local about the reduction of international students coming to Sweden?
08:02 June 29, 2011 by Puddi
@RobinHood - I noticed this too, haha.

All in all, I still don't see the reason why Sweden implemented the fees. Sweden has always been known to offer good education - just not the best, which is a category the country can't compete in due to the extremely prestigious universities in some countries, mainly the UK. And, as already said by other posters, Sweden is actually losing out on a lot of money that these students spend every month, which ultimately affects the education system more than the lack of new foreign students.

One thing I am afraid of, however, is that Swedes and other EU citizens will be discriminated against now. This already happened to a certain degree, because it's so much easier for us to study at a Swedish university; they are far more tolerant with non-EU citizens as they apply. But what is going to happen now, when not even 10% of those students are coming? I'd speculate that Swedish universities would go to great lengths to keep those students, if only to keep the picture that they still attract foreigners. This would happen at the expense of EU citizens.
08:35 June 29, 2011 by Puffin
....... and yet the total number of applicants to University has RISEN with 2% according to statistics from VHS :-)

Total applications 2010 - 340634

Total applications 2011 - 346230

Important to remember that the *drop* relates to non-EU students only - overseas students from within the EU still get free tuition

by the way

@Horace & Hladir

At most Universities PhD students already teach as it is a requirement of their PhD contract that 20% of their time is spent on teaching or administrative duties for their departments
08:40 June 29, 2011 by just a question
this is another step towards privatisation of the education in Sweden. There are too many educated students that can't find a job, and the system doesn't need educated people. What the system needs is idiots with a high level of social and intelectual retardation that pay taxes and ask for loans to the banks. This society doesn't need inteligent people. In the future CSN will be cancelled too (too many debts), so only rich students will be able to study (welcome to the XIX century again). The average Swede is completely agree with the introduction of fees in university, that's the truth. Sweden is now a country like anyone else, they can't continue giving lessons to any other country in the world.
08:43 June 29, 2011 by RitaPita
I've spoken to people both against and for this charge and here is what I've gathered:

Of course, the general Swedish public is happy about this reduction because their tax money will not support foreign education now.

These whom are against, however, are the universities themselves. They want and need this international exposure in order to rank themselves among other international universities. Of course by implementing this tuition you do eliminate the chances of "sponges", but you also discourage the enrollment of other bright students.

Here is my problem with this tuition:

Many have explained that the fees are comparable to other universities in Europe. For example, UK is known to be quite costly for non EU students... however, you actually pay for the education! What I mean is, Swedish universities are no where near the level of others to be able to charge the same fee.

Paying 20K US for a Masters in London : pricey, but you get what you pay for.

Paying 20K US for a Masters in Sweden : flushing your money down the toilet.

Of course, you get a decent education, but definitely not worth the amount they ask.

I would suggest they slowly hike up the fees. Start small so that they may build-up a stronger reputation. Then, when they will have reached it, international students will be more likely to pay up for something that was not, only a few months ago, completely free.
08:45 June 29, 2011 by Shasosa
I think it is worth to read this article. Hopefully, some people can see the bigger picture.

http://www.gp.se/jobbstudier/1.568699-internationell-miljo-hotas
09:01 June 29, 2011 by kiskin78
@DAVID T

Well, you still DO NOT GET IT. Go read that article yourself. Visit the CSN website before you come out here in the public to comment.

The defaulters referred to in that article are swedes/permanent residents of Sweden who have decided to live and work outside Sweden.

In other words these are people who would still enjoy tuition free education in Sweden irrespective of weather tuition fee has been introduced or not. Do you get it now?. Only such people qualify to take CSN loans. Even EEC students who aren't permanents residents in Sweden do not qualify to take the CSN loans.

Finally for your information, majority of those defaulters of CSN loans are SVENSSONS :(
09:03 June 29, 2011 by karex
I think that some are forgetting the other loosers in this story: the Swedish students. When classes or entire programs end up being cancelled because there are not enough students to justify, perhaps these Swedish students could find themselves in the situation where they are forced to go overseas to get the courses they want.
10:41 June 29, 2011 by sfk
@ Grävling: I agree with you... Those students are coming and spending at least 100 000 SEK per year... furthermore their family and relatives are contributing to the swedish tourism industry... Losing students will be mean losing job for the swedish academicians who will end up working for Norwegian University.........

@ mikmak : they publish that article in the 25th of June... However, They got this news 15th of june and they did not publish last 13 days... ... First they publish that one then this one.... Of course they have to prepare the swedish people and give them some reasons...
11:11 June 29, 2011 by fikatid
It's all about the exchange of ideas through diversity. This is how innovation begins. If everyone is homogeneous within the university, there's not much creativity. That's why the Facebook and Google map that you're using all come from the States. I happen to have worked in Silicon Valley and studied at a top 10 international university, and see how diversity helps innovation. So, @canuk, I forgive your ignorance. You seem to treat everything so black and white. The world is more complicated than that. I'm glad you're not trying to solve the Greek crisis. I can't imagine what would happen if you did.

I'm not saying that Sweden should take the burden of paying for all foreign students' tuition. Scholarship is the best way to go in my opinions.

With regards to your other statement:

"WHY IS IT SWEDENS JOB TO SAVE THE REST OF THE WORLD?"

I forgive your ignorance.
11:13 June 29, 2011 by Puffin
I think one of the issues of the free tuition was than many Swedes did not really understand why they were paying the tuition costs for students from the US, Canada, Australia etc to take free Masters degrees

@karex

I guess that unpopular programmes that were filled with international students may suffer - but unversity applications are up

@sfk

Why would academics necessarily lose their jobs when more people applied to university this year than last year??

@ritapita

Depends which of the London Universities you are talking about - certainly the top Swedish Universities place higher than some of the London Universities in international rankings
11:39 June 29, 2011 by Opalnera
I think it's better to go to another country to go to uni if you have to pay. In Sweden as a non EU student, not only do you have to pay tuition but you have to bring 7500kr a month for every month that you intend to study in Sweden to support yourself. In other countries along with your student visa you also get the right to work and support yourself a little bit.
11:52 June 29, 2011 by Puffin
@Opalnera - you have the right to work in Sweden once you have passed 30 credits (1 term)

However Sweden would be kidding international students to let them believe that it will be simple to find a flexible part time job that that will fit around studies and that pays 10-11K gross per month (need to give 7500 net). Obviously many students don't believe that it is tough to find work and come anyway having *tricked* MV - yet every year there are many students that are forced to return home when they run out of money
12:01 June 29, 2011 by Twiceshy
No surprise at all here. Sweden is already an expensive country to live in, now they're adding 100-200 thousand kronor in tuition fees on top of that. How can anyone afford to come here, and if they can don't they have better choices?

Apparently Sweden is not interested in attracting educated foreigners who also bring in tax revenue to compensate for the free tuition, and some of whom may get jobs later to continue providing tax revenue (I for one would never be working here if Sweden wasn't offering free tuition).
12:33 June 29, 2011 by drosophila
Comment: As i understood, in general there will be almost the same number of students in the universities but the percentage of the non-eu students will decrease. So most probably this will be compensated by non-swedish EU students (mostly Germans, i assume). So tax payers will continue to support non-swedish people. I do not see any difference unless EU by itself have some support for Sweden. The profile of the students is more European from know on. So, the students will rent houses (if they want), bring money from more wealthy European countries (general speaking). Their families will visit them as well. Everything will have the same cost for tax payers and the money brought in Sweden will be almost the same. 16000 people will not apply for residence permit. 1000 kr/application is gone :) but migrationsverket officers will be happier since they will have more time for coffee breaks :) More Germans will come, at least Sweden will have more people that likes to work :) Beside the funny part, what i see as a big picture is reverse social evolution. Rise of right wing, rise of nationalism, rise of racism in Sweden. In ten years according to my prognosis, Sweden democrat party will be leading with moderates. Why? Swedish primary education is getting worse and worse, what does radical right wing need, they need uneducated people. check! Educated or willing to be educated non-Europeans are not welcomed. Who does racism need? Immigrants that can not integrate and be potential criminals. So that the seeds of hatred is stronger. Double check! For Sweden, nationalism (in a way of racism, I am not talking about loving ABBA or Swedish midsummer) is a very new concept. it looks exiting, there are lots of immigration related events that racism can benefit and use these event as propaganda very easily. There are lots of more reasons such as EU needs more Sarkosy, more Berlusconi all around so that they can protect EU from so-called east infection, muslim invasion or basically the terrorism that they create, provide weapons and money. And these guys need public support. More more more... as a conclusion, I am sorry Sweden, you will be more Swedish soon but you wont be Sweden anymore... P.S. when will kronor be replaced with Euro? In ten years?
12:45 June 29, 2011 by PoJo
Sometimes swedish people are unbelievable. They just go on and on and on about paying their taxes, like it's something unusual to do. It is your duty as civilians to pay your taxes people! How self-centered, narrow-minded, xenophobic and most importantly, stupid you have to be not to understand that decisions like this are going to alienate Sweden even more? These people studying here, do not stay in Sweden for free. They pay for living, consuming, traveling, pay bills and fees and taxes as well, and bring new people to visit Sweden. None of my friends or family wanted to visit Sweden before I came here, but now they will.

I find it very disturbing to read such comments as "Is Sweden's job saving the world" or other bs like that. Do you at least think upon the fact that not all the people in the world have the same opportunities? Or do you just sit comfortably in your sommarstuga making shallow dialogue?

It's a shame, really!
12:58 June 29, 2011 by Twiceshy
drosophila you are assuming that there will be enough EU students interested in studying in Sweden to fill up a 15,000 hole.

Even if you are right, that's not really good news, because it means those students were previously getting rejected due to the (now missing) non-EU students outperforming them in the selection process.
13:56 June 29, 2011 by asifbit
The people who made the decision of having tuition fee like this are just crazy people they heavily over rated Swedish higher Education system. I am a Swedish with origin from outside Europe. I am working here since 6 years and paying tax as well. I am in favour of having tuition fees but there should be some way to implement the tuition fee. I would say the level of tuition fees is very very very high compare to standard of education in Sweden. They should have to do in steps. If in the beginning they could just start with very low amount of tuition fee. And then gradually they could start increasing the fees every year may be. So I think if for example they implement tuition fee like 20000 per annum then they might still have 10000 students etc…
13:56 June 29, 2011 by drosophila
@twiceshy

I understand your concerns.

I believe the hole will be filled but as you said the quality may decrease.

to be clear, i do not support this new regulation. if there has to be a fee, it should be applied all non-swedish students. I am not european and a student...

personally i am supporting the idea of free education, state should support this service. And I want it globally (yes, i have dreams).

high school graduated Swedes are already not good, people filling the gap may be similar quality so that equality is under control :)

Masses should be under control for the rising racism...
13:59 June 29, 2011 by imonx
First i will like to let you know that most international student in Sweden are coming for a masters degree and not just illiterates and what Sweden is doing is known as brain drain.

Or else Swedes could have sent their dogs and cats for classes. So don't compare them to even your Swedish students, of whom a greater percentage are undergrads. It is also very difficult to get into Swedish universities, so don't think the Swedish Professors responsible for the selection process are fools or idiots.

Sweden has one of the most robust immigration systems in Europe it is almost second to none. You need to visit other European countries to recognize what a mess it is. The problem is that the world is messed up or else people wont be migrating like this.

In human history the world is experiencing the highest migration rate in peaceful times these are as a result of globalization.

If I am an EU student why will i leave my country in the first place? Even if I want to leave why will I come to Sweden? Probably the Scandinavian experience is what I need, but then a summer visit is enough.

As an EU student I will prefer to study in Germany or Netherlands there are more Jobs there for me probably not Sweden.

What the Swedish government ought to do is to try to seek returns for investment in education over the years. But there are better ways of doing that than introducing these kind of school fees.

Most foreign students who study in Sweden are from less developed countries except exchange students who are just visiting students.Why not make them pay only a few thousand Kronor.

The model should have been easy in, difficult to stay, that will be paying just two thousand kronor for the first year and more subsequently.

The reason why there is a race for international students in Continental Europe is the need for international recognition of Universities. So many Swedish Universities wanted international scholars who can publish their masters dissertation in English. No body will read your scientific paper if published in Swedish.

No matter how hard you publish in Swedish it is difficult to get international recognition. So the international reputation Sweden enjoys in education is to the credit of Swedish Professors, and international students from Africa and Asia.

Most real students don't remain in Sweden except those who get married or find work, these are only a few. Many others leave Sweden for other countries.

Some Swedes will do Sweden better to shut up rather than display their ignorance of world economics, Sweden is losing a lot for shutting the doors to foreign researchers not students since most of these students are actually doing second level degrees.
14:38 June 29, 2011 by Hladir
For me and my country (England) affordable and accessible Higher Education is no longer a right for English students. I am thankful that for some at least it is - and inspired that Sweden had extended this no fees policy to international students for as long as it did.

Additionally, I think it's a bit of an assumption to conclude that less international students means less quality students. There are many factors that make Higher Education inaccessible to home students across Europe.
15:38 June 29, 2011 by soultraveler3
It's not surprising that the numbers have dropped off so drastically.

Swedish universities are mediocre at best. If you add to that the problems with housing, lack of part-time jobs and lack of acceptance of foreigners within the general populace, it's pretty obvious why many would choose not to come to Sweden.

Many of the foreign students are coming from third world countries and if they're going to have to pay or hope for scholarships, they're much better off going to the UK, US, Canada or Australia. People there are generally more open to hard working foreigners, they can become proficient in English instead of Swedish and they have a much better chance at landing a job with a good wage after college.

Students from outside the EU only came to Sweden because it was free.
16:43 June 29, 2011 by prince T
DVID T. CSN do not give grants to invandrare. The defaulters are swedes. Secondly, the best thing to happen to Sweden is the free tuition fee. No foreign student will ever want to come to Sweden. Free tution attractrd in the first place. Sweden do not rank well in international level compared to places like UK, US AND CANADA. The drop started from 17000 to 5500 and now 1500. In 3 years from now, there will be no application at all. Unfotunately we are too racially deluded to realise that the future of Sweden is being thrown in jeopady.
21:48 June 29, 2011 by DAVID T
@kiskin78

BOO HOO
22:00 June 29, 2011 by Descartes
I wonder about those people who paid to study in Sweden. It's amusing how Swedish universities are trying to stay "international". Come on people get real, who cares about being international? Being competitive that's what matters. There is just one internationally recognized Swedish B-school-SSE. Others are not even ranked. Level of education is INCOMPARABLE to that of top ranked B-schools. People don't care about studying in international B-school, people care about getting jobs after graduation and paid a good salary. Swedish B-school diploma is a piece of paper nothing more, while American B-school Diploma (at least top 50 B-schools') gives the job within 3 months after graduation and salary of 12k USD. People get real and think rational.
22:13 June 29, 2011 by BBKING
I wouldn't have come to Sweden if the tuition fee was introduced a year before and I believe I am speaking for all my international student classmates. Just project this on a country level and ......duh.
00:15 June 30, 2011 by Grävling
With prince T

The future of Sweden, well, right now it looks like the cities will grow and the small towns will die and become summer house ghost towns. The scenario is happening because Swedes are leaving, to cities or to other countries, only the old hold true to family grown small communities.

Less students, less cross pollination of culture, less cultural diversity, less different views points and less people, most kommunes need young people because only the old are left.
00:52 June 30, 2011 by prince T
Another scenerio is that the indigeous Swedes are not giiving birth and new swedes are giving birth in 6s and 8s. That means in less than 15 years. The so called culture will become dominant culture and the old Swedes would have gone. If we allow pollination from other cultures and not the only one that is growing by the day. The government should also invest heavily into integrating them just like in us and uk. For example Obama is an American and feels like one and not like here where a sweden citizen feels like invandrare in Sweden. Just think about it.
01:03 June 30, 2011 by anony1
After two years of study in this "FREE" education system, and extending it to a third year in hope of finding a job, I ended up empty handed! I was lucky enough to getting admitted in a phd program outside sweden to continue my chances in europe there!

I wonder if the same would happen if one would "Pay" for the same kind of education we had!
08:31 June 30, 2011 by here for the summer
This is so stupid. To keep writing these articles about how many less people will drink free beer ( or take a free masters degree ) if it is no longer free.
09:09 June 30, 2011 by Descartes
There are several scenarios that might develop because of introduction of tuition fees. Definitely introduction of fees fend off the asylum seekers. It's true that no asylum seeker will be willing or be able to pay 13k EUR for coming to Sweden. On the other hand I guess universities will give admission to anyone who applies and pays.

Let's compare the situation in US and Swedish B-Schools (I'm familiar with B-Schools in both countries).

Situation in USA

The admission percentage in top US B-schools ranges from 8% to 17%. Applicants should pass GMAT and Toefl, and get at least 650 and 100 respectively. US top B schools charge tuition fees, up to 80-120k per year (MBA). US Banks are more than willing to lend the money to students because they know that after graduation the students' assets, including diplomas and knowledge acquired in B-schools will be liquid. Graduates get jobs within 3 months after graduation (95-99% of graduates)

Situation in Sweden

The admission percentage is opaque and at present, presumably is up to 95%. GMAT is not required and in many cases Toefl can be waived. As a result overall quality of students is low. Tuition fees for Master programs in B-schools range from 10 up to 16k EUR. The banks are not willing to lend money to foreigners, there is no information (Just some biased data for Swedish Students,) how many of the graduates get jobs within 3 months after graduation. The B-schools are not ranked. Overall tuition level is low and ineffective.

1 more important thing: US B-schools don't differentiate, students, local or foreigners should pay tuition fees! The competition on B-school market is close to perfect. Competition and rationality should be the driving forces for the reforms in any system.

If the Swedish government really intended to improve the quality of universities then they would have been concerned with the issues, mentioned above.
11:08 June 30, 2011 by Nilspet
The number will drop even further when non-EU students (potentially very important immigrants to Sweden!) from outside the EU find out that it is a no-go in Sweden after their studies are completed. The other factor that will make them turn away is the service they get from e.g. migrationsverket. Why should you pay 200 000 SEK per year and have to renew a study visa every year. Not only that it has to be renewed yearly but it takes 3-4 months to just wait for it to be done. People will think hard about what they can get in return by investing 1 000 000 SEK in Sweden over a period of 2-3 years... Many of decision makers here are overconfident ... simple as that.
12:21 June 30, 2011 by Twiceshy
Does anyone know how many universities are charging close to 200,000 sek as opposed to the minimum 100,000 sek?
13:17 June 30, 2011 by marwane
For those who believe that paying such a high price to study in a swedish university is worthless I say :

Yes. This can be right when talking about a small unknowen university BUT when it comes to universities Like CHALMERS or KTH, I think it's tooootally worth it.

I studied in France and worked in Germany and I can say that those two universities are very very respected in Europe and are knowen for having one of the best programs not only in Ingineering but also In technological and innovation management.

So it's absolutly not a waste of money if some nonEU student get admitted in a program in Chalmers or KTH and choses to pay and go to study there.

THOUGH it's true that the job market in sweden is a difficult one but i guess with a degree from Chalmers, chances are very high to find good positions (in germany, france ...)
18:21 June 30, 2011 by anony1
@marwana

I have been graduated from an engineering program in Chalmers, and go nothing after one year spending on search for job!
18:56 June 30, 2011 by Hladir
The top Swedish Universities are very good. Incidentally, I know lots of people who have degrees from top institutions (UK and US) who have not found work easily anywhere. And they have paid huge amounts of money. Ultimately, attitude and contacts are a great deal more important than which University you have attended. It may be that the synergy of bigger countries, with bigger international cohorts, gives international students a better chance of making contacts, and ultimately finding work. However, for that old thing called "education", the top Swedish Universities are excellent. But, as people have told me, they pay the big fees in the UK and US for the contacts, not really for the education itself...
03:20 July 1, 2011 by shuvo_Kalmar
I am sure 2/3 of 1280 students are fake, i mean they have no intention to study here. they will enter Europe and move to other country. Its quite impossible to study paying high tuition fee and living expenses here without a job when Sweden has no job available for non-swedish speaking students.

If they need to pay 2500000 sek per year on education why they will come here struggling life when 6 month of the year is under heavy cold and snow. Are you funny guys !!!!
12:08 July 1, 2011 by Vijayakumar Raju
I'm a non-EU student and i'm not against introduction of fee but its way too high for students from third world country. I chose to come to Sweden only because of two reasons, i got an admission in Chalmers and the education was free. The main problem for the non-EU student is they have to learn Swedish to get a job in Sweden and adding to that its very difficult to get a Job right now in Sweden. I have personally got rejected for nearly 5 jobs since i couldn't speak Swedish fluently. So just imagine if there is a Student who is willing to pay such a huge fee would think twice to come to Sweden, he may very well decide to go to US, UK or Aus since they can get a part-time job to support them financially, even though they pay tuition fee. There a lot of hurdles that every non-EU students face here in Sweden, harsh climatic conditions, you will get job only if you speak Swedish (95 % of the cases), high living cost and if you add very high fee to this, this is the breaking point which is stress!!!. But i thank the Swedish government since i was offered free education last year, every time i would think that i should give back something to this country.
16:31 July 1, 2011 by Icarusty
Sweden - cold and non-English speaking, why on earth would any non-EU student come here and actually PAY for a degree? There is greater prosperity when people speak English around you
21:01 July 1, 2011 by kaze
Fees are fine, I totally agree with them, they help weed out those who are just seeking to use uni as a way to sneak in to Sweden and/or those who can't afford to live in Sweden.

But the amount the fees are...they're just way too high. Even the UK is cheaper.
03:36 July 2, 2011 by ccb
Due to the Swedish education system structure, the incremental cost of providing non-EU students with education is minimal. The infrastructure, instructors, facilities, administrators, etc.. all have to be in place for the Swedish, EU and non-EU students alike. Most, if not all Swedes in the higher education sector know English well enough for there to be no need to have significant extra staff for English programmes. Since the tax-payers foot the total bill, it doesn't change much if the bill accommodates EU or non-EU students. Reducing the amount of non-EU students and increasing the amount of EU students still propagates the same level of spending. In countries such as the USA, UK, the majority of the cost is borne by the student rather than the general taxpaying public so everyone pays their fees accordingly.

Most EU students come to Sweden under exchange programmes which means there will be waning numbers of full English Master's programme entrants which are the flag ships of the top unis like KTH & Chlamers. Of course these programmes can and will continue if there are increased numbers of EU students to fill the full Master's void. However, I fail to see where the reduction in costs to Swedish taxpayers will occur if that is the case.

As for quality of education, as a 2nd MSc graduate of the (alleged) top tech uni KTH I can say that there is plenty to be done if students are to get value for their money. Apart from a haphazard curriculum, poor organisation, less than reliable administrative staff and poor integration, it was a somewhat fair to average experience, One that I would possibly pay 3k - 5k euros per annum for and no more until significant improvements are made. That said, one should also recognise that most Master's programmes at respected UK unis are only 1 year in duration and cost 10k - 14k euros per annum for foreign students which is on par with the new fees at Swedish institutions which means double for the entire (2 year) Master's programme, in a country with a language that isn't useful unless you want to remain in the land, which has its intrinsic difficulties.

I am all for charging the cost of education and improving the quality of education at Swedish higher education institutions, however, I think the public is being swayed by feelings rather than logic in the implementation of the exorbitant tuition fees. I will not go into the racism and discrimination rants, however I would like whomsoever reads my post to really think about the difference between non-EU and EU students in terms of overall cost and the difference in terms of diversity, cultural infusion and new ideas, the level of developing country scholars represented at the top uni tech unis on the research level, especially in PhD studies.
13:00 July 2, 2011 by Hladir
@ccb

The cost-benefit scenario is a complex one. One would have to take into account the input and output of EU funding and subsidies regarding Sweden, and the proportion of EU workers (as opposed to non-EU) in Sweden, and that gain work in Sweden after their studies in the country, as well as the potential (direct and indirect gains) of proliferating Swedish education throughout the EU. Another factor is the liquidity of applicants. A zero-fees market is likely to attract less liquid applicants in general, but a number whose direct benefit to the Swedish economy might be well below average. On average, EU students might well be more liquid than non-EU students.

I don't know of any studies that take into account the contribution of students to the black market, but it is likely that, like here (the UK), many individuals will supplement their costs with unofficial work. Taking these things into account, I find it hard to believe that, in a zero-fee market, non-EU students do not incur greater costs to the Swedish tax payer than EU students.

However, now a partial fees market is in place in Sweden, it would be important for any potential non-EU applicant to consider the relative costs of living. One may only study for one year in London, but the cost of living might be as much as 100% greater than it would be in stockholm. It is possible to study for only one year in Sweden, in which case I would expect the package (taking into account fees and living expenses) to be cheaper. The relative gains are disputable. The quality of the education in the UK is not much better (if at all) than that of the top Swedish institutions. For non-native English speakers, the access to the Anglo-Saxon academy is obviously an advantage offer by the UK and US.

However, like the policy makers that have decided upon a partial fees market, one needs to make decisions with some strategic considerations. The recession is far deeper in the UK than in Sweden for example - there are far fewer part-time jobs in the UK now than there were two years ago. Scandinavia is sparsely populated and economically robust - and in a relatively strong position over an entire career trajectory (taking into account predicted food prices and population increases etc - and not forgetting employment rights).

Therefore, Sweden's new fee regime is based upon a 'rational' position - but people do not make 'rational' choices.

As far as research is concerned, PhD students make up a very small proportion of the student cohort. The US and UK both fund enough PhD and other research students to maintain a strong research portfolio. Sweden will no doubt do this, if they are not doing so already. Master's programmes do not generate much research in themselves and are not the reason courses are offered in English in Sweden. Rather, they are a byproduct of Sweden's integration into the Anglo-Saxon academy (for purposes of R&D).
17:04 July 2, 2011 by ccb
@Hladir

I disagree with many of your points. In terms of EU subsidies and funding, if students are not on an exchange programme subsidies are not significant, that is why exchange students are prioritised for certain courses etc. because of the funding that is offered to the specific courses. Full Master's programme students get little to no EU subsidies according to what a group of us students (both EU and non-EU) were told by university officials on enquiry about certain courses that we had an issue being able to take. In terms of liquidity, I do agree with you.

I don't see how you could say the cost of living in London is 100% greater than Sweden, being myself from London I totally disagree. Housing and transportation is somewhat higher, but food is cheaper and social activity expenses are usually cheaper. I spend very close to the same here (Stockholm) per month as I would spend over there (London). Move outside of London and it is even cheaper. One year Master's courses in Sweden are not at the same level as one year courses in the UK. In the UK is possible to achieve a 1 year MSc in Engineering for example, in Sweden it is only an MEng which is a lower level. In terms of quality as a former CityU of London and KTH guy I can tell you there is a large difference and talking to many other students, EU and non-EU alike, most have issues with educational quality here. Just a short glance at the rankings shows the (perceived) difference.

I agree with the the recession hitting UK harder than Sweden etc. But the Swedish labour market is very different to the UK, yes it is robust, yes it has a relatively strong position. However, after studying in the UK, in English and being exposed to full English culture, one can improve and integrate into the society far more easily (not to mention further options which include (US, Canada, Australia and in fact almost anywhere in the world) than studying in English in Sweden where you need to learn the Swedish language also, while trying to improve your English skills as a non-native English speaker. The culture is also very closed off, especially given the limited opportunity to interact with Swedish persons both inside and outside the classroom, and limited opportunity for networking.

Master's research is very significant, especially in the tech field, where many students have done very important published work for companies and universities. Yes PhD student make up a small percentage of the student body but I am talking about relative percentages not total figures.

The point I am trying to make is that fees should be implemented but they should be reasonable, taking into account standards and other compensatory advantages. The other point is, that for full Master's programmes non-EU and EU students are in a comparable playing field in terms of costs.
19:04 July 2, 2011 by Hladir
@ccb

I appreciate the milieu you bring to some of the points. On funding, I think you are talking about direct EU subsidies and funding, whereas my point was more about the taken for granted monetary flows, within the EU. You are right that on the micro-scale the costs of educating EU and International students could be considered comparable. Although I doubt this is in fact the case in a zero-fee market for the reasons I have set out. The political ideals of the EU are based upon the presumption of a de facto return on top of like-for-like investment. Swedish students do indeed receive subsidies when studying in most other EU countries (although in the UK this is now becoming very limited - about 2-6k for Master's). On top of that, as you know, there are many funding mechanisms that spread the money that is centralised through a number of the EU funding mechanisms to governments and organisations within individual member states. I couldn't say if Sweden does particularly well out of the Common Agricultural Policy etc - but I would hazard a guess that it pays for Sweden to be a member of EU.

Therefore, I would argue it is understood to be less expansive for the taxpayer to educate EU students rather than non-EU students - even if there isn't comparable like-for-like investment/subsidies. But I would also argue this is possibly a micro-myth, but macro-reality situation. If the student numbers are reduced, the government can potentially save money by sacking staff; but if only the composition changes, but radically, the macroeconomics also radically changes.

As for relative costs of living: you apparently have more experience of than I do. I'm planning to study in Lund this year, but, as yet, I have not set foot in Sweden. For me all of the advantages that come with London are in fact due to the fact that most people living in London are not from London. No doubt, when I move to Sweden, I will miss the synergy and openness; but it's a novelty that wears thin - for most when they have a family. The costs involved in living in London vs. Stockholm are fairly subjective and dependent upon lifestyle.

I agree, on the face of it, non-EU students could make a better investment elsewhere, particularly if they are thinking of using Sweden as a proxy for the American Dream. However, I suspect the UK and US will rapidly become less desirable (perhaps something to discuss). I think fees should be affordable too - but I interpret this particular policy as achieving what it set out to do, i.e., increase the number of EU applicants relative to non-EU.

By the way, have you worked as an engineer in London? I have a good friend at Atkins and another at Arup. I can't really comment on the tech field specific issues, but perhaps someday we can discuss the relative quality of UCL and LSE vs Lund.
01:47 July 3, 2011 by ccb
@Hladir

Perhaps you are correct on the macro level of things but somehow I don't think the subsidies are that significant compared to the true cost of education. Of course on the macro-level EU students are cheaper but I don't think the reduced cost is that significant between the non-EU and EU members, changing the composition does change the picture, but I don't see how they will save the huge sum they put forward by utilising the enormous fee policy. One of my main reasons for coming to Sweden was on the premiss that it would be cheaper to study here with no tuition compared to paying tuition and other stuff in London, while getting some more exposure. I was sadly mistaken. Meeting many non-EU and EU students in my classes many had similar thoughts but were sorely disappointed but the overall level of education.

As for cost of living here in Stockholm, of course it depends on lifestyle but I am looking at it from an average perspective. Though I would say there are a lot more interesting activities, multi cultural restaurants and stuff going on in London that may make you spend more or at least want to, provided you have the means.

I agree with you on the better investment for non-EU students being elsewhere and in light of the current economic issues and current reform I do agree with you on the UK becoming less desirable. I don't see the eagerness to study in the US waning any time soon however. But there are definitely places like Singapore for example that are becoming far more competitive on the education front. Sweden is yet to be competitive in that area in my opinion.

I agree with you 100% that the policy is being used primarily to change the composition of foreign enrolments in Sweden. But I re-iterate I don't see it as a huge money saving exercise as the politicians are making it out to seem. It is just something that should appease the population for a while, that something is being done and their tax dollars are being used justifiably.

Yes, I have worked as an engineer in London and other places including Sweden. I would gladly like to discuss with you the quality of UCL.
23:17 July 3, 2011 by 15U
I'm non EU student from Russia.

I was wondered reading the comments, why you guys are so sure that having the same fees, non EU-student will choose US or UK instead of Sweden.

For me Sweden is much more interesting to live, its culture and language than US. Also in Russia there are a lot of business connections with Sweden. Scandinavian experience is always good there.

But fees are too high anyway. Without free education I would not come to Sweden, or any other country to study. I would just stay in Russia.

Sweden is too expensive! Even I had a scholarship, I've receved money from my parents regularly. I think, the wise thing government can do is to create jobs for international students.

Anyway, Thanks Sweden for great experience I had.

Now I'm a fan of Swedishness even more. American mass production pop culture is not for me. Sweden, please don't become the same, don't loose your great communistic spirit.
23:43 July 3, 2011 by Hladir
@ccb

I think you're absolutely right, the direct cost to the taxpayer will be the about the same. One could only make the argument for savings if the absolute number of students fell and the eventual staff cuts did not negatively impact the welfare bill. The argument regarding the losses and gains for the wider Swedish economy is more complex. There is generally a lot of mysticism regarding the potential economic benefits of particular social and educational policies. I don't know the figures on Swedes studying within the EU vs. EU students in Sweden, but the total sum of subsidies should be near equal. In a zero-fee market, non-EU students must run at a net loss (income to Sweden minus the cost of education provision). Whereas with EU students, the gains from higher student liquidity (spending power) and the perceived hegemonic value of contributing to the European knowledge economy offer big potential gains for the Swedish economy; and are, I think, a good economic basis for catering for a larger proportion of EU students.

It is interesting that Sweden has not been any cheaper for you. Are you from London originally? I'm expecting the cost of living to be at least a bit less (I can't imagine spending less than I have, however), and about £6-8,000 per year cheaper re: fees.

You're right - the Ivy league education will be a big pull for some time to come, but I have some cynicism regarding the quality of life and employment opportunities offered in the States for the majority of the international students - but this could be said of almost anywhere. But this is where my interests and those of many non-EU students would diverge. I don't need a visa to come to Sweden and I am a native English speaker - so for me it is simply a matter of affordability and relative ease. The States can absorb many more international workers than both Sweden and the UK combined, and is a very desirable location for many people who are considering taking both the visa and language plunge.

Like 15U, I'm interested in the many good things about Sweden, but I wouldn't be able to afford to study in Sweden if the fees were as high as they for me as they are now for non-EU students (incidentally, not much cheaper than for me in my home city!).

My friend at Atkins studied his M.Eng UCL - I think he thought the teaching and other students were of a higher caliber at Manchester Uni where he did a maths UG degree.
16:32 July 4, 2011 by ccb
@Hladir

Of course the costs are less if one takes into account the tuition fees (the main reason for my choice in Sweden). However, purely on the basis of living costs, one could say it is comparable here in Stockholm (a bit more or a bit less depending on lifestyle). My analysis was on based on non-EU students, for UK students Sweden would be very attractive especially now with the increase in domestic tuition fees. I lived in London from the age of 1.

Most of my arguments are based on the case of non-EU students because I think the diversity of unis is very important. In my area of study understanding the social and economic constraints in different countries is of utmost importance and working with students who gave first-hand insight into these things is unquestionably an advantage, Like you and 15U, I was very interested in the good things about Sweden, but I don't think my experiences have been the same, or perhaps my desires and expectations were different from 15U.

Perhaps your friend is correct, UCL isn't perfect, I can say that some lecturers aren't the most helpful but I still found it much better overall than my KTH experience.
17:19 July 4, 2011 by alecLoTh
Ah well, there are no jobs to be had in any case, thus depreciating the value of those qualifications.
01:36 July 17, 2011 by Bork
1. UK, US, Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent Netherlands have a much better record of having job opportunities for international students after they graduate than Sweden. If you're an international student in Sweden, you better be looking for a partner because your chance of finding work is low. They need to remedy this before expecting international students to fork over a fortune.

2. The above countries offer a wide variety of scholarships and grants. Sweden has virtually nothing.

3. If there was a problem with international students taking advantage of the free education, whatever that means (they got it and left, when they wouldn't be able to find work in Sweden anyway?), institute higher entry requirements. Minimum GPA, GRE scores, etc. That's a real way to deal with such a problem if it ever was one.

4. The increase in price plus cost of living now makes Sweden only accessible to the filthy rich or those willing to take a very big gamble (massive debt with little chance of finding employment) to pursue a dream to living Sweden. The former are most likely not going to be the best students and they'll leave. For the latter, these high fees are even more punishment, especially if they find out they don't like Sweden and/or can't find work after graduating. They're going to leave hating Sweden and telling everyone they know how they blew a ton of money and were still discriminated against, not good for Sweden's image.

5. If you don't want your taxes paying for the education of foreign students, it needs to be universal. How do students from other EU students contribute to the cost, yet paying for them is fine? Germany has a fair system. They have low tuition fees, not free. It's a policy that doesn't favor the filthy rich and allows serious academic minded people to contribute to Germany's universities and possibly economy if they stay.

What we're seeing in Sweden, Denmark, and Netherlands is right-wing anti-foreigner policies that are the easiest to implement and please that bloc of voters. Meanwhile you're still getting tons of refugees, where the anti-foreigner sentiment is originating. Problem is not solved, you've just shut out tons of people from non-EU developed countries and smart, talented people from other countries. Enjoy your growing, poorly educated, marginalized, unemployed refugee population.
19:52 August 5, 2011 by swe-usa
What if students outside of the EU who came to Sweden, initially were not indebted to the tuition fees, but if they left the country after their education in Sweden they would then be responsible for the fees? Maybe this would be an incentive for productive people to be educated in Sweden and also for them to stay. Therefore, the taxpayers who supported the students in college would then benefit when the graduates began paying into Sweden's system. .... Any Thoughts....?
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A woman in Gothenburg who accused a beggar of robbing her has been charged with fraud and false accusations. READ () »

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
Photo: Kungahuset

Swedish royals set baptism date for princess

Sweden's royal family has set the date for the baptism of Princess Leonore. READ () »

The Local List
Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

Evidence Game of Thrones is set in Sweden

With Swedish Game of Thrones fans frothing at the mouth at the season four premiere, The Local revisits its list of ten reasons why the hit books and show are (probably) based in Sweden. READ () »

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers
The Kockums Malmö shipyard and FMV headquarters. Files: TT

'Baffling' Swedish raid on German sub makers

After the Swedish military raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp, a military expert tells The Local why recent Russian aggression means Sweden's Saab needs to take control of national submarine production. READ () »

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Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

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