• Sweden edition
 
Foreign PhDs welcome Swedish visa reform bill
Foreign PhD students protest the visa system. Photo: Equality for PhDs in Sweden/Facebook

Foreign PhDs welcome Swedish visa reform bill

Published: 13 Mar 2014 15:35 GMT+01:00
Updated: 13 Mar 2014 15:35 GMT+01:00

Migration Minister Tobias Billström on Thursday announced that the government had submitted a proposed bill to the legal council, Lagrådet, which examines whether new laws are compatible with existing legislation. From there, the bill would be passed on to parliament for a vote.

If the legislation passes the Riksdag, a foreign PhD student who has spent four of the past seven years employed as a researcher will be able to apply for permanent residence.

"It has been a very important question for international PhD students and international students overall to get these dated, very antiquated rules changed," said Erik Pedersen, vice chairman of Sweden's Student Union Association.
 
Currently, PhD students have a slim window - ten days - in which to find work after completing their studies. The system has applied in the same way to them as it has to undergraduates or master's students, the student union noted. If the foreign researchers failed to find work after defending their thesis, their visa simply ran out. 
 
"It's an odd starting point, as the PhD students work and contribute to the universities' research," Pedersen told The Local. "To consider what they do as not being equal to other employees means you value their work differently."
 
The head of the students union's PhD committee, Johan Svantesson Sjöberg, has been critical of the system for years.

"You've thrown people out for no reason," he told The Local. "It's bad for the individual, but also bad for Sweden."
 
There are roughly 5,000 foreign PhD students in Sweden, revealed a tally by Statistics Sweden in 2013.
 
Svantesson Sjöberg said that many of them took to the Facebook page Equality for foreign PhDs in Sweden to discuss the news on Thursday that the government has moved forward on visa reform. 
 
"Until it is approved, there is no point to be satisfied..," one commenter wrote on the page.
 
The issue has been so contentious that several foreign PhD students took to the streets of Stockholm and Gothenburg to protest against the rules earlier this week. 
 
"It is a pity that these highly-skilled scholars need to hit the streets to ask for their rights!" a page member wrote.
 
The migration minister told the Svenska Dagbladet newspaper that the reform would help make Swedish higher education more competitive globally. Last week, two of three Swedish universities on the Times Higher Education ranking fell off the list entirely.

"We have lost competence and knowledge with the rules that we had," said student union vice head Pedersen. "The rules weren't adapted to today's world where it's so easy to move between countries."

Ann Törnkvist (ann.tornkvist@thelocal.com)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

746
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se