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Foreign student fees delayed until 2011

Lydia Parafianowicz · 12 May 2009, 14:30

Published: 12 May 2009 14:30 GMT+02:00

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A government commission that began investigating the idea in 2006 received support from Higher Education Minister, Lars Leijonborg, in 2008. He said last June that if the motion passes, university would remain free for EU students, but would cost a fee for non-Europeans beginning by January 1st, 2010.

But now, “Fees could be introduced starting 2011, no earlier,” said Steinwall. The bill won’t be presented to parliament until October this year. If passed, initiating the charges will take time to coordinate.

The proposed bill states each university would be able to decide its own fees, but Steinwall said the estimated average is 70,000 to 80,000 kronor ($9,000 to $10,000) per year.

“We do not want to introduce fees to deter students, but in order to limit the cost borne by the taxpayer,” said Steinwall. “We hope to be able to attract students from all over the world, even after the introduction of fees.”

He said universities would need to introduce scholarships and increase marketing to recruit international students, who would then have to pay.

Still, the introduction of tuition fees might not affect enrollment rates, according to Uppsala University’s director of student affairs, Einar Lauritzen. He said tens of thousands of international students apply yearly to the school, most from Asian and African countries like Pakistan and Nigeria.

“The number of students who actually come is a fraction of the applicants,” explained Lauritzen, meaning enrollment numbers could remain the same despite charging fees.

He also said the university is in favour of the idea. “We don’t think that Sweden, and the Nordic countries for that matter, can be different from other universities in the world concerning fees in this matter,” he explained. “We have to change the current system.”

Despite administrative support, students don’t necessarily see the proposal as positive.

“We are very opposed. We think that education is a right, and not something you can buy and sell, like clothes or shoes,” said Moa Meuman, chair of the Swedish Association of Student Unions (Sveriges förenade studentkårer).

She said she feels this law would decrease the number of students studying in Sweden and would have little financial gain. Calculations estimate a profit of one per cent for universities, which doesn’t include scholarship hand-outs, she said.

“The concept of free education in Sweden is something we can be proud of,” she said. “International students could stay here, or be an ambassador for Sweden wherever they go afterwards. The students will contribute to education in Sweden, bringing experiences that Swedish children might not have had, which can enhance education.”

Meuman said this could be the first step in creating tuition fees for Swedish students, which has occurred in countries like Ireland. “The government promised the students that starting tuition fees for internationals wouldn’t affect them. Then a few years later they started charging the Irish students as well,” explained Meuman.

Story continues below…

Expressen columnist Sakine Madon has written about the pending legislation change and is in favour of the fees. “I want students to come to Sweden because of good education, and not because it’s free,” she told The Local, adding that paying might increase respect for education.

Madon said recent changes in immigration laws make it easier for foreign students to stay in Sweden once finished schooling, so they can contribute to society.

If the law is passed, current international students would be able to complete their degrees tuition-free. New university students starting in 2011 would have to pay, according to ministry representative Steinwall.

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Lydia Parafianowicz (lydia.parafianowicz@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:25 May 12, 2009 by naseerf
So it means only rich peoples children can get education, poors will remain poor, they dont have any rights to get higher education even if they are genious, what about a student in poor countries who is intelligent but could not get high marks because he had to work and study at the same time? Sweden had a chance for him that he couls able to come here with some savings and could live here without having tension of paying fees. Has anybody is the education ministry counted how much will it cost to the student bringing money from own country and then compare that money in that country, who has so much money? only rich people. Kill the poors by all means.
16:41 May 12, 2009 by kaze
I approve, it will help cut down on the number of Chinese students who really can't afford to be here and end up living 3 to a room, bare minimum of food, so desperate for work they do it for peanuts and eliminate any chance of other students getting a job, etc...
16:57 May 12, 2009 by Dimath
Of course.. another opportunity to rip off those foreigners. it's not enough that they can barely live for the sake of education. but now Sweden is eying their poor parent's savings! call it whatever you want to call it.. in the end, it's GREED!

I am an international student. since i arrived here, i paid so much money and so much in taxes and never benefited from anything. not even health care. Why? because they will make you wait ages to give you that personal number. and if they can, they won't!! and without that, you get nothing and you start wondering why do they think they're better than anyone? I consider my self paying for my education just by being here. let alone having to deal with the migration board every now and then.. I tell everyone out there who think they have an idea, it's never free-of-charge education that you get in Sweden.. it's a myth!

and I do admire those Chinese you mentioned. at least they respect education and struggle for it!
17:06 May 12, 2009 by neostar
I don't think this decision will lead to any benefit for us. As far as international students are concerned, they may belong to developing countries but they are not poor ones. Most of them afford their living own their own expenditures which is a direct injection to our economy. Our Apartments are rented our business run with their contributions to society.

International Students those who belong to ASIA most of them are very intelligent and creative and are involved in research here. The benefit we swedes are gaining from them is not visible today but after a few years Sweden will be leading in research and Technology.

We are using these educated students as a labor also, it they need extra money they go to restaurants/ hotels for labor jobs. Some one is washing dishes others are distributing papers. No country have such educated labor in the world which creates no lawlessness to our society.

Once fees will be imposed then we swedes will be doing that work ? huh.
17:07 May 12, 2009 by tony0411
I think it's fair. Tax payers pay the education fees for foreign students' while most of whom don't want to stay in Sweden and make contribution to Sweden. But I think the cases mentioned by Kaze are isolated and I'm sure there're much more positive cases you didn't see..
17:38 May 12, 2009 by RocknRoll
I think its totally fair .... why should the Swedish Taxpayer bear the cost of educating the world.

The foreign students who end up in Sweden are anyway not from the bottom rung of the society.

The living costs in Sweden are quite high ... so only the middle or upper classes of Asia & Africa could afford to send their kids to study in Sweden.

If they put in place a scholarship system which assists bright & financially weak students then its just perfect.

If you deserve the assistance you get it via a scholarship proggrame .... why whould the Swedish taxpayer be subsidising every Tom, Dick & Harry ....
18:26 May 12, 2009 by Harding00
I was thinking the same thing, as you Grandma Death (odd name, but okay). I just came to Sweden a few months ago because my fiancee lives here. If I want to go to school here am I too going to have to pay, even if I am a permanent resident? As far as I know permanent residence have all the same rights (but not to vote, run for office, etc) as citizens. But will non European citizens who are permanent residence and who pay LOTS in taxes still have to pay for education? I wish the article was a little more detailed.
19:01 May 12, 2009 by Puffin
Ha - this is not news - Ive been telling everyone over on the study forum this for months

My personal guess would be 2012 at the earliest as I doubt it will be a priority to introduce this in an election year - and they will still need to work out the arrangements for charging and scholarships etc. It will have a devasting effect on the smaller colleges who have focussed their degrees on overseas rather than Swedish students
19:03 May 12, 2009 by Che-che
If you've been paying taxes for at least 2.5 years and are a permanent resident you qualify for CSN, which would make me think that you wouldn't have to pay tuition since CSN receivers wouldn't.
19:05 May 12, 2009 by Puffin
No it only applies to those coming to Sweden on a study visa

Right now you can get free college - once you have PUT not only do you get free college but as a permanent resident the government will also give you student aid of approx 7,500 SEK/month - about 2,500 free money and 5,000 student loan
19:06 May 12, 2009 by Puffin
No if you have the right of residence in Sweden you will still get free college and study aid with PUT
19:57 May 12, 2009 by DidiE
I surely understand the feelings expressed by the writer who stated:

So it means only rich peoples children can get education, poors will remain poor, they dont have any rights to get higher education even if they are genious, what about a student in poor countries who is intelligent but could not get high marks because he had to work and study at the same time?

What I want to say here, with a great deal of sympathy toward you, is this:

Sweden was one of the poorest lands in Europe, not so very long ago at all. A rigid class system, and a lack of upward mobility were still features in my parent in laws' lives. My mother in law was only able to finish eighth grade. But that generation, whom I truly admire, worked their fingers to the bone to promote political reforms that made today's Sweden a reality. If you are angry because of a lack of education in your own land for the poor, then the proper target for that should be the corrupt governments, hierarchical class structure, and whatever other factors are contributing to the lack of support for scholars.

If I were a poor student in a country that didn't give a darn about me, I'd be getting together with others in my situation and raising the issue with my own government. In the past 2 decades student groups have been responsible for helping reform multiple governments. I am sympathetic to you, but also know for a fact that Sweden's genorous welfare system wasn't magic. It happened because regular people decided to work together to push reform. While Swedes care very much about the world around them, it is ultimately impossible to continue funding education for students outside the EU to the extent that has been done in the past. I am sorry.
19:58 May 12, 2009 by peropaco
I dont understand why would anyone come to study in Sweden. It is a well known fact that Swedish society descriminate against anyone with a foreign sounding name even if this person has a MBA from MIT Sloan or Wharton
20:10 May 12, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Great news, just a shame that they have to take such a long time.
20:38 May 12, 2009 by kerry777
It is a not wise idea.

As an international student stayed in Sweden for some years, I can tell you something what international students think about and make someone know us much better in some ways.

First, I start from studying performance cost ratio. I bet that the number of the international students' application will steep decrease as soon as the tuition fee is charged. Let me tell you why. Most non-EU students are from developing country and the reason that they study abroad is they want to get higher education at the same time the high performance cost ratio is calculated by them. Let's assume 70,000 to 80,000 Kr is charged and about 70,000kr for living cost, that means 150,000kr per year closed to the fee for studying in England. Be honest, if I have to pay 150,000kr for education per year I will go to England or US rather than Sweden. The reasons are here. First, I do not deny or depreciate the Swedish education quality, it is good but not good enough compared with US and England, even France or Germany. (Don't be mad please.)Then, it is hard to find a part time job or get any social practice due to the language problem and Sweden is not convenient for students to find a job after graduated as well. Here I have to explain for you, doing part time job that does not mean we cannot afford the living cost though we are from developing country. That is an important experience during studying and it is useful for us to know the society. I am not a very rich guy the same as the most students here and my country. No one is stupid. It is easy to decide where is better and where is more attractive for those young men with dreams who want to do something after studying.

Secondly, I start from Sweden's utilization of social resources. If an international student stay and work in Sweden after graduated, it is a good profit for the Sweden's social. Since most students who come to Sweden take master program, and they can make profit after 2 years. However, there is so much cost which was being paid before their taking master program. If the quantity and quality are decline due to charging fee that is a great loss for Sweden social. There are many immigrants who come from some parts of the world every year. However, they cannot make profit in short time for the society but they consume social resources. I am not saying to decrease immigrants and just to make a comparison to show why Sweden can afford a large number of immigrants but not small part of foreign students. Think more about tomorrow not only today.

Thirdly, I start from Sweden's influence in the world. Nowadays, no countries can develop isolated. The truth is Sweden is not a big influential country in the world now. If you want to keep developing you have to cooperate further with other countries. First, making friend and communicating to others. There are many ways to get an achievement. However, attracting students to come is an easy and friendly way. These students are ties to other countries and more students come, more influence be made over the world. Otherwise, if other countries do not know Sweden well and there is no pro-Sweden people in that country it will meet many trouble and misunderstand between communications or it is hard to get in the market for Swedish companies. Now free charge for education is the greatest advantage for Sweden to attract those people who are with high technical or potential mainstay of other countries' over the world. You should use them well rather than destroy it by yourself.

At last, the education is everyone's right. If the education is become to service for someone rich or become to be purchased that is the education's tragic. So please think about this bill carefully in order to Sweden's future.

This bill should be vetoed.
21:10 May 12, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Tell that to the Government in your country and ask your taxpayers to pay.

The bill means that the Swedish tax payers will continue to pay for free education whether the student is rich and poor as long as they are a Swedish resident or EU citizen. Pretty generous I think.
21:37 May 12, 2009 by Johnwedderburn
I work at Lund University and represent the university in a national project which is looking at how we market Sweden to overseas students. Whilst I agree that there is still a lot of speculation about how fees will be administered, I think it's likely that they will be introduced. The internationalisation of higher education bill was supposed to be voted on earlier this year, and that would have contained the fees issue. However, as I understand it, the scholarship package - which will complement the introduction of fees - was not ready so the issue was delayed until (as the recent article says) until the Autumn of this year. Hence the delay from the previously reported 2010 to 2011 for the introduction of fees. This is an issue which is supported by both main parties (it was suggested by the previous government) and there has been no serious resistance or lobbying against it from either the universities or the student organisations. I think this bill will go through, and - as has been experienced in all countries who have introduced fees - there has been an immediate drop in the numbers of international students making applications. Finland is also introducing fees on a similar timescale and there it has received more opposition. Denmark introduced fees a few years ago, which only leaves Norway, in Norden, offering subsidised education from the tax payer. Oh, and I know zip about how the scholarships will be administered, how much they will be worth and on what basis eligibility will be decided.
22:12 May 12, 2009 by Steven Kirk
Does anyone have any solid evidence for the claim that non-EU students coming to Sweden take a significant number of jobs away from Swedish citizens and permanent residents ?
23:11 May 12, 2009 by voidplay
I (hopefully) will not be affected by this new fee introduction so I have no strong opinion. But let us see where Sweden will be when it comes to education unless it reforms places where it is lagging behind.

Australia + English speaking, Jobs, easy residence permit, part time jobs, Research Asst. & campus jobs, easy intern

- High fees

USA + English speaking, Jobs, part time jobs, Research Asst. & campus jobs, easy internship

- High fees, easy residence permit no more.

Germany + Jobs, part time jobs, Research Asst. & campus jobs, moderate to low fee, good chance of internship

- Language

Sweden + Good experience and new perspective

- Language(job oriented), jobs, only Ph.d. students work as R.A., potentially high fee, internship/part time/campus jobs non existant

So in a way if enough is not done in terms of scholarship, research involvement or industry involvement, these reforms would be a oneway.

Germany which is better than the others in terms of quality and job prospects, falls due to language.

To be honest the main reason I planned on studying outside my own country is because of good job prospects (in terms of quality, pay and not to get lost in the crowd).

But there has not been an unhappy moment here in Sweden so far other than when I check my bank balance or when I ponder over my future.
23:17 May 12, 2009 by Sergius
I do understand worries about taxpayer burden. But the point is this money money does not go to international students. It goes to universities to help them to maintain university uptodate. So more students the better universities are.

And one more thing, international students in Sweden they still have some money (very often quite much, even chinese) and they spend money in Sweden. In other words they bring money to Sweden. This is good for the economy, believe me.
23:29 May 12, 2009 by voidplay
Yes not the same as pouring taxpayers money in drains but to mostly pay staff, infrastructure, labs and fund research. This is generally fixed or will not significantly increase or decrease. Truth is most of the research carried out never make it to the industry but universities/countries/ industries will keep them to keep their 'edge'.
23:36 May 12, 2009 by Eurostan
70k is too high for a asian student. there should be a pay but there are more other consequences. there will be a sharp fall of students coming from china india pakistan and bangladesh and iran. bth and dalarna has 90 percent students are asians. suddenly there will be large number of empty apartments. start with 10k and gradually increase the fee according to situations. as far as i know its highly impossible that student who can pay 70k sek is opting sweden for studies which is not good for swedish economy as a whole.
23:53 May 12, 2009 by Puffin
To be honest I think that the current government are looking to reduce the University sector - the signals from the school reform proposals will mean fewer Swedish teenagers are eligible for University and it will be harded to get in. Björklund seems to favour an elite University system
00:23 May 13, 2009 by Nilspet
Having been a foreign student in both 3 different European countries for so many years now I think I am knowledgeable enough to make comments here. (I am doing my PhD in Sweden and I am from outside EU but I am still on this stupid and inefficient one-year-at-a-time student visa. In the US you will get it once for the whole period of your study program..e.g 5 years. I think the reason they give you one year at a time is to make you feel that you are here begging for free education-maybe subjective but… who knows?). Now I can tell you that the tuition-fee rule for non-EU students that the Swedish universities will adopt is most likely going to do more damage than good. There are two good things however: 1) the universities get a little more money. 2) Foreign students do not have to listen to some idiots who complain that foreign students are burden on the taxpayer's money. Let me put my words more systematically:
00:25 May 13, 2009 by phaniyalamanchili
I agree with Puffin, the number of Swedish students pursuing Master's in Sweden is less than 10%, and those numbers are concentrated only in a few universities. Many universities are planning to terminate their Master programs. I hope this would be challenging for aliens. Most of the students who come from Asia/Africa/S.America never complete their Master in time, but drag it by getting 30 ECTS which are required for the extension of their residence permit.

Hope that the migration board also changes its views like making it mandatory for a student to complete his/her course during the duration or else cancel all their credits.
00:26 May 13, 2009 by me_i_sverige
I am from Asia and if you check the list of students going to USA, you will be surprise to find most of them are Asians. How they cannot afford to pay in Sweden and they can afford to pay in USA, UK and Australia!!!

I think it is a big burden for the Swedish tax payers and we must be thankful to them because free education is rare these days.
00:34 May 13, 2009 by phaniyalamanchili
In US there is a possibility for doing Part Time jobs, where all the asians earn their fee back and can even save during their 5 year F1 visa. But in Sweden, even though you are provided with free education, the cost of living is approximately equal to the fee paid in USA. And universities in USA do not consider plagiarism which is the biggest crime in sweden. Students those study in US are not familiar with this term but with $.
00:59 May 13, 2009 by voidplay
What Sweden expects to get out of international students.And sadly what international students expect to get out of sweden remains largely subjective.

If fee does come into effect students can decide if it is worth studying in Sweden. And the universities can decide if they have become richer or atleast decide an optimal fee structure.

Like all thing else time would tell, and Sweden being the few countries that do offer free education things have to change sometime for good or bad.
00:59 May 13, 2009 by Nilspet
Poor but talented students will notstruggle to go to Sweden because they can get better education in other countries for the same or less prices. Sweden is far behind US, Canada, UK, Autralia, etc in terms of international education reputation. It is not only about the language barrier but Sweden is a little (not in terms of area but population) country in the far north. In terms of per capita Sweden seems to be on top of the world in many aspects but that does not generate the reputation that those major countries have. Sweden does not have the same kind of influence to the world as e.g. US, UK where people from around the world struggle to go for top education. Many of them return home and take high positions (in some countries even the top officials. One example is Thailand whose the current Prime Minister obtained his degree from Oxford University). Therefore UK do have positive influence on Thailand (in some sense).
03:06 May 13, 2009 by life2jib

I am a new member of this forum. I am a Bangladeshi student. I have been admitted in BTH from Autum 09 (MSc).Few of my friends also have get a chance to study in Sweden and Canada, USA, UK. But they are going to USA, Canada. The only reason is that there is not enough part time job opportunity and high living cost. Another reason is that Students need North American degree to be a teacher in top Universities in Bangladesh.

The reputation of Sweden education is still behind from USA, Canada, UK. In this case if the tution fee is charged for non EU students, then many students will not come in Sweden. So increase the part time job facilities and decrease the living cost at first, then u can think about the tution fees.
05:14 May 13, 2009 by Greg in Canada
"The reputation of Sweden education is still behind from USA, Canada, UK"

That is not because the education quality is less in Sweden, but because English is the most international language. Honestly, where in the world outside of Sweden can you speak Swedish besides Norway or Denmark. English speaking countries have a huge advantage because of this.
06:09 May 13, 2009 by freethinker

It's wonderful that Sweden offers free education. I do agree that foreign nationals should pay. Sweden has deemed it appropriate to also extend it's free education to people in other parts of the EU, though it would not be beyond reason to cause EU members to pay as well, yet that's for Sweden to decide. Why must Swedish tax payers carry the burden of giving non Swede/ EU citizens a free ride? If people feel that other countries have a better educatioanl rep. then why are they in Sweden anyway? Clearly it's the free education which Sweden pays for, and I'm sure it's an excellent education. Some here act as though it's a right to come to Sweden for a free education. It's about time Sweden put limits here.

I also find it unpleasant that some here from foreign countries to Sweden demand that Sweden alter it's economy i.e cost of living, increasing jobs, ect... just so they may benefit from the hard work and sacrifice of Swedish Tax Payers. The main problem I would have of keeping education free for anyone is that how many foreign nationals would remain in Sweden and contribute once their ecducation is attained? Now keep in mind I am "not" a Swede, nor do I live in Sweden, though I often wish I did. I'm an American and am expressing these thoughts more from a sense of fair play to those Swedes paying for it all.
09:15 May 13, 2009 by jacks
Free education...But how good is the employability factor of Swedish education among international students educated in Sweden ? Very obvious and undeniable fact is that EU nationals on Swedish university programs perform much better compared to non-EU nationals.

Whether or not provide free education to non-EU students is something that Sweden's economy has to define. I think relaxations in applying admission criteria in stringent manner leads to failure of efficient utilization of educational resources. This problem gets further aggravated when programs fail to attract minimum number of applicants. Swedish universities have to rely on titles of non-EU qualifications and courses in assessment of prior education of non-EU admission seekers, simply due to the lack any objective tool for realistic assessment of foreign educational backgrounds.
09:25 May 13, 2009 by Puffin

Have you taken into account language background? Do you really mean that you have evidence that a student from - say - Romania, Portugal and Greece perform better than students from Canada, Australia, NZ, USA???

Can you tell me where to find statistics that shows that an average EU student performs better than non EU?
10:26 May 13, 2009 by apostolos1975
I have worked in Umeå University as a teacher in a master program for almost 5 years. Most of my students (>80%) came from outside EU. A big portion of them (don't ask percentages) worked black jobs in the side. I met them in restaurants doing really shitty jobs and I admire them for having the time, energy, courage to study and work at the same time BUT this is a clear violation of their student visa. When they applied for the master programs they knew that the country is expensive. No one forced or tricked them to come here. The student visa means that you ARE NOT allowed to work. If you get a job (only black since you are on student visa) you take this job from someone else. You were granted entrance to the country to study, not to work.

To all of you complaining about the new tough rules that are "unfair" let me remind you that in order to get a student visa you need to have a proof that you can support your self financially (60kkr per year) in order to study in Sweden.
11:59 May 13, 2009 by hecha
Probably all asian nations or developing countries should in ally consider to set a new pirces of consumer goods for european vistors,let's say a price as 100 times as the local,which then won't burden the local taxpayer' hard working .

Let's rise all the export products to europe so as to get rid of the bad reputation of "cheap products" .

New prices will attract more elite europe comanies.
12:12 May 13, 2009 by PinkGreen
Actually student are allowed to work.

From migrationverket website:

Am I permitted to work?

You are permitted to work during the same period you have a residence permit. You do not need a separate work permit.

Why black job? because it's easy to get and it does not required swedish. It's really hard to get a decent part time job as a student.

In matter of free educations I think by introducing fee it would definetly reduce the number of student from Non EU to come to Sweden and it definetly will reduce the university income as well. I don't think the resources that the university is given to the student will be reduced much. In study my programme, my classmates are not only the foreigners but also swedish students. The university simply chanced the language from swedish to english, with the same amount of time for teachers and lab and other stuff. Therefore pretty much same amount of money for resourches.

But in the other hand I understand the feeling of paying taxes and it being used for the benefit of other people who do not directly paying taxes.
12:30 May 13, 2009 by jacks
It would not provide real picture if you focus on the odds. You need to look at the proportion of non-EU students, their national backgrounds etc.. compared to native and EU students, where would you find those nationalities you mention ?

I might not have any statistics to cite here. However, very obvious picture based on grade based performance indicates that at least native students perform much better. Besides that, one study performed on behalf of EU commission in order to understand student performance, clearly recommended Sweden to look into whether enough is done in educational systems and at school levels to adjust for the apparent disadvantages of ethnicity/ foreign backgrounds. I am not sure how well the findings are applicable for higher education systems, but definitely in agreement to the general picture.
12:34 May 13, 2009 by Janeathome
Eurostan please note that actually there are many very wealthy international students from Asia, esp. China, as I have met more than enough. And you should know many of them can afford studying in USA, UK -- where it costs even more (both school fee and living cost). In fact, after living here for a year, I realize the Swedes are indeed kind of poor --- due to the high tax rate.
13:17 May 13, 2009 by amyzhao
i don't think this is a good decision for both swedish labor market and foreign students.

oversea students come to sweden live here, they must survive so they increased the consume for the society, and also some students do the part-time job as well in this case, it would bring labor to the labor market in sweden.

after several years of study, some students with high grades possibly would like to stay and work in sweden, then it would continuing bring economic affects to swedish society as well.

foreign students came here without any support or scholarships, if the government still charge them it would loose a lot of students at the same time.
13:42 May 13, 2009 by kaze
The way some people are complaining about this...and I bet you aren't even Swedish?

How would you like it if foreigners just came in and took advantage of your tax money?

Its Swedens choice to make and this is just plain common sense.

Not many Swedish do masters because they're still in transition from the old to the new system.

And whats this about universities terminating masters?

A Chinese friend of mine who I know from back in the UK says this sort of thing too and its really quite confusing. The better Swedish universities compete with the top UK universities in quality just fine. If Uppsala and KTH were in the UK they would be top 5 easily.

The part time job issue is true but thats not such a big deal.

According to him they tend to prioritise of UK first, UK second, then France (don't you need French though?), Germany and Australia with 'shitty countries' like Sweden being for 'shitty people' (it came up when I was bitching to him about how rude some of the Chinese here are).


If foreigners really felt this move to be a big evil moral injustice and they weren't just unhappy about loosing out on a way to take advantage of Sweden then they would work towards improving their own country.
14:06 May 13, 2009 by hecha
From this,I thought that Swedes are more generous or open to the third world than Danes,but not any more.

Education paradise's door is no longer open for the third world students,that's just too sad.

Germany and France still offer some cheap and better education .

Guys don's miss it before they started to compete prices with sweden.
14:19 May 13, 2009 by great_loser
The first thing that is crucial in deciding the institute and country is the tuition fee and living cost and opportunity to get a good part time job to cover the expenses. After going through the list of institutes and countries of the world, one comes to the conclusion that the best place for him to study in good environment with less expenses is Sweden where there is no fees but you have to take care of your expenses for living which one can cover by doing some part time job may be on weekends.

This is the only thing that makes Sweden attractive even though there is a language barrier.

I will say that introducing fees will decrease the percentage of students from third world countries because if it is about paying money then the option of going to English speaking countries is much better as the students can easily interact with the society and can get better opportunities than living in Sweden.
14:22 May 13, 2009 by Puffin
I think that it will be possible to get a better picture when the Government releases the full details of:

- what the fees will actually be

- how the new scholarship system for poorer students will work
15:54 May 13, 2009 by apostolos1975

You are right. I just checked it that you are allowed to work. But from the document:

To be granted a residence permit for study purposes at a university/college in Sweden you must present proof that you:

* have been enrolled for full-time study

* can support yourself throughout the entire period of your plan­ned study

So, I was wrong about not allowed to work but from the above its obvious that you are only allowed to work for some pocket money and not a mean to support your self.
16:43 May 13, 2009 by Puffin
Those who get the new full scholarships will surely be OK?
19:36 May 13, 2009 by jewel22
Alli can say is that i am a non EU student studying in sweden, and it was really a honour for the swedish to allow us to study for free.

If the swedish governement feel is time to start charging fees, well is up to them, and then sweden can join other educational competition. If they can step up to the game is still up to them.

I worked as a student and i pay 33% tax exactly like every swedish do. I guess i am also paying for another non EU student. So What goes around comes around.
21:45 May 13, 2009 by moh

the fact that student from the developing countries are able to afford living in sweden means that they are from rich families, which means they can study in their country and be able to live high living standard there and they will always be able to go to school..the payment of fees in sweden will never prevent them from getting education somewhere else.

The poor students (the ones that went to high school without labs,windows,desks,shoes sometimes food) are the ones in need. often they perform very well but couldn't proceed due to lack of fund....on the other hand the rich ones often gets admitted to course like medicine even with low marks.

I wish that sweden can come up with bursary sytstem trough their embassies for these poor students....if free education is helping people then i believe the right recipients should be the poor ones,otherwise payment of fees should be a debate.

sorry for long text
00:02 May 14, 2009 by Nilspet
A very good website everyone should visit:


It will tell you what are pros and cons for international education in selected countries. Sweden is one of them.

Let me tell again that I have studied in Spain, Germany and now Sweden.

Sweden is not better that the other two in terms of quality but that there are more programs available in English make it feel that it is better here. You can actually get very high standard in Spain but then you should know the language well. I was not in Germany for too long but it is also the language barrier that keeps you away.
08:39 May 14, 2009 by buggie
Actually their student visas allow them work legally. Also I think the term 'black' jobs is a throw back from the racists of 'yesteryear' to paint everything black bad. So if you do not intend to be racist, you should'nt use that term.

Regarding the topic. My general view is that it is up to Sweden to decide. We should voice our concerns, but If they think they should charge, by all means they should be allowed to do it.

What I hate mostly is people looking down on us as if somehow money defines us as a person. 'Ha ha ha, look at him he can't afford to study at an american or british university...poor him'.

We are not beggars here, we just want what most humans want...'a secure future'. Education puts us in a better position to achieve this security.

Finally, I think 'off the book' jobs are wrong and I dont do it, because I had secure funding before coming here, the problem is some students had the false impression that sweden is like america where you can easily find jobs to help with your studies and it is so not so.

That is my $0.02 on the matter
08:59 May 14, 2009 by kotyameow
Maybe they do have to charge students from NoN Eu countries,but these fees should be fair.

I'm a student from a non-eu country and what i would like to say is the fact that people in my country actually want to study and can make it,but very few can afford themselves to pay,for example 9000 or 10000$ per year.

It is even now pretty hard for us,we need a visa,we have to provide a lot of documentation and still have to spend a lot of money on housing and extras by living in another country.And also to pay a fee for 10000$ per year?

This is crazy,why only those from Non-Eu have to pay then?It is not fair.

Non Eu countries are not rich and paying a fee will be a disaster..

This is why a number of students even from my country will decrease almost for 100% I can assure you
10:33 May 14, 2009 by jacks
I agree. Unfortunately Sweden has not placed stronger rules to protect students from exploitation by this "black labor" market. However, those students who are not in fact in condition to afford , even though submit the documentation of financial support at the time of application, should be given special funding after investigating validity of their bank documents.
12:04 May 14, 2009 by kaze
No, thats the term and it is not at all a racist thing. Thats just silly. Black has been bad and white good since long before racism against Africans.

The correct way around the black=bad so black people=bad is in calling blacks Africans or Afro-Carribean or whatever. That is what the true PC people do.

EU law is you have to treat citizens of other EU countries as you would your own.

But...I would hope they extend this to cover Norway at least, Turkey and other non-EU European countries would be good to be included too. With the former it could happen but I doubt so with the latter (though there may well be special scholarships)

I've studied in the UK, Netherlands and Sweden.

Sweden seems to be the best quality of the three with UK the worst. In the UK they put too much pressure on you to do well in exams, thats what its all about, not actually learning the subject. The whole 'one chance only' thing is quite horrible.
12:17 May 14, 2009 by delenn
I have read many times, that although students are alowed to work, it is alomost impossible to find part-time job in Sweden.

I would completely disagree with you. They also may be working professionals who made savings during long-time in order to afford living during studies.

Do you have any proof of that?
12:56 May 14, 2009 by Puffin
You seem not to be reading this thread very carefully - there ARE going to be bursaries/scholarships for poor students
16:14 May 14, 2009 by buggie
"Black has been bad and white good since long before racism against Africans"...actually you are wrong again...this is the internet you can check this up...we dont need continue here...

in some cultures it actually means the opposite...for instance in Japanese culture, kuro (black) is a symbol of nobility, age, and experience....think 'black belt'

Alot of these things are institutionalised so people dont even know what they are actually doing, but alot of people know and are doing it just to teach their kids so that the ugly legacy continues...

but that is for another discussion....
17:32 May 14, 2009 by kaze
This is Europe. We're talking about European culture (English to be specific). East Asia is irrelevant.

Wny do you think brides wear white? A symbol of purity and goodness. Its quite obvious stuff. You don't have to look far to find it, the very first verses of the bible are about light overcoming darkness- which is portrayed as a very good thing.
17:59 May 14, 2009 by Irfan Iqbal

Its looking good but one question that always keep in my mind; why Sweden is going to offer free education to Foreign students.

Please comments on this if anybody knows the close answer.
19:25 May 14, 2009 by Nilspet
Why free education? The thing is that Sweden provides free education to students..and in the constitution it is not restricted to only Swedish nationals. Now that EU seems to swallow up Sweden in everything then it is like Sweden has to adapt to the change and for them it makes sense to still give free education to EU citizens but charge as dearly as possibly those that are nonEU people.

Giving education is actually a good thing. You can turn smart people but poor to become successful in life and believe me Sweden gets a lot back from those foreigners that get educated here. For one thing they can always bubble that ..hey see..that guy who is a leader of that country ... he/she got free education from us. I actually have met old people here who keep asking...do you feel great that you get free education in Sweden..etc etc. In fact I would rather pay and then be able to tell em that .....hey i pay loads of money to your government and fund your society.
17:45 May 15, 2009 by ozge
as a prospective student, the only reason i am considering sweden to study is because it is free of tution fee. if they start charging us(non-eu students) than i dont see any reason to study here.i read that the estimated tution fee is going to be around 9000 - 10000$ that is almost equal to an us university and few less than an uk university. plus the top universities are mostly in us and uk and from where i come, the employers are dont care about the quality of education, they look for a name. furthermore i know that even foreign students have to pay some taxes because we have to go there with a resident permit not with a study visa. also all foreign students are paying so much for the accomodation and daily expenses that it is more than a tax fee. the rents are almost equal to new york rents as you know newyork has one of the most expensive real estate market. anyway, to be honest i would feel the same way(that non-eu has to pay a fee) if i was swedish but since i am not:)
22:08 May 19, 2009 by mkvgtired
phaniyalamanchili, plagiarism will easily get you expelled from a US university.

I agree with the Swedes on here. If it were my tax money paying for these services I think it should be reserved for fellow citizens also paying the taxes. The fees do not seem unreasonable. I am going to school in Chicago and my expenses are as follows:

Tuition: $25,000 per year

Rent: $1,000 per month for a 200 sq meter apt

Books: ~$1,500 to $1,800 per year

Plus misc expenses. I work full time (40 hrs per week) and take 16 credit hours per week. Let the foreign students work their way through school. It builds character.
09:16 May 21, 2009 by Mkolid
as an international student in Sweden, what i think imposing tution fees is logical, but the amount they going to be charged it should be reasonable. The price could be a little lower at the beginning, 80,000 Krona is really quite expensive.
23:20 July 16, 2009 by chachacha
I understand Sweden's decision to impose tuition fees since it is really expensive to give free education. Sweden complain about it and even some foreigners who have forgotten they were once 'foreigners' in Sweden complain about it.

But the first question is this,'After the introduction of the fees, will the government reduce tax being paid by workers and taxpayers generally? NO!!!

Also, international students that come here bring in money also. They pay tax indirectly when buying food, taking the bus, paying rent, etc, so it is not as if things are 'free'. Also, living here is really expensive. If you have live here for a long time, it may be difficult for you to understand.

Sweden is not the most popular in terms of education and physically, so if fee is introduced, non-EU nationals will go to bette known countries. Adding the fees and the cost of living

together, you can live comfortbly with it in UK or America even if you did not work; in which case, you will.

23:25 July 16, 2009 by chachacha
I just hope sweden is ready to face the fact that it is goodbye to non-EU international students.

I am an international student and there is one question Swedes always ask,'Why did you choose Sweden out of all the countries in the world to come and study'. The new (silent) answer I have now is...

'Wait till after the fees introduction and you will know?'
04:20 July 17, 2009 by sei.hansson
Why are so many people think like Chinese students are the biggest problem in this situation?

There are so many other countries poorer than China,

and I don't think Chinese people are the biggest problem in this country.

I'm a Chinese, I came from a Japanese university as an exchange student.

I get free education that's nice, but I also spend money here and pay taxes etc..

It's not like the goverment is paying for all my expenses, right?

I'm OK whether it's still gonna be free education or not, but some people please,

just don't say like only Chinese are taking the benifit.

I'm sure some of the Chinese students are poor, they come here because it's free,

but there are rich Chinese too.
13:32 July 31, 2009 by Hedley
In my view the problem is about profit!

I will be the lonely only student from Panama this year. Why so many Panamanian does not select to be there: They really do not know.

Sweden is free, however I think it is free and it is Europe... Europe and Asia (India, Middle East, China and Japan) are good places for scientific research.

If I had been offered free everything in Swaziland, Ghana or so (I do not mean to be racicist), Honduras, Guadalupe and that... I immediately reject it!

I think that student must give something back (I plan to do so), not necessarily money: I mean advertisement, prestige, a fortunate scientific discovery (like the moon is made of blue chesse -ha, ha, ha), a Nobel (or another important award) and that REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF!
15:53 August 30, 2009 by Boby179
This debate for me shouldn't have taken place before Sweden ready itself to competition which the university tuition will stimulate.Any person who has studied in Sweden will tell you that native-born scholars,who educated themselves in Sweden show clear limit(teaching and speaking english).

The fact is that Sweden education is bettered by the contribution of intenational students.The percentage of grop-outs is very high amont native-born students that foreigns.These two situations have to be considered had the wishes to collect tuition continued.

I am happy that at last,the competion is going to be hard on native swedes once the tuition comes into force.None of the risk taker students from developing countries will take the kind of distrimination that is in place in Sweden from the campuses out.I don't want to sound greedy,but it is clear that every foreign name sounding is given unbalanced treatment in this country starting inside the university in the way they grade!!!The famous 'thinking Sweden' is very well known,where students are expected to behave and reason like swedes.This means no contest to pre-etablished thoughts on all domains of life,say yes to anything,and be hated if revolutionary. My hopes are that tuition fee will ravel these awkward behaviour as to put everyone at the same level;otherwise,some kinds of riots are to be expected from this current order.The swedes students have no idea how competitive this is going to be!!!It will be pass or break when it comes to equality on knowledges and opportunities.

Denmark has implemented this similar with major success because they have an open economy.It is possible to study and work part time more in Denmark than sweden which makes it easier to pay tuition for foreign students.But sweden does even look at foreign students as an assets!!!Except some governments public statements,which I think is a bad message.If you look at the number of foreign students that comes here and go through the whole education level,compare to the natives,who will see how hard working these people are.The question is who benefit from that?I think sweden most definetely though social interaction(swedes being naturally cold),the input into the economy through everyday spending,more open debates in the campuses,which will not be the same without foreign students.

To be brief,I think Sweden is not ready yet for this type of measure,however,it is always better to take risky decision because it will bring to light some important improvement which cannot otherwise be known and adressed.

New students of the tution era will have to think carefuly between a country that pays no attention to equality and collect the tuition fee and those that have etablished themselves as absorbers of foreign human ressources so as long as it is valuable.

God is love
20:09 April 12, 2011 by Elina Smith
Here I tried to explain some of the Sweden's efforts to compensate high tuition fees and arrange scholarships for the students:


Hopefully scholarships be helpful to convince students to study in Sweden.
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