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Foreign students to pay university fees

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 19 Feb 2010, 11:32

Published: 19 Feb 2010 11:32 GMT+01:00

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The government will present its proposition to parliament later on Friday, university and higher education minister Tobias Krantz told reporters.

"We want to compete in the international education market on the quality of Sweden's education system, rather than simply because Sweden's education is free of charge," Krantz said.

"Sweden is one of the easiest countries in the world to apply for a university place, with a large number of foreign students and high number of online courses - but many of these don't complete their studies."

Krantz conceded that numbers may fall initially.

"In the short term it is reasonable to expect that numbers will fall, but Sweden is a knowledge nation, we have strong English skills and many courses are held in English; I am convinced that in the longer term we will continue to attract large numbers of foreign students to Sweden," Krantz said.

The minister confirmed that the government was not at this stage able to specify the level of the new fees but noted as a basic principle that the fees should cover the costs of education provision.

"We will come back with information over how high the charge will be, I can not state how high it is today. It will vary depending on education and place of learning," Krantz said.

Speaking to The Local last May, Anders Steinwall at the education ministry said each university would be able to decide its own fees, but added that the estimated average would amount to 70,000 to 80,000 kronor ($9,500 to $11,000) per year.

The government also announced that two scholarship systems will be introduced.

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The first scholarship system, worth 30 million kronor ($4 million) per annum, will be directed at students in the 12 countries with which Sweden holds long-term aid agreements.

The second, amount to 60 million kronor per annum from 2012, will be available for exceptional students.

The fees will be introduced for students from countries outside of the EU/EEA area.

TT/Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:24 February 19, 2010 by livinginsweden
About time .... tax payers' money funding children of non-tax payers.... that is plain stupid.

ha ha
10:28 February 19, 2010 by Juniperboy
As tax paying person in Sweden , I believe this should be equal for EU and NON-EU. I dont agree on any sort of discrimination.
10:33 February 19, 2010 by Ben Wallis
About time, how incredible that Swedes have been paying for educating foreigners. Charge then and charge them dearly. And what about charging the rest of the EU countries. No reason why Swedes should be paying for their education. Any non Swedes should pay the full cost of an education.
10:36 February 19, 2010 by Localer
this is not discrimination? duuuuuuh.....so if i go for my studies in uk and paid more then local student.....i got discriminated ?
10:44 February 19, 2010 by amalkhan
As a ''non-EU'' citizen paying taxes in Sweden, I think its perfectly ok for my tax money to go towards non-EU citizens. Making education a business, like in many other countries such as Australia or UK is awful. Its soon turns the tables: non EU students fund the domestic students. Thats whats happening in the UK. I don't think that situation will arise in Sweden but there is a strong possibility in the long term.
10:47 February 19, 2010 by krow
Great. it is an indication that this government is a failed one. Let the dance begin- small univeristies is about to close down and more jobs will be lost. Dont tell me tax payer anything. when the same student brings in alot of money from their countries to spend here. How many chinese students do u see take cleaning jobs? Also students from third world countries who are here are also paying tax when they do the jobs that normal swedes will not do.

Is there Job in Karlskrona, Umea? to name but a few.


I rest my case
11:01 February 19, 2010 by Prat
EU nations cannot favor people of their own nationality - any fees must be the same for Swedes and other EU nationals (EU "Equal Treatment" laws). Non-EU nationals now already pay higher tuition in many EU nations.
11:03 February 19, 2010 by SouthAfrican_in_Sweden
I see no reason why Swedes should pay for foreigners to get an education for free. I love the Swedish social system but I should benefit only the individuals who contribute to it.
11:07 February 19, 2010 by kaze
I totally approve for humanitarian reasons at least- all those poor Chinese with no money who come here because its free and think they can just work to support themselves...They're not going to make the same mistake now.

But still...$10000 is way too much.
11:18 February 19, 2010 by yuqian
It's very sad to hear that..
11:18 February 19, 2010 by byke
This will create a HUGE gap in international students coming to sweden as whereas other countries have higher standards and cheaper living costs. I wonder what the offset will be in 15 years time in terms of foreign qualified students who came here and ended up staying.

I strongly believe that this is a short term plan for elections rather than a long term plan for sweden.
11:33 February 19, 2010 by glamshek
The results of this will be known in short time. They will be bad.
11:35 February 19, 2010 by peropaco
I welcome this news. Most of those students only come here cause the can get a free education and then run back to their home country and enjoy their spoils. Finally some news I can rejoice on.
11:52 February 19, 2010 by G Kin
Now I have no more credit to give Sweden!. Luckily I passed the gate before they slam shot it. Done with my double master degree in Physics and Medical Physics. Thanks anyway! But if sweden thinks that many nonEEE/EU students will be ready to pay 70,000kr they should think again. Only students from wealthy families from these countries would aford to pay, and they will most likely choose other places. But the impact will be obvious. What percentage of swedish students study math and sciences at the university level? What do you think is the impact on swedens future as an industrial nation?. A country that depend heavily on exporting technology. The only reason sweden isn't benefiting from these students is because these free movers can't easily find a job here when they are done with their studies and then they move. Canada, US and England have been the destination for many of these students. And yes, they do find jobs in these countries. Not cleaning poo in sweden. Good luck sweden and continue instead with taking in loads of illitrate imigrants who will more likely be a problem for you than these free movers who are more adaptable.
11:53 February 19, 2010 by summo
It sounds great on paper, but once you balance the books and remove the trade they bring in terms of a few flights and train journeys a year, accommodation, food and general leisure activities.. it is really quite short sight. The knock on effect in terms of local employment is quite large and will be noticed in university towns.

Education could be considered a Swedish export, only the buyer comes to you.

It might create more money for something else on the governments balance sheet, but will take much more away from those who recieve the education tourist's krona in their pocket. If this is the biggest cost saving the government can think of then things must be running so efficiently ;)
12:26 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
Sweden is an expensive country to live in, so this will make it really expensive to study in Sweden.

On a separate point, wasn't there an article the other day about how Sweden needs an inflow of foreigners to sustain its social security and so on? How is this going to help with that?

I know a lot of foreigners who got jobs in Swedish companies after studying in Sweden.. that competence will be harder to come by due to this.
12:41 February 19, 2010 by Scepticion
I think G Kin and summo have good points. While the students do not have to pay to study, they do have to pay for accommodation, travel, etc., so they do bring money into the country.

Now, if these students have to pay university fees, why should they come to Sweden, they rather go to a proper English speaking country. The Swedish education is so superior or brilliant in international comparison to make them come anyway, and it's not a cheap place to live.

What will be much more detrimental is the loss for Swedish students. Colleges and universities get fees based on the number of students. Many courses only survive because of the extra international students. Some courses are mostly foreigners. If the numbers drop, the departments simply have to shut down courses are even the department. I am not sure how places like Dalarna Hogskola will survive with Swedish students only. We'll see.
12:44 February 19, 2010 by warriorwithin
The number of applicants is really large. I am sure there are enough of them who have both money and the brains to sustain the quality
12:52 February 19, 2010 by peropaco
Sweden has been an attraction park for Students from thirds world countries whose main interest was to get a free education and leave without even saying thank you. Sweden needs to elevate its educational standards and not be the drop point for the ungrateful kind.
13:01 February 19, 2010 by Thijs
I'm not sure whether Sweden have to be afraid to loose many international students. In the Netherlands we have sort of the same tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students (around 10000 euro, home/EU/EEA pay 1600) and still many foreign students come to study here.

I believe one of the main reasons for that is that there are many degrees in English. Something Sweden should be good in, being even better in English then the Dutch.
13:04 February 19, 2010 by davidmc
Border states and border countries are hardly the same thing; but in the US if want to attend a University outside your state of residence the you have to pay out-of-state tuition fees that are high-times-ten-to-the-third-power.
13:12 February 19, 2010 by siripa.j
I'm a student of non-EU/EEA who studied here. I'm understand if Sweden want to collect some fees because it sometime unfair for people here who pay high tax, but with high fee like 70.000 Kr. a year would bring negative more than positive.

To collect some small fee, Sweden at least can select serious students who really want to study. I would say 10,000 SEK will be the best. It shouldn't be over than 25,000 SEK a year.

Foreign students from Non EU/EEA who come here,they actually pay tax through high VAT 25% rate here. They contributes some idea from their countries which Swedish classmates can learn and know more about these non-EU countries. Moreover students are mostly love Sweden as giving free/ cheap education and once they go back to their countries, they love to use product from Sweden or even to do business with Sweden. With limited quota to accept some students, you get quality students here. The thesis they do is always related to their home countries and Sweden learn something.

For the course that don't have many Swedish students apply, instead of have a class with 10 students, why not open for another 10-15 foreign students. Universities have a little more cost, but the class will be much more interesting and they bring money into Sweden, rent accommodation here and spend life here.

You have to understand that most of students from these countries have limited money and if they have 200,000 SEK for 1 year, they would go to native speaker countries. Mostly they have around 100,000 Kr., then they would rather go to UK or US where they can find extra job easily and that can reduce their study cost quite some part and then they can manage to study there. But here in Sweden is really hard for foreign students to find extra jobs and that mean they definitely have to spend 180,000 SEK a year. It is really too much and I would say most of good students will select other destinations.

Think carefully Sweden. Collect some small money can be good, but not this much. You will lose more.
13:17 February 19, 2010 by senthil v
The immediate impact would be a fall in the number, but i guess it will recover eventually to decent figures. They can promote more the universities in E.U countries (I think the article is incomplete they are going to collect fees only for non E.u students). many of them want to leave even when they are studying here (not because they dont get jobs)

The fees is still less compared to U.K or France. Swedish universities do have a chance if they compete harder.
13:20 February 19, 2010 by Snowman Stan
10K is nothing for foreign students at US universities. Less than most Americans pay too. I don't think it's going to have much impact on foreign students. There's the scholarship fund available for students froom poorer (non EU) countries.
13:23 February 19, 2010 by kerry777
For education department it should be a good news and for many teachers, householders, clerks of tourism and traffic etc. it is a 'good news' too, because many these people can have a long long holiday and dont need to busy in their bussiness. Now I am happy for my professors in our math department since they can go home soon and happy for Swedish intensive education in some fields in the future since ten teachers teach only one student.
13:25 February 19, 2010 by Thijs
Don't forget about the students from the EU, for them Sweden is still an attractive country to study in. In for example the field of law there are not many countries in Europe that know degrees in English, except of the UK, Ireland, Netherlands and Sweden.
13:27 February 19, 2010 by uunbeliever
The outstanding debt of students who have taken advantage of the system and run to better paying countries is huge. I Sweden can not get them to pay back after they leave, get them to pay in advance. But this goes for all students, not just non EU ones. You can not use the system to get a free education and then take off and not repay to the system that supported you in the first place.
13:30 February 19, 2010 by Thijs
@ uunbeliever

It is contrary to EU law to treat other EU Nationals different then your own Nationals, so asking other EU citizens other tuition fees than Swedes is illegal. Or you would have to leave the EU.
13:44 February 19, 2010 by horace_engdahl
I'm a computer science student and regularly have to cooperate with international students in projects. It does feel like many of the non-EU students come to my university because of the economical benefit of not paying tuition. Foreign students from countries like Germany, The Netherlands and Spain are, in my experience, not only equipped with better English but are also more motivated than students from China or Pakistan.

My 0.145961962 SEK.
13:48 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
uunbeliever there is no debt to be repaid. If you put a sign saying "free pizzas" in front of your restaurant, and I go there to eat a free pizza I don't owe you anything.

I guess in the next few years we'll see how many people are willing to pay more or less the same tuition to study in a cold, expensive country where it's hard to get a job as a non-swedish speaker. It will be interesting to watch.

PS: I would be all for charging some tuition, I just think 70,000-80,000 kr looks to be a bit much.
13:49 February 19, 2010 by Localer
@ krow

student brings in alot of money from their countries to spend here ? you to be kidding ? ...tell me how much do they spend ?? if the apartment cost then 5000 KR I bet they going to stay for at least 6 people or more !....
13:54 February 19, 2010 by senthil v
some comments were about students leaving to another country to work after studying in Sweden...please understand its somehow Sweden's wish that these students from un developed countries will go back and build their countries.....but having a aim to work in u.s or Canada after getting free education from Sweden is downright ungrateful and immoral (unless of course you don't get a job here) ,,,Swedish is not that difficult to learn compared to french or Magyar.....so language barrier is not a good excuse.
14:01 February 19, 2010 by bubbagump
It appears that not many economic professionals comment on this site. There have been many argue that it is unfair for international students to pay more than swedish students. But that's the whole point, right now they are paying LESS than the swedish students. Not one person has commented on where the amount of 70.000SEK came from. That is the cost of the government to put one swedish student through university per year. That is paid for over 18-19 years by the tax paying parents. The non-swedish students have not paid into this system and therefore are now being asked to pay their fare share.

I read one comment mentioning the system in the states which must be clarified. Out of state students attending a state run university must pay higher tuition. This has been challenged in courts many times based on the commerce clause of the constitution, but is always struck down because in-state students are subsidized by the state through tax dollars that the student/parents have been paying for their whole life. The difference in tuition is the same amount of subsidization that the university receives from the state for the in-state student. In private universities, this does not apply and all pay the same rate.

Bottom line, non-swedish students will not be paying more, but finally paying what it costs the swedish tax payer. Swedish universities have no fear of lower enrollment if they actualy offer good education. I'm sure you will also see the development of grants for students who attend from poor countries. China is not one of those. The chinese may be poor, but their country is rolling in money.
14:05 February 19, 2010 by pupunussi
Running back to their countries? From what I know, many are desperate to stay. Yes, to stay and contribute with their taxes and obtained knowledge.
14:08 February 19, 2010 by krishnochura
I second G Kin. I have also passed from Sweden, took free and extremely high standard of education. THANKS TO ALL SWEDISH, I really thank you for this help and broad heart. But, the problem and the solution is different here. First question, how many Swedish really go for higher studies? For tough subjects? I am from Royal Institute of Technology(kth.se) not may Swedish students are there! So, for the country already with higher living standard, they should not impose fees on foreign students rather, they should open there market so that at least some scholar from those student can serve Sweden with their best. I have studied in Royal Institute of Technology (kth.se) but it was not easy to get a job or any means to serve or pay return to Sweden. I have left Sweden with the knowledge from Sweden and got job in a neighboring country so easily! Sweden could got the return, from me, from all most all of us who are now working for other countries near Sweden.

AND I am extremely against this discrimination! Why only non-EU will pay? It will break all the dream picture about Sweden that we still carry with us. Moreover, I think Sweden could continue taking foreign students as it is now. Open (at least partially ) the job market so that it can get the return as a service. Moreover, I can not imagine someone from *most* of the countries in the world are ready to pay 70,000 SEK for their studies in Sweden. No matter they will have English as a medium or not, they will think about other places for higher studies.

Another point is since it will dramatically reduce the number of foreign students as a whole, it will result only the increase of "1/2 years holiday makers" EU students, who already receive small amount of scholarship from their home country that is mostly spent on parties and .. .. .. things we do not like to talk about. And ONLY persons will get benefit from this decision the people from systembolaget.
14:12 February 19, 2010 by arslan11
Majority of exceptional Non-EU IT and Engineering students chose UK, Canada, Australia and US for their future even though Swedish education was free... You know that 95% technical jobs here require "Basic Swedish Understanding" .....

Every student would be ready to pay 20-30k extra fee in proper English speaking countries or chose Germany or Italy where per annum free is around 10 thousand Swedish krona..

Anyhow lets see what happens in 2011..
14:13 February 19, 2010 by little.designer
76,000 kronor for cost of living for each year....

average of 90,000 kronor depending on the major and field of study per year...(in some cases up to 150,000 kronor per year)

just for 2 years master programs that at the moment there are no Swedish students in them. it will costs 332,000 kronor!!!

Do u really think there are enough people who can pay this money???and If there are will they pay for that amount of money???

Sweden is Very good country and I like it every much, the people are good, it's quiet and peaceful. Despite of all these positive points if I have to pay that amount of money for studying here I would rather go to other European countries.

In UK and Germany your Resident Visa will be extended for One year after your Study is done,which give you a chance to look for a job. But here as soon as your Study is finish you have to leave.. and even in some cases 3-4 days after the graduation!!!! you do not have enough time to travel around Sweden and see the whole country ,how do you expect that they should stay here..It's not fair to say that they study and leave...Your Government do not allow them to Stay!!

That's All.
14:13 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
bubbagump why are you selectively ignoring that people are talking about discrimination between EU and non-EU citizens? EU people don't pay Swedish taxes.

You are the only one who brough up the Swedish vs non-Swedish comparison.
14:19 February 19, 2010 by scrawler
Where as the fee on education but it should be fruitful enough in getting job after the completion of degree to the master students. If he /she brings the 70,000 kr per year and spending in Sweden and not getting job in Sweden returning back is not the good option. Putting so much efforts on studies spending most of the time in studies and not getting the fruitful job its insatiable for a candidate just like dropping a stone in the well.

where as in UK , US and Australia good talented students are always get the good jobs their is no bias between the language and talents , where as in Sweden its in-contrast of these countries. So, much discrimination between language and talent..!! some many talented students contribute a ton of efforts and success for the growth of the companies in Sweden.

Its not about Non-EU and EU who has to pay . No, wonder all talented students are attracted to go US , UK and Germany.
14:19 February 19, 2010 by bubbagump

I was under the impression that the imminant demise of the Euro due to Greece, Prutugal, etc. would lead to the ultimate break up of the EU by 2011, thus nullifying the EU excemption.

Actually you caught me with my pants down, however the same principle applies when you consider the fees each memberstate pays into the EU. But yes, should have been more specific. The argument however considering the cost structure is still sound.
14:19 February 19, 2010 by G Kin
I think most of the people writing here do not have the experience of the swedish education system.

Tell me, why a free mover with 70,000 - 100,000 kr/year will choose to study in Umeå, Luleå, Kiruna etc?. Places where you basically risk perishing there. No jobs no social life.

In the course of my programme in Physics/Medical Physics at Umeå university, only 7 of us where fully enrolled in the Medical Physics programme. Others only came in to take a few courses. Now, out of these 7,

3 swedes

1 Austrian

3 CAMEROONIANS.(free movers)

To my knowledge only 2 free movers are involved in graduate studies. The batch that came before ours was even worse. Again only a free mover(from Cameroon) out of 4 proceeded to graduate studies in the Netherlands.

Back to the Physics department.

I remember a D level course we did in Advanced Materials. In a class of over 40 students (from Physics, Engineering, Chemistry) only about 15 students went to take the final exam to aim for a higher grade after a basic pass when their course project was "passed".

Out of these 15 who took the exams less than 5 where swedes or EU students. The rest where free movers. What does this tell you?.

If you just look at the big universities like KTH, Chalmers, Lund you are less likely to understand the problem. Look at the small universities then you will understand why this can be a bad idea.

A small amount of tuition fee (10,000 - 15,000kr)/year sounds reasonable to me. Wth a higher amount of tuition fee, Sweden should get ready to take in just those students that will receive the scholaships. Otherwise it is just a BAD IDEA SHORT, TERM LONG TERM.
14:20 February 19, 2010 by bubbagump
Wow my spelling was terrible.
14:28 February 19, 2010 by Texrusso
Tuition Fee is not a bad idea, I would even encourage them to include application fees, but the prices should be reasonable and realistic. 5000 kronor per year for tuition fee is enough plus application fee of 500 Kronor just to discourage non serious applicants and also to encourage more students to complete their studies on time. This will serve as a WIN/WIN situation both for Sweden and foreign student. If you get 100000 students a year for example, 5000 kronor (very resonable per student) will generate 500 000 000 million Kronor per year on Tuition fees and 50 000 000 million kronor from Application form. (just as an example). Total would be 550 000 000 million kronor per year and could be more.
14:30 February 19, 2010 by amirhosein
Back to the caves.
14:36 February 19, 2010 by Nemesis
It is good it is restricted to the EU/EFTA area.

I would also like to see other European countries reciprocate, so as to get more European people back into university.

All Europeans in all European countries should have free university tutition. That way we can progress further ahead.
14:37 February 19, 2010 by jazzIIIlove
I am not sure that my students can support themselves by paying to the university. After all, equality has gone here, now in Sweden too.
14:42 February 19, 2010 by Nemesis
@ jazzIIIlove

Please name your country that offers Swedes free eduction.

If you country does not offer Swedes free education, shut up.
14:50 February 19, 2010 by Nitwade
@ peropaco Think before you open ya mouth here for these international kids wishes to stay and work here but the moment they finish school all we do is chase them.unlike in Canada they give them a 3 year visa to look for a job and eventually get one.so why shouldn't they go there.We should think of utilizing there brains here wen they finish school than chasing them away to develop other countries think about it.How do u want them to say thank you ?Follow them in the airport when they are chased and they will tell you thanks.
14:55 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
Nitwade has a good point... these student visas only last for a year and until the studies are over. How are students supposed to get a job if they can't even stay?

Of course, there are people who do get jobs, but they have to look in advance which isn't always possible. I don't think this move has anything to do with a desire that former students stay and work in Sweden.
14:57 February 19, 2010 by cscs
i read all of the comments, and here is the summary from swedish and european users' point of view:

"non eu students suck. they are insufficient in english. they are no good in their studies. they have nothing to offer to swedish society. they only come here to get a free Msc degree. only the rich kids from those countries should be allowed to study here."

sadly, this just strengthens my idea of how nationalism, eliticism and hidden-racism is embedded the thoughts and ideas of SOME of the young swedes. my words go to those SOME swedes.

you want to say "people from the non/eu countries are not as good/smart/good looking/capable as us", so why dont you just say it? you would be honest, at least. but oh wait, being politically correct is just as embedded in the brains, that's why.

sweden is still the most free and liberal country i have lived in and probably the most welcoming to foreigners. but instead of setting and example for the world as being the pinnacle of democracy, you want to lower the standards and "catch up" (or catch down, shall i say?) with the rest.

good job! i can say sweden is on the right track.
14:58 February 19, 2010 by justanotherwhiteguyinstockholm
I'm an American who attended a Swedish Högskola for a Masters program. I attended classes, took my exams, wrote my thesis, and graduated. This degree was free, and for that I am continually thankful to the Swedish taxpayers.

While the tuition was free, I still paid about US$20,000 (~140,000SEK) in that year for tuition, books, and general "living costs". That was no small amount, and since student loans from the US were not available to me in Sweden, it was still an expensive endeavor. Based on paying VAT for half of that 140,00SEK in Sweden, that would be 17,500SEK the year I was in school.

I was fortunate enough to find work here after graduate school -- admittedly, quite a hard feat for non-Swedish speaking graduates -- and for the past two years have been paying the system back through payroll and VAT. In payroll, alone, I have paid about 300,000SEK in taxes in the last two years. This does not include the 25% VAT I pay for everything else, which has been about 45,000SEK over two years.

So, over the last three years, I have paid approximately 360,000SEK in taxes to Sweden, all for one free year of education. Had tuition not been free here, I would not have come to Sweden. The program wasn't appealing enough on its own. Seems like a good investment on Sweden's part.

Want to improve things? Make the education standards higher for all students (ESL levels, attendance in class and exams) and manage the quality. But the overall value of having mixed students in the classrooms can only be a benefit to all students and to Sweden.
14:58 February 19, 2010 by srahah456
It is good in a way because for most students we know of here from outside EU are living in terrible conditions due to lack of housing and accomodation. Secondly the probable process is that they bring along 70000 SEK which is added to the swedish economy. The government pays there tution to the univesity. So eventually the university gets there charges. Econonmy gets 70000 SEK from a ghost who is un employed. Most students here say that they would ve been better off going to an english speaking country paying the 70000 sek as fee to the privaate unioversity and get an odd simple job and study. But that is there perspective. However the government may be wants to shift there program of immigration to another shape. Because britain recently introduced" teir system " to get away with "educated immigrants" i.e. your years as students are counted towards permanent residence. I think the concept of modren sweden is being restructured. They need more unskilled refugees for labour then educated immigrants to compete in the job market.
14:59 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
cscs how did you figure that? How do you even know the nationality of the people making the comments?

I am European and I'm certainly not saying anything like that...
15:00 February 19, 2010 by Alexjessy
The truth may sound funny but I will be as clear as i can, the first question is who are the non EU students, we begin to look at African students, pakistan, india, china etc these are very poor students, now look at the swedish universities, although is free aducation. How many of the non EU big nation students study in sweden? for example theUK, US and canada plus Austrialia. You find very few students coming to study in sweden from these countries, and how many students do you think will come and pay 11,000 dolars to study in sweden? we will wait and see.

Now the idea is that other countries like the UK and US charge there students, yes this is very correct but there is more to this:

1. In the Uk for example after your first payment you can easily get a job work and study and will be able to pay for your studies, and after your studies u can easily get employed there and build a life from there, the same is US and canada,

The swedish minister for education said "sweden is strong in English" this is very correct but, what you failed to tell us is the faith of a student who studied in english and wants to work in sweden company, and also is it possible to get a job in sweden and study aswell the answer is NO unlike their friends UK, US and Canada, where u can work and study aswell, without having problems with getting a job,

If there is work in sweden students will pay to study in sweden but since geting a job is hard i just wonder, but these students also occuply alot of houses in sweden and pay huge rent and also the get money from their countries and inject in the economy even though they dont work so they are not just enjoying a complete free education, the most important thing is the future of the student after graduation and before graduating. The fees idea is ok but there should be a ground work, creating jobs and opportunities for the student, and minimizing the fees
15:09 February 19, 2010 by cscs

That's why I tried to underline the word "SOME". I'm of course not talking about all EU citizens in my post as being eliticists
15:13 February 19, 2010 by peropaco
@Nitwade I actually think before opening the kisser. I have chatted a great deal with some of the foreign students I run across in various part of the country. Karlskrona, Lund etc and I clearly ask them about their plans after they complete their education and without a blink 90% say they cannot wait to get back home. I do understand how difficult it is for a foreign person to get work in Sweden; but most of these people are simply taking advantage of free education generosity and my tax money.
15:14 February 19, 2010 by senthil v
I am student at the university now and many students abuse the free education,,they just register and never bother to attend even the roll call ..they waste the places in the university. They are just interested in taking some stupid jobs here and as a result the more interested students could miss out an oppurtunity to study..........

so people coming ONLY for jobs and not studies can be stopped to a great extend by applying fees.
15:16 February 19, 2010 by Security
Dont come to Sweden to study. Study at home and come here to dig for oil and resources. There is not really much you can learn in Swedish Universities, usuall dead sea ... goverment trying to sell it like everything else in the country these days.
15:18 February 19, 2010 by anand01oct
Paying 70000 krns and studying in Sweden is too much for most of the students. We study here and try to get a job and if we find one we pay the tax like all Swedes. But its tough to find a job and with fees introduced students will surely not prefer to come here. Here students dont even find a normal part time job. Students have to pay the fees and also pay for their stay and food??? That will be around 300000 kronors for 2 years. Instead students can will go to someother english speaking countries like UK or US or Australia.

Smaller colleges will have a big blow many will have only european students. There will be lesser research in Sweden and Innovations
15:20 February 19, 2010 by Carl
To all you generous Swedes who say you don't mind paying for foreign students to attend Swedish universities, your time has come! Go ahead and start a fund, put your money together, and start paying foreign students' fees for them as of autumn 2011. Ah, what? You don't really want to pay, you actually want someone else to pay? Then be honest about, and stop being so hypocritical. Being generous with other people's money is not a virtue.
15:25 February 19, 2010 by senthil v
nitwade and little designer have a valid point.

and maybe they can reduce the proposed fees to a half ,,
15:34 February 19, 2010 by uunbeliever
Twiceshy are you retarded? The debt to repay is to the whole system. We grow up with barnbidrag, csn money, free health care, dental osv osv. THESE are the debts that are not being repaid when people ditch the country to go work somewhere else.
15:39 February 19, 2010 by grantike
all i can say is the tuition amount is out of the line.any governement has the right to impose its fee on anyone but first thing first.how many swede or eu are ready to study.critically looking :am an engineering student at one of the university.you had can see most swedes in that class mainly foreigners.most of them are eager to study.courses like mathematics.the swede skip them.in terms of places in programmes.university can check the participation of any student and conatct them or disqualify them.

another point here is.all the engineering spots are mainly filled with students from pakistan,china and african students who struggle even with money for food and accomodations. I REALLY wonder who will pay for the fees.tis is the end of the line.i dont see anyone coming.beeing a student from one of these countries :its end of the line for university education
15:41 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
uunbeliever usually the ones who start insulting others out of nowhere are the retarded ones. Just saying.

As for your latest post, what does that have to do with students? And you still haven't countered my original point which is that Sweden has been giving education for free, which means there is no debt to be repaid. I guess you have a problem with the definition of the word "free".
15:53 February 19, 2010 by munched
It's about bloody time! No point training foreign students here, nobody will hire them here anyways when they're finished. It's time Swedes stopped acting like Euope's suckers.
15:57 February 19, 2010 by cscs
@twiceshy (@munched)

check out the post from munched, right above. this is what i was referring to as a eliticist and hidden(?)-racist person. "nobody will hire them anyways when they're finished". there you go boy!
16:09 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
cscs I'm sure it's not a surprise to you that in any place (especially an internet based forum) you will find all kinds of asshats.
16:10 February 19, 2010 by srahah456
cscs seems to be guilty about his first mail
16:30 February 19, 2010 by asim513
in my view Swedish government should not pass the full cost of studies to international students. first govt. should determine the Fixed Cost(like building, computers, salaries) and Running cost (like conducting exams, printing credits) of education. Only Running costs should be received from international students. Anyhow government has already spent on fixed costs.

in this way Sweden will not burden the tax payers and at the same time it will be still attractive for international students.
16:50 February 19, 2010 by Kevin Harris
I have no problem with Sweden offering free education to non-EU students. as long as the home countries of those foreign students offer the same courtesy to Swedes. Dissenting posters from non-EU countries might better use their time talking with their own governments before seeking to influence someone elses for their own benefit.
17:25 February 19, 2010 by Iraniboy
That depends how it's implemented. I can't understand neither those who say it's money of tax payers nor those who say it should be free for all. Look at US or Canada. People there also pay tax for foreign students but not all of them. Because a student in post graduate can contribute to knowledge of that country. So in my opinion, if the whole money used for allocated for funding all students was instead allocated for scholarship, then Sweden could benefit so much but if this scholarship is just s small portion of that, sorry that's a step backward for Swedish education.
17:36 February 19, 2010 by Nordic Prince
I believe that Sweden should offer free education and full support (Scholarship) for all exceptional students regardless the race or the cultural/philosophical/religious backgrounds.

But again, education is about equality and one of the basic human rights. It is not fair to make it hard to get for poors.

But also, I do understand that it's kinda hard to keep providing free education. Therefore, I think we should come up with a proper equation for balancing between providing free-education and students' performance.

I mean, if the student failed more than 2 times, then, obviously he isn't competent and he should pay fees. Or it could be something like: if your GPA is (90% or above, then, your education is free & 80% - 90% then, you should pay some little percentage and so on...). I think this would be fair. So if you study hard then, you will be rewarded free education. But if you are not serious about studying then, you have to pay...

*** Q) Just out of curiosity. will the Israeli students pay fees as foreign students ???
17:44 February 19, 2010 by cemb79
I studied in Sweden, nice place. However, if I have to pay for studies, for sure I will try another country (Netherlands, UK) where they have much better universities and cheaper cost of living and a better climate. The hook point of Sweden was its free education and their blondes.
18:04 February 19, 2010 by mikmak
Someone once told me "never compete on price", if you're giving away your product for free there is no incentive for the universities to compete on quality. In the long run, to attract paying students we should offer them higher quality of education, not lower prices!

Also, from a marketing viewpoint, what do you associate with cheap or free products? It sure isn't that they're world leading.
18:05 February 19, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
Great news!!!
18:20 February 19, 2010 by umerlucky
I think it's good step by the government because alot of non eu students they are not serious to do studies and run away for work in europe.But after having fees introduce of scholarships are the another good step.
18:34 February 19, 2010 by skatty
I can't say the English of teachers at Universities in Sweden is good enough for lecturing, many can read and talk English, but not in the University level; however, I agree with fees for foreign students, not only for students from Asia or Africa but also for students from EU countries. I think it's not fair when Universities in other countries get fees, Swedish Universities give free education.
18:46 February 19, 2010 by ATT
There are many people who think that Sweden is giving away education for free. Lets do a simple math:

1. The cost of educating an non-EU for 2 years = 70000*2 = 140000 SEK

2. Lets assume 10% of them stay in Sweden and work. That makes the cost of these workers on Swedish tax payers 1.4 million SEK. Lets assume the average salary of 30,000 SEK over 10 years. Over this period they pay: 1.8 million tax (payed tax is roughly 30000*12*10/3 + 30000*12*2/3*0.25). Thus, over the period of 10 years, these studnets will produce profit for the system.

3. On average, a foreign studnet spends 6000 SEK every month in Sweden. That is if a drop of 90% happens in the number of studnets, Sweden is loosing 2.3 billion SEK every year (lost money = 6000*36000*12*0.9, where 36000 is the estimated number of non-EU studens in Sweden according to: http://www.thelocal.se/25100/20100219/)

4. In above calculation, I am ignoring the fact that there will be job loss in Sweden education sector because of this law.

5. I am also ignoring the trade benefits that these studnets bring to Sweden by creating links to their home country.

So I invited people who say these students cost more to due some math and prove me wrong.

Having said all these, I want to be clear that I don't believe the current system (no fee) is flawless. However, I think the solution put forward by government is disastrous.
19:04 February 19, 2010 by Nordic Prince

So sad to see all your enthusiasm and energy on the wrong direction!

"3. On average, a foreign student spends 6000 SEK every month in Sweden."

You are on the wrong side of this planet earth, now let me reeducate you.

Foreign students (Mainly: Africans and Asians) spend less than 3000 SEK per month (Even less), when they cook at home and live shared together.

So, just come down and re-consider take math classes. Most importantly, go and meet foreign students and ask them how much do you spend per month...
19:17 February 19, 2010 by AmJim
A step forward, or is it..

I am a Master's student at KTH Project Management programme - Non EU Citizen (Pakistan). It always amazed me as to how Sweden could provide free educaion to so many students year in year out. The fact that it was being made possilbe through swede tax payers couldn't be fair on any grounds. Charging fee (application and/or admission) is no doubt a good idea but to what extent can be very crucial. The numbers being suggested here can backfire the whole plan (if there is any...)

But then why not for all students coming into Sweden!? You might as well get some funds out of them while you're at it. I've got some EU Citizens in my class...trust me..not so bright :) (Hence, a Poor benchmark of charging fees to Non-EU Citizens only)

The point of most foriegn students not paying back or not being able to pay back, to sweden after completeing their edudation, well that argument has already been dealt with in a fair manner i believe.
19:27 February 19, 2010 by Tariq Yousafzai
It is so sad to hear. I still believe that this decision will reverse in the long run
19:29 February 19, 2010 by AmJim
I spend about 6000 SEK per month or more at times. Travel, Gym, food, live alone too, liquor is expensive here though :(
19:46 February 19, 2010 by jazzIIIlove

As I am academic in Turkey, I can say, half of the universities in Turkey are free to all applicants regardless of any race, religiion etc.

The other half of the universities are paid again equally to all applicants. So, Swedes are welcomed in my country. Moreover, I have swedish and finnish students regularly attending my classes. Unlike you, I welcome you, and come as you are:)
19:53 February 19, 2010 by Farsiwan
22 students out of 23 in my Journalism programme at Orebro University are from the outside EU. With introduction of tuiton fees, there is 99% potential that programme is going to go down the drain. There are few other internation MA programme such as Medical Malecular Biology, Robotics in Orebro Uni that utmost consist of non EU citizens. I am afraid they might follow the same path to disappear.
20:09 February 19, 2010 by kenny8076
i have to disagree with the people saying foreigners are causing so much tax payer problems on the country. my girlfriend attends Karlstad University and gets ungodly amounts of money from the government just for attending school. around 6000Sek a month not to mention separate and added 1000Sek for living away from her family (30 minutes) away. if Sweden would actually encourage employment and young adults to go out and get jobs (i dont know,maybe earn a living?) they wouldn't have to pay everyone to GO to school. Only place ive ever heard of that pays people to go to school. i have been here 3 months and havent met one of her friends or people in my SFI class that have jobs. her 18 year old brother gets 1000SEK to attend high school every month, along with every other high schooler in the country. Its your parents responsibility to provide extra curricular money for activities, not the governments, there not babysitters. Son wants to go to a movie, parents should give him 100SEK not that government...... thats where all your tax money is going!! A flawed system using immigrants and exchange students as scapegoats. No one is going to spend $12,000USD plus housing(which is impossible to get here) and extra expenses to go to a mediocre education system from America. Because lets be honest, by saying it applies to non EU/EEA citizens that means America and Canada..... cant see a bunch of Africans, South Americans, or Asians fighting in line to attend college in Sweden!!! its that expensive in our country, we will just stay where the education is actually worth $12,000 a year!!
20:25 February 19, 2010 by skatty
In my opinion, the whole international education program has been constructed badly from beginning in Sweden, so be happy not to get it.

As an example, many students, who apply for a program in English, should have the required TOEFL score for the program (even though the required score in Sweden is less than many good Universities around the world); however there is not any assessment for teachers (mostly are not English speaker), who suppose to teach in the class. Many of teachers are actually not qualified to teach in English (they might teach in their own language but not in English), but they do (in contrast with an immigrant or refugee in this country who should learn Swedish and pass particular tests to teach (if get the chance) or study at University!!).
20:37 February 19, 2010 by just a question
I predict a HUGE amount of students dropping masters this year.

Anyway, there are a lot of people from the EU that now will have the chance of being admited in some programs.

Sweden should introduce more programmes taught only in English, cause they are going to loose a lot of students.
20:40 February 19, 2010 by jazzIIIlove
The thread looks like as clash of civilizations. I must concur there could be some irregularities regarding foreigners that even may not deserve such a free education if they are not attending courses/not working on the stuff/getting failing marks etc. So, this could lead us to some scholarship models to "all" students, maybe a gradual scholarship upon the success of the students. Here in my country, it's applied for the paid/non-paid universities. Unlike Sweden, here there are 1.4 million applicants for a mediocre university (I am here talking about the universities outside the league of SSI)and 100 or so can get a scholarship for each paid university in general.

Some similar but "effective" model can be applied to Sweden too.

All in all, there may be some payment stuff but to what extent is the question; e.g. here a student pays 20000$ yearly for a paid university. So, the limit must be fair to all. After all, Sweden is not a cheap country.
20:48 February 19, 2010 by gookha
Congratulations SWEDEN!!!!! I feel lucky that I recently finished my free studies here. During these 2 years I could make only one Hi!! Hello!! Swedish friend and that too after being able to work with him during a class assignment and as soon as we finished the assignment we were complete strangers.....???? Lets hope these people change after getting new friends from the EU.....GOOD LUCK!!!
20:51 February 19, 2010 by Twiceshy
"Anyway, there are a lot of people from the EU that now will have the chance of being admited in some programs."

People from the EU have always had a chance. If you mean that poor students from the EU will have a better chance due to not competing with better students from abroad, that is hardly good news for the Swedish universities.
20:54 February 19, 2010 by Tehran
Sweden will be empty of Non-EU Students. No matter short term or long term, it will be empty anyway. With this fee, ppl can go to better places. Am not saying Sweden is bad, but sure U can spend this money and finish your Studies sooner in UK or go to Canada or US and have kind of better life. (happier life.)

I guess this was a terrible mistake they made.
21:02 February 19, 2010 by gookha
@ Tehran I completely agree with you. Even I think that I have made a great mistake coming here for studies. I have spent a lot of money hard earned by my parents not from Social benefits. If I had been in Canada or Australia or UK or USA I can bet I would be enjoying a white collar job related to my profession. But in fact its a good news for non EU citizens.. They will be saved...
21:07 February 19, 2010 by SilentLogic
I wonder the question from non EU students is asked only in this way "If fee would be imposed would u prefer to study in Sweden?" and There is always one traditional answer "no I would like to go the USA, UK or Germany". And the this answers is defended by some reasons i.e. good universities over there, weather better than Sweden or may be more job opportunities. And I want to see the question in this way "would you be able to study if fee may be imposed in every country?" however if I see myself (A non EU student near to completion his studies), I must not be able to get higher studies (in any country) if I might not have this choice of free education, as I cant afford fee. If I compare the education standard with other countries I can't see any major difference, rather in few aspects I find Swedish Universities in better position.
21:10 February 19, 2010 by Antioche
For people that accuse students to not serve for Sweden after graduation, i would like to give an example. I know it is a hard time for economy but let's look my story. I am a mechanical engineer and writing master thesis at KTH right now, finished 3 courses of swedish. I looked for summer job, thesis in a company for 5 months and now looking for a job and could't even get an interview. You may say i am the problem here but i know that many people(almost all NON-EU students) in same condition. There is a need for fluent swedish and also if you don't speak german,french or spanish or native english you are not a very attractive candidate most of the time.
21:17 February 19, 2010 by belardo
I think Sweden should learn frmo the Canadian model. The Canadian system goes like this: International Student ( first, not categorized as foreign) will pay to apply , and then they pay double the fees that are paid by the Canadian citizen. Once the student graduate , he will apply for a post-graduate work permit which allows the student to work in the fields of study. On one side, Canadian won a productive tax payer, they won intellectual capital, and won integration by retaining the student by giving him a CAREER.

Before this model, an international student will study in Canada, once he/she is done they travel to United States. Canada was losing human capital, tax payers, and taking advantage of their tution fees since Canada's tution is cheaper then the US.

I think Sweden should give up the 1000% socialism and be 50% social and 50% work your ass off and earn a living.
21:19 February 19, 2010 by gookha
@ SilentLogic its not only a matter of standard. There are good as well as bad Universities in Sweden which is common in every country. Since I was a student in a technical field I refer only to technical studies. I have no idea about other fields eg. Arts, Commerce etc...But after paying a fee, students will also expect possibilities of finding a job in their field of study in Sweden which is almost near to impossible except in some IT studies. So why should they spent money to study here rather than spending the same money in a different country where the possibility of finding a job is better????
21:22 February 19, 2010 by arman
Wow, i cannot believe that! That's hilarious. I don't wanna talk about tuition and stuff like that but i have noticed that lots of Swedes have asserted that non-european students are not that smart and their English sucks and we(swedes) are much better than them!!!!!!.Well. i'm a non-european student who did my master in Sweden and apart from low quality of education in our school, i considered that lots of our non-European classmates were much much better than Swedes.Swedes (in our class) were just good at memorizing texts and talk about them alot but when it came to reasoning and mathematical calculation they were extremely extremely poor.And about ther English, i dont know how a person could be brought up in an almost English-spoken country like Sweden and his or her English sounds that incompetent!We had a English test before our program got started and lots of Swedes failed in it.They have a perception that their English is so good by just mimicking some american accent but just let them bring their English proficiency in paper.Then you would see the miracles!.I have never been in whole my life in any English speaking country and my English was by far much much better than the Swedes in my class. The problem lies behind this point:Swedes have a ( absoloutely wrong)perception that they are the best in the whole world and this has even entered to their students mindsets. There was a funny point that we had lots of swedish teachers that had problems with their English fluency and sometimes these so called non-european students were even better than their teachers.! These -we-are - the -better- thoughts have led the swedish students to be that proud that they do not even want to sit besides international students!, they do not want to be in a same group with international students and they are bringing poor excuses like they are not good to hide their discriminatory attitudes.Of course, some of the non-european students are not competent but you can see alot in swedes as well.The difference is that those swedes do not have to work and get their CSN but the international students should go under hard , slavery-like cleaning jobs and care about their studies as well and still have a better performance than Swedes!.Those comments were so funny , though!
21:45 February 19, 2010 by seymourir
I see a day when the English department where i studied will be closed down totally. The department just expanded becasue of it non-European students. I look forward to see what they will do afterwards....cleaning the floors of the university!!!
21:50 February 19, 2010 by Localer

how many non EU students in Sweden did you know ? well...i hope all of them go away to other counties with fees or without fees..........you might be Iranian but tell you what ? i got 5 iranians in my class and guess what ? they not even finish the first term during their first year !!!

and how many jobs will be lost if the school getting smaller ? not many compared to how much money has been spent on free education !!
22:05 February 19, 2010 by AmJim
I agree "arman".

The point on 'Swedes are better in English then many Non-EU citizens' is plain ludicrous. Maybe with regards to just a few but not many. I wouldn't agree what you said about their accent though. Its more of a German trying to mimic American accent, wouldn't you agree ;) Enough said!
22:13 February 19, 2010 by Smartone

Foreign students are going to pay universities fees?

Approximately more than 15000 non- European students are studying in different parts of Sweden. According to the meet the criteria the living cost of Sweden each student has to pay 7300 Sek. If you multiply this figure with the number of student currently studying in Sweden make a big contribution in Swedish economy paying an enormous amount that is 20 million. So if the calculation multiple to 1 year then it make a out of range figure. So if Sweden legitimise and implement this law to pay fee for foreign students, in reaction the attraction will fade. Eventually it will put a big impact on Swedish economy as well. So not only economically the Sweden will bear loss but on the other hand the blazed and charm of studding in Sweden will be badly damaged.
22:22 February 19, 2010 by peropaco
It is not the responsibility of the Swedish government nor the tax payers to provide free education to a bunch of ungrateful people. If this should be the case, then Sweden should put in place a program whereby every student from outside the EU should work for two years after completing their education.
22:39 February 19, 2010 by jazzIIIlove

>>a bunch of ungrateful people

I recommend avoiding such generalizations since not all the foreigners are ungrateful in Sweden.

>>every student from outside the EU should work for two years after completing >>their education

May work in fact a little supressing and pragmatic in some point of views.

But, let me give an example, how hard for a foreigner to find a job in Sweden.

I have some swedish friends there and I apply an experiment for a job ad. as

A mediocre swedish applicant with no university record and some middleeastcountry boy having 2 degrees.

The ad doesn't require swedish, but require university grad., yet, guess, who is called for the interview.

So, all in all, for a foreigner, being employed as swede equal is indeed hard, maybe, that could be another reason for an outsider to leave Sweden since the doors are already closed due to discrimination.
22:45 February 19, 2010 by coldfire
few things in my mind:

1. Jobs are near to impossible for non-swedish here. The technical head-count of swedes is almost scarce today. But the previous generation is good and can sustain the economy.

2. No swedish language, no long term prospects in networking.

3. If fee is to be imposed anyway, then job-visa after the studies should be guaranteed (otherwise there is no point to charge students and then blame them to leave sweden afterwards).

4. Admission filtration in Swedish Universities is generously lenient which needs to grip their quality control.

5. If swedish govt. thinks that they can apply the UK/Canada based formula then they are highly mistaken. Because, there, govt. brings in foreign students, who also do cheap jobs and pay heavy study-fees. But the students who go there, also get a English speaking environment and good job propects and can really LIVE a life and improve the economy of both. The other non-english countries like denmark, germany, netherlands also are in similar situation but they retain the talent and not let go of them.

6. Imposing Fees can be rightly justified on the part of Swede. Govt. I dont deny that, but this plan can blow back as:

"Its a cold non-english country with hopeless number of jobs FOR foreigners".

I think its a good decision for both parties. Hmm may be not for both, as I am not sure, the long term plans of Swede. Govt.

Can someone tell me which are the 12 countries we are talking about here: "...The first scholarship system, worth 30 million kronor ($4 million) per annum, will be directed at students in the 12 countries with which Sweden holds long-term aid agreements...."

I really hope, that the detailed decision will follow-up with some good news as well.
22:49 February 19, 2010 by uunbeliever
"twiceshy - first I was just asking, not saying. I guess I have to spell it out for you.

1. taxes pay for the school system

2. taxpayers pay into the system that has raised, supported and educated them (current taxpayers).

3. this is a revolving system, such as pension and insurance which rely on continuing influx of funds to pay out.

4. SO, the people working NOW are paying for the schooling NOW

5. to repay (as in contributing to the cycle) we get a job in Sweden, pay taxes and re-infuse the cycle with money.

6. thus for the system to work continually the students need to contribute back into the cycle of the system. If a student uses the taxpayers money and doesn't stay here in Sweden, the Swedish taxpayer has lost out on their investment for future returns.

I hope this is not too complicated for you. If you wish I can explain it again, in even more simple terms. jasabreal@hotmail.com
23:01 February 19, 2010 by pupu
so many international students would like to stay here after school, but for me i wont stay here because getting a job is very difficult and u have to learn this damn difficult language which i think is wastage of my time.

after all , swedish student are weird, if you try to talk to them they just look at you. now if this is the impression i am getting from student in my class what about when i start working with people? after all professional jobs here aren't many, so i cant waste my master degree in cleaning toilets or throwing magazines in the morning while if i go back home i can get a minimum salary of $7000+allowances, bonus and benefits.

never the less so many people from my country arent coming anymore, the will radher go to uk, usa, australia than this place.

ANYWAY THANKS TO ALL TAXPAYERS WHOSE MONEY WERE USED FOR PAYING OUR FEES. AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FEES (i just cant imagine the rate of unemployment caused my the introduction of fees + Global crisis, please watch out u might end up bankrupt and listed in a third word country list )

23:01 February 19, 2010 by face2all
Its a pity because when pity die nobody to pity for them. Its a good news,it means swedish are ready to do newspapers and cleaning jobs and yet pay 33%taxes.All free mover that come here to study,99% regreted it because no extra job, holiday jobs and no permit to stay after study to look for job.So they end up do any jobs to pay there bills.The few that finished manage to leave the country to better country and pick job easily.I finished master in Prod, Dev andd design from jönkoping Univ.out of 34students only 3are swedish,no swedish in Embedded electronics till date.No stupid person will come here in cold,high tax,no holiday jobs to study and leave UK,CANADA,many of us goto UK for holiday jobs and some were giving job permanent.This a country where they even ask you to speak swedish to do night cleanings,you can imagine.with my Pre/E,Solidworks i learnt from sweden,am expecting my employment letter from scotland any moment from now and i will be happy to leave this dam cold weather.
23:05 February 19, 2010 by uunbeliever
Comment: On another note, all this talking bull about how hard it is for non swedes is such a sob story. I came to Sweden from Canada 5 years ago and have educated myself (and plan to stay and repay my debt to this wonderful society) and have had a job every summer so far. I did not apply for a job outside of my language capabilities and I work darn hard on my language every day. Swedish TV, radio, magazines, books, friends and on and on. It isn't that hard if you have half a brain, c'mon bröd = bread? trä =tree How dumb are some of these whiners. I have found 99 out of 100 swedes to be friendly, sincere, funny, generous, able to understand my crappy Swedish (at least I try). The education system her is fantastic but easily abused, just like A-kassa and social bidrag. If you want free tuition in your country, get off your behind and vote, or protest or start a movement but don't abuse someone else s system.

And the two prvious post are exactly the reason tuition is being introduced.
23:35 February 19, 2010 by afghanguy
i dont agree with face2all...u should not try make a hole in the boat u are sitting in...i myself came from a third world country and i am thankful to sweden for giving me a chance to have my masters free of cost...

i guess a good democratic way would be to go through a referendum among the swedes and summarize the results as a new policy..but there should not be a 360 shift in policy..i mean either the government should apply subsidised fees for the students that belong to the poorest countries or the fees should be kept initially low for all students.

and one thing is clear if the fees is like 70000 kr per annum bet me there will be an 80 percent reduction in the no of free mover students..

i m doing my masters in comp enineering and we have 3 out of 50 swedes in the whole batch..how can one suppose to run department for three students.
23:48 February 19, 2010 by Malmoman
I am getting a second degree here in Sweden after a long time out of school. I have spoken to a lot of my classmates about this (as all of them are from other countries). Many are very grateful to Sweden for the opportunity to study. They are all here primarily because it is free.

I think the problem really lies in the quality of students Sweden is attracting. There are some students who really should not be studying here at the university level period. Others are excellent students (maybe a 50/50 split). I have a problem with a student living on my tax money who is not a serious student (yes I pay taxes).

I think the goal should be to provide a lot of scholarships to very qualified students from abroad. I do think the 80,000 kr is a bit steep. I think this might be better if it started at 40-50,000. When you pay for something it gains value, but you might want to ease them into it.

I will say this in Denmark they have had this fee for a few years now. It does not seem to have affected the number of students there. People are fighting to get into CBS.
23:50 February 19, 2010 by wifey
@justanotherwhiteguyinstockholm '...student loans from the US were not available to me in Sweden...' Just a thought, not attacking- students loans, well, that's the fault of your own country. Swedes get student loans when they study in Europe- at least! @unbeliever You are my hero!!! Finally, someone with enough 'balls' to say exactly what is going on!! I love Swedish people, and at the end of the day it's your own attitude that makes them love or hate you. Thumbs up for learning Swedish! What with bidrag abuse- that's a whole entire different story I don't even want to start. It makes me phisically sick. @pupu Swedish students are wierd???I don't know where you are from, but I can tell you this much- I'm from an EU country and the students at my SFI course are MORE than wierd! They are horrible people living on bidrag for years on end abusing the system who have no intention of going to work! So if/when their children go to university, who will pay for that??? @face2all If you're smart enough to get through Uni, then you can definitely learn Swedish! Your quote 'No stupid person will come here in cold,high tax,no holiday jobs to study and leave UK,CANADA,many of us goto UK for holiday jobs and some were giving job permanent.This a country where they even ask you to speak swedish to do night cleanings..' GOOD! Lets kep the stupid people out! Mate, this is Sweden and Swedish is their national language. They don't have to speak to you in English, it's their right. Respect it or bugger off! Good luck in Scotland, if you think Swedish is tough, I wish you all the best with understanding the Scotts.
00:34 February 20, 2010 by Don-Griz

I absolutely see the appeal of citizens and legal residents wanting to charge tuition to foreign students; but, since I am neither of those, I will withhold a comment on that point directly. However, I am an American citizen with a BSc in Civil Engineering (VA Tech) and have applied for a one year Master's course at Lund University and I would just like to say, that I would be happy to remain in Sweden until my tuition has been repaid through my taxes. I would be very grateful to Sweden and appreciate the tuition afforded to me. In fact, I would prefer to live there than America. I have saved enough money for room and board for a year of studies, but is tuition was added to that, I would have to wait for another year before I could study for a Master's degree. For an in-state university here in America, the tuition is also in the area of $10,000 USD per year but without the expense of travel and renting another place to stay in the meantime. I would like to live and work in Sweden for several other reasons and I have been considering a Master's degree for the past couple of years anyway; but, I was hoping to basically achieve two things at once, one, I would earn a Master's degree and two, migration would be easier if I had a degree from a Swedish university. Point is, that I would contribute back into the system and spend the rest of my productive years helping to support it. I wonder what the average Swede thinks of this?
00:37 February 20, 2010 by Eugenie
I'm a Cameroonian, from Africa.

I have to admit that we have to be careful about the way we speak concerning the Sweedish system.

Well, 70,000 is a lot of money, but still; insulting a system that helps me to have free and better education than in my country is far too much and ungrateful.

After all we are coming from another country, and we should not expect Swedes to subdue to our wish; instead, we should try to accomodate to their system and express ourselves as people who have or had the advantage of free and better education....

Reading some intervention makes me understand why some Swedes have difficulties to accept foreigners in their country. They open their doors to us, and we still have the audacity to insult them and insult their system; comparing it with the system of other countries that are not ours; as if we have a better system in our home...

Anyway, if we do have a better system of education in our home, we better stay there and stop insulting them..

00:41 February 20, 2010 by Don-Griz
Oh, and one more thing, one of the first courses I would enroll in would be a Swedish language course. I have no problem assimilating.
00:59 February 20, 2010 by 189025
As an international student from Ethiopia, i want to thank the swedish government and people for giving us free and quality education. But making it a business will make it unaffordable for people like my self and many others who really need it. So i say you must really be careful in your pricing strategy and exempt some countries or students with financial difficulties.

And to all the sweds who tink that they shouldnt pay for for international students, i just wanna say that they dont know how many lives they have changed by doing so and that creates much happiness than the pain of paying these small amounts.

01:24 February 20, 2010 by canam
I'm sure it's been said but why would anyone pay to go to school here??
01:42 February 20, 2010 by ronyasif
I hope after imposing tuition fees, the situation of Swedish Universities would be like SAAB or Volvo. If Swedish government thinks that getting money from the non EU students would make competent their higher education system, then I would rather say, train your future generations first, who have no interest in higher education. They just get CSN from the tax payers money and enjoy their life travels and parties. The minister of higher education claims that Sweden is a knowledge nation....so funny!! If it is a knowledge nation then knowledge should be free and equal. Discrimination between EU and non EU students is not acceptable. Why should a British student not pay his/her tuition, when a Swed is paying his/her tuition while studying in Britain?
03:34 February 20, 2010 by Ben Wallis
What about charging the non EU students double the true cost. That way foreigner students could actually subsidize Swedish students. In other words every foreign students pays for himself/herself as well as for 1 Swede to go to Uni. This would save the government millions. Sweden has some great Uni's. Sweden should be competing on quality and technical know how, not on a cheap price. At the end of the day people are prepared to pay high prices to say they went to a great Uni. So I say charge them double the true cost.
03:35 February 20, 2010 by Davey-jo
Ok; go ahead and charge that level of fees. It will only send more foreign students to UK institutions.

Think why the UK is such an easy place to be a foreign student? We want you foreigners to imbibe our culture, be friends and buy British. It's not a one way street; you will be back because you love us. Yes, you do.

Now I've given away Britain's secrets what is Sweden going to do?

I hope the Swedish government will think again, because it will be losing a source of revenue and good will that cannot be reclaimed.

And no I'm not a British ambassador ...

I just think Sweden is making a major error .
05:57 February 20, 2010 by Tutu
davey jo you are right. the only reason why foreigners come here is because education is free. u pay fees in UK but u have the opportunity of working while studying and get a job afterwards.THERE is even a skilled labour scheme going on in uk at the moment.

Sweden would be the eventual loser. I will personally not waste 70000 in a country where there is no job prospect.

thank God that i am not in the category of those that would pay but if i were to pay i think i will go to where my chances are brihghter.
05:57 February 20, 2010 by Ayazur Rehman Nizami
To this stance of Swedish Govt. i.e. the non EU students will no longer be entitled for free edufcation in Sweden, i strongly agitate because this is a clear discrimination etween the EU and Non- EU students. I have gone through the comments of many of my friends and found that they are strongly in favor of the step taken by the Swedish Govenment, but to my astonishment they forgot the long standing service of the Swedish Universities in imparting free education to the Non-EU students and earning laudale words from all over the world.

Please pardon me if i am a little harsh, i am at a loss to understand as to how big will be the contriution of these foreign students towards the Swedish Royal Treasury and what affect will be made on the Swedish Economy.

Please, we should not treat Sweden at par with those European Coujntries who have made education a source of income by transforming it from service to commercial tool.

Swedish Universities have been delivering free education to all the students from all over the world and unto now these Universities have not suffered any economical loos or setack then why now?

I would earnestly request the authorities to reconsider their decision and do not close the doors of education for Non EU students.
06:30 February 20, 2010 by particle
i am a none EU student working on my thesis to finish my masters. i would like to mention few things here.

1. those students who are going to the extend where people feel insult are wrong. ok they can give their suggestions but dont be abusive.

2. i am thankful to the Swedish government for educating me for free and as i have quiet a big network with international students specially none EU students. mostly i find them grateful to Swedish nation for educating them for free.

3. majority of those students want to stay here find jobs and start a life here for 2 reasons. A so that they can pay back something positive to Swedish society what they have received from it in shape of free education. B, they think in Sweden they can have secure life (less crime rate, good infrastructure etc)

but the fact is they are not able to do so.

I. there is no government policy to give them education based residence permits like Canada, Australia or the UK.

II. secondly its a fact that still the Swedish society has not realized the value of Young, energetic, adaptable and educated immigrants instead of uneducated, old, less adaptable and sometimes criminal minded refuges ( some of them have been involved in crimes back home and keep on doing so here as well)

III. i challenge everyone here that look on the crime rate of any country in the world including Sweden that less educated or uneducated people have higher rates of committing crime and on the contrary you will rarely see a well educated (university level) person involved in big crimes.

IV. population in sweden is on the decline, Sweden is a big country (area wise) they need people here

and there are only two ways to it

A. every Swedish girl sit home when and give birth to 4-5 kids

or they take bring in immigrants. ( its unto Sweden now here they want more uneducated, unskilled, untrained old refuges who rather than contributing to the society become a burden on society forever OR they want more educated, young, skilled and adoptable immigrants who no only bring money, new ideas, new values in the society but also are ready contribute to the society as soon as they finish their degrees.

bottom line- first sweden should decide

1. what kind of immigrants they want

2. if they want more educated immigrants then make such policies which easily enable them to stay here after studies, and find jobs EASILY (couse in my opinion for none EU students its almost impossible to find jobs and if uneundcated refugee dont find a job he will say ok find i will live on social or he will happily clean toilets (because he knows his worth) but A masters/PHD level kind of person will not fly away from sweden on first possible opportunity of a better career rather than cleaning toilets here.

07:02 February 20, 2010 by Ben Wallis
Many countries around the world are now earning millions and millions of dollars from using University education as an " export "industry. Sweden should be doing the same. It can provide a much needed boost to the Swedish economy.
08:43 February 20, 2010 by afghanguy
but let me remind you of the fact that the countries that are earning millions and millions of dollars and using the education system as an industry do provide job oppurtinities and try to adjust the students after they are finished with there studies...

one advice would be to introduce some preliminary fee and with that announce education based work permits for x.students
09:07 February 20, 2010 by Iraniboy
It funny how some people in this board that I assume haven't pursued higher education haven't understood the point of education.

Education is school or even undergraduate level can be considered a favor to a person but after that it is either a win-win situation when that student is good and contribute to the university and that country by their thesis and projects or it can be a win-lose when that student is ignorant and doesn't do anything. In case the student is very good this win-win situation is very beneficial for that country so they even want to pay for it like what we see in the US, Canada,... So I can't understand why some people talk about education like they talk about health service, etc.
09:22 February 20, 2010 by suckfist
$10,000 is a fairly reasonable price for non-EU citizens--I pay ten grand a year for tuition to attend the University of California, Riverside, and I'm American.

Foreign students here in the U.S. get raped up the butt; they pay much more than I do and it's a shame.

More power to Sweden for charging non-EU citizens at such a reasonable price.
09:33 February 20, 2010 by uunbeliever
@wifey- thank you. I can't tell you how angry I get at people who whine about how hard it is for "utlänningar" in Sweden. The job market sucks everywhere, if you have the skills, you will get the job. I work as a vacktmästare for the summers and love it, I work hard and pay taxes and go back to school in the fall. I thank Sweden for the opportunities it has given me, not only schooling but free childcare, medical, affordable housing, cheap car insurance, security, safety. . .and on and on.

@Iraniboy- education is a right that should be for everybody but unfortunately it costs money. Lets get rid of the monetary system!! Until we do that it is a strain on the system that has been set up by swedes (who don't pour billions into defense) for people to come here, get their free education and go. Where is the return? Sorry but thesis don't pay no bills!

"10 kronor and a thesis will get you a korv med bröd"
09:37 February 20, 2010 by skatty
I think many students mixed up the opportunity of studying with working in Sweden in the comments.

Swedish labor market is one of the worst in Europe; discrimination is openly practiced and the chance to find job is very low for immigrant and refugees who have been educated (University level), can talk both English and Swedish and have degree from Sweden, and live for many years in here. For foreign students, it would be even harder (unless they find job in some few special fields); who just talk English and didn't live for long time, Sweden might be attractive in beginning. The fact is that the international programs are seen as a kind of business and marketing to attract different people for one reason, and to introduce Sweden around the world for another reason (anybody know Oxford and Cambridge but nobody heard about KTH!), without fees and tuition, more people would be attracted. I believe its marketing is now focused on EU students rather than non-EU students, which is not unusual regarded to the discrimination mentality of Swedish system!
09:39 February 20, 2010 by Twiceshy
I'm still amazed at the number of people who think this move has anything to do with the so called "ungrateful students who don't stay after studying". For some students it's simply not possible to find a job while they're studying, and when you finish your studies your student visa is over, you have to go somewhere else.

Guys, think a little bit... if the government wanted people to get jobs after studying, they would be doing something different... not just creating a tuition fee.

But hey, feel free to keep beating that dead horse.
10:08 February 20, 2010 by Kronaboy
My goodness what a web we weave; to all those moaning about us EU citizens getting a free ride, tough it's called equal treatment, you signed up for it when you joined the club; and besides I certainly didn't see any Swedes complaining about benefiting from my hard earned taxes in the UK. Do I have any problems about ungrateful Indian students being made to pay (bearing in mind the deserving poor from the slums from the sub continent probably cant afford the bus fair to the airport, so chance are the foreign students who are studying in this country are either extremely rich Indians or ethnic Swedes from USA looking for a free ride) no not really, but to all those smug responses above, as a former Civil Servant I would like point out these policies tend to have drip effect, if it's those horrible foreigners today its probably going to be you tomorrow; take a look at the UK if you want a working example......
10:17 February 20, 2010 by dsc
Been wondering too about what it means to be "ungrateful". The word is being thrown around too carelessly. What exactly are they supposed to do? Write 9 million Thank You notes? Sverige opened it up for whoever wanted to get an education from any where in world to come and get it, without any obligations after. Sverige made that decision. Freely. These students should not be vilified when all they do is to go back where they came from. Its not like they break the law.

Another thing, some Gringo (I think it was) said this is targeted at and will affect mostly US and Canadian Students. What nonsense. 60 - 70 % of English Masters Students are from Asia.

As for the fees themselves, I don't have right to complain or make judgments about it. Sverige made it free and now they charging. Its up to the Swedish tax payers to decide. Its their money. Which also means if they want to use part of it to encourage their own children to go to school, they are free to do so. They pay a lot of taxes anyway, so the government should give back in some way.
10:25 February 20, 2010 by Benjamin O.
G. Kin's Comments are really spot on. I can only add that nobody can blame Sweden for wanting foreigners to pay for the good quality education provided in Swedish universities. I suspect that scholarships will be introduced to buffer the initial drop in applications. However this should bring little comfort to many students from certain parts of the developing world. Those of us from developing countries know that Sweden favours certain nationals above others and is not particularly known for doling out scholarships on merits. For example students from east and southern African countries usually come to Sweden to study on scholarships while those from west Africa hardly ever get scholarships. I however remain eternally grateful to Sweden for the opportunity that the tuition free education afforded me and I would have remained to work too if my job applications were successful.

With this door closing, I wonder where the underprivileged will go from now onwards
10:57 February 20, 2010 by silly t
whatever i dont care.let the fee come...are non EU nationals not paying fees in other countries?.free education my head.what is free about it?in the name of free education sweden has attracted many foreign students yet can't even provide them the least of odd jobs.I have never seen country so miserable with such kleptomania.they sweep the streets,clear the snow,mob the runways,just anything in the name of odd job.Jobs i cant even do in my own country.A country cursed with snow and bad weather.may be the fee will scare many internationals and safe their lives anyway.
11:07 February 20, 2010 by krow
How many swedish universities are world class.


Comparing swedish universities to Uk, Canada and US is absolutely insane.

For your information, Uk gives two years to work after studies. US and canada. they all have a program for students to give back to the society. Until that is done, the current senseless proposal of school fees is a BIG JOKE
11:08 February 20, 2010 by Aussie_Downunder
I already pay for uni back home!!!!
11:27 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
In the Uk, foreign students pay more than home students.

When I went to Uni the fees for home students were £1,500 per year and for foreigners it was £4,500. Guess who got most of the places at Uni? It was not economically viable for the Uni to educate home students.

Out of 100 students on my course only 14 of them were home students the rest were from China who alone made up more than 50%, America, Canada, Ghana and the like.
11:41 February 20, 2010 by baxilo
It sounds good. Anyways, let them try it and let see how it goes...........
11:44 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
I find the comment that University educated people are less likely to be involved in crime and that it is the undeducated masses that are.

The fact is that the University educated person is merely more likely to be involved in "white collar, none violent" crime such as fraud, tax evasion, insider dealer trading etc whereas the undeducated masses are more likely to be involved in "violent" crime such as fighting, murder, rape, knife attacks, burglaries etc.

Sweden is in fact openly discriminatory especially when it comes to job offers for immigrant/ refugee types. They are happy to take your money as tourists but got forbid if you move here and have the cheek and audacity to ask for a job! Making foreign students pay for their education is just one more step to differentiating between the home students and everyone else like in every other aspect of their life.

I love living here, but am under no illusioins as to the attitude of most Swedes when you make the transition from just having a holiday home and visiting for holidays to actually living here permanently. It is hard and you have to fight for everything, but this is no different from any other part of the world.
11:50 February 20, 2010 by dsc

That link for University ranking is suspicious to say the least. it gives number four position to a Mexican university not many have heard of. Try this link instead:


And there are many others that are a bit believable. The methods are different of course so you cannot have the same results. But they all agree about number one spot at least!
11:53 February 20, 2010 by Kronaboy
bobalong, you also forgot to mention that University students are more likely to afford a decent lawyer, and actually the chances of me being unemployed in Sweden is about 45% as compared to 56% of UK and 40% average of EU as a whole.
11:54 February 20, 2010 by Malmoman
I will say this, I have met a lot of really great guys from Africa and China where I am studying. There is nothing like going out for beers with a mixed group of people from all over the world.

I am a Swedish citizen so it will not affect me. Otherwise I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand the global economy is becoming increasingly competitive. supporting foreign students and then sending those skills back does not make a whole lot of sense. Sweden does not (and will never) have the kind of job market to absorb all of these students (tied to taxes consumption etc...). On the other hand I have read a lot of grateful comment from the people from Ethiopia and Cameroon, and I have a lot of guys in my class from these countries. Everyone of these guys are great and add a lot to Swedish life. As much as I love the Swedes I really think these guys add a richness to the culture (some of my classmates not so much).

I think we need to consider a lot of scholarships for these students equal to about the amount we are spending on international students today. But we need to go after the best and the brightest. We can decrease this spending as the education system gains "value".

Every single student I study with is there because it is free. Period. They are not here for quality....in fact all or most of the Chinese students have told me their first choice was the US or UK.
11:57 February 20, 2010 by Iraniboy

Science and creating science is money for your information. You should be involved in top-tech industries to understand how they use Swedish universities to improve. That's the main concern that some people like you think Thesis costs no more than 10 krone. If it was true universities in Sweden could simply reject all applicants regardless of being allowing free education or not. Science and creating science

@suckfist and all others who make an example about tuition in other countries

Having tuition is a fact in most countries but very very few international students are admitted to those universities by having tuition. Almost all of Iranian students I know go to US, Canada, UK with a good scholarship offer and I know a lot of them! So here is the rule. If you're bad in studying and want to study, Pay for it. If you're good, we pay for you!!

Btw, what is regretful in this decision is to separate European from non-European students rather rather Swedish from non-Swedes. The former is a new categorgorization and bad for image of Sweden.
11:59 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
Just a thought, not all University courses are free and foreign students do have to pay for them.

When I was first looking at permanently moving here, I made enquiries about practicing here as a lawyer. I was informed that I would have to do the SFI course first and take the national test, held once a year to prove I was fluent in the language. Once I had the language certificates I would then be required to take a conversion course which is only provided by Stockholm University. You cannot even apply for the course without having obtained the language certificates first. The fees for the course were 25,000:- ( 3 years ago). As I live nowhere near Stockholm and would have to rent a place, this would become an expensive exercise. I was told however, that once I had lived here for 2 years I could do the course for free. However, the accommodation situation would still be problematic and costly. I could merely apply for a student loan to pay for the living costs which I would have to repay later.
12:02 February 20, 2010 by Malmoman

No offense intended

Please before you comment understand the laws of the EU and why Sweden is obliged to offer free tuition to EU nationals. It is not a regretful decision but rather required by the EU charter.
12:14 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
Kronaboy, you are so right. University educated people can afford a decent brief to get them off or with the minimum sentence possible. The firm I worked for used to defend some "very" dubious white collar criminals who used to get off with heavy fines, proably equating to a "a days funding from crime" or very easy open prison sentences. They were not violent criminals in the sense that they were involved in killing people themselves (but you got the feeling there could possibly be a few bodies in the M6 somewhere) but their antics did involve tens of millions of pounds. I was not in the criminal field myself but saw these guys regularly, who looked like butter would not melt! Very creepy.

On the other side of the coin, the criminal department defended those "really creepy" types who were definately the uneducated type that would not give a second thought to slitting your throat for the 10p you had in your pocket if they could put it towards the next "fix".

AS for the unemployment you are right. Things are dire in the UK and my other half has been told as of immediate effect they will be working a 4 day week. My law firm closed down my department totally and therefore I became one of the unemployed masses, hence my move here to try to start again. I could not find work in the UK even though I had been an associate solicitor and head of my own department in the firm. My chances of finding work were next to nil due to the housing market crash and was told by the job centre I should lie about my qualifications! I was too educated for "normal" jobs! So now I find myself stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea, but my chances of eventually finding work are higher here than in the UK at the moment. I just have to finish the damned SFI and take the National test.
12:19 February 20, 2010 by coldfire
i beleive if u are a good student; you can make difference even remaining in the native country. If the free doors are closed for you. Forget about it. And, move on. Work harder and get the scholarships.

Sweden is a great country and 'free education for all' was a great quote attached with it. But, hey, when it is in trouble in such economic times. We should not blame them. The least we can do is to make more effort in even getting a better deal i.e. scholarships.

I think, finally, this will be a good opportunity for the students themselves. The Swede Govt. is not closing the doors. It is opening the doors with extra money (scholarships), so that the right person should get the benefits. (And I assume there is no discrimination in choosing the talent form non-EU and EU)

12:23 February 20, 2010 by Malmoman

I am certain you do not have to complete SFI in order to take the TISUS. You can sign up and take it while studying on your own.

I would suggest taking folkuniversitet instead or enrolling in a University course (while they are still free).
12:27 February 20, 2010 by Danil

actually the EU law does give you an opportunity to charge EU nationals for education. All you need is make all courses in English marketed. So foreginers will either learn Swedish and study for free (which I believe ain't bad) or pay. And those who don't speak Swedish in 99% cases will choose another country, like New Zealand, Australia, Singapore etc.

To be fair, studying in Sweden is not about education, it is about immigration and\or having fun in a foreign country. So you didn't loose anything. But it will kinda hurt your national feelings when you get to know that the only reason so many foreigners study in your country is that it was free :)
12:32 February 20, 2010 by skatty

For your information about laws of EU.

Many university students in EU pay tuition and fee for their study, depends very much to the University and varied for different Universities; however, the payment for international students is higher than home-students. In some cases, Universities make the payment equal just for EU students, which means EU students pay the same as home-students. But, I have seldom seen a kind of classification like the Swedish classification that non-EU students should pay fee but EU students don't have to pay. I believe if a University in EU gets fee and tuition from a Swedish student, then Sweden should also get fee and tuition from the student of that particular EU country. As far as I know, there is not a common general law about fee and tuition for all Universities in EU.
12:51 February 20, 2010 by bobalong
Malmoman. When I knew I was going to be made redundant I contacted the governing body and was told the course I had to do was only provided in Stockholm. I contacted the University and sent in an application form but it was rejected due to my ability at the time of my Swedish. Although my Swedish vocabulary was quite good, this did not of course make a good conversation! Just because you know the name of colours, clothing, food, furniture etc and can ask for simple things and buy tickets etc, this did not make me suitable for a technical university conversion course. Anything more than the above was just jibberish to me at the time.

I completed Svenska B last year without any problem but illness prevented me from finishing the Svenska C until now. When I contacted the University again in December I was told that without having completed the National test in March I could not apply for the course. I contacted the Folkuniversitet.... they told me to contact Stockholm! EU law says that my qualification as a lawyer is mutually recognised but the the language requirement to practice is up to the individual country to decide the leve required and this alone seems to be the sticking point. They can keep you out by being picky at the level of fluency required.

I understand that I have to be fluent and have no problem with that, however, is it actually necessary to have a masters degree in the language, give my inside leg measurement and 6 pints of blood to get a job!
13:00 February 20, 2010 by Malmoman

You are right that many EU student pay tuition. My point is that if Sweden provides free education for Swedish nationals the same tuition will be charged to EU nationals. At least this is how it was explained to me by a university administrator. In our case the tuition is free so for Swedes so it must be free for EU nationals.


If the course also charged a fee for the Swedish students then yes the course could charge for international students.

There is a little more about on the DTU website. DTU does charge a fee to Danes and EU residents alike for open university. However non-EU citizens have to pay an extra tuition. It is tied to the reciprocity laws of the EU. Gosh I wish I could find where I read that ;) Believe me DTU would charge EU nationals if they could!

14:12 February 20, 2010 by skatty
@ Malmoman

I can say this is another prove how badly the international programs have been designed. A Swedish student should borrow extra money from CSN, if the guy has an ambition to study in EU, to pay fee and tuition! But, a EU student can study in Sweden without payment for tuition and fee. The result is, either Swedish Universities believe their education programs are worthless and can be given for free to EU students, or the authorities in here believe there can be a use of the EU students as labor.

Regarded to the fact that there are already thousands of highly educated (University level), immigrant and refugees, who can talk English and Swedish and have lived here for long time, but can't find a suitable job and usually sell Kebab, Pizza, drive Taxi and do unskilled jobs with a University degree, which already cost the state millions of SEK and huge sum of debt to CSN for the participants, I don't believe to get labor from EU is a fact!
14:56 February 20, 2010 by here for the summer

your comment about swedish from nonswedish is wrong and misses the point. Swedish citizens and eu citizens are treated the same regardless of nationality. However most students are not citizens of Sweden.
15:03 February 20, 2010 by Boby179
It's always good to innovate Swedish people! But on this issue you are dead wrong. The so called "non-EU's" students are the back bone of your education system. Almost 55% of students graduating from your universities belong to the category I mentioned above. They have come here with a condition to spend 730000SEK/year,that's a huge among of money injected into your economy yearly. Now,practically speaking,you discriminate against qualified students who want to enter the labor market(everything here is on recommendation from within the company or any work). To ask these students to pay this amount of money will lead them English speaking's countries UK,US,Canada. Nonetheless,if changes take place in the way employment is offered in Sweden,then these students will take a shot at it.

For the Swedish participants on this discussion who talks down foreign students,just remember that no one came here to beg for anything! Many foreign students have managed to find their way in the labor market and are paying taxes! For those who did not,they have participated into the economy of this country by consuming stuffs,even on school programs,they have been very efficient in enriching Sweden with lot of experiences on issues never thought of,that in itself is productive. But because we know how Swedish students drop out of universities studies to enter the System Boulaget's academy,it's normal for them to think that this is a pay back time for anyone.They don't seem to see that asking for school's fees is a step towards more competition and dedication to work,which is not the what the Swedish youth excel on. For all the homies from oversea,be strong,this is a step forward to prove once again what you are capable of.Sweden is peaceful country in which you will find a good environment to focus on your future.
15:03 February 20, 2010 by silly t
this forum should give way fro freedom of speech.

there is no free education in sweden as such. its compensated for by racism and unemployment. Sweden is just a cab drop from HELL.
15:11 February 20, 2010 by uunbeliever
I got a job no problem, I have Swedish B, math C, plus more all upgraded here in Sweden. It takes effort people, and being proud of your culture and nation is not racist.

If you are not planning to stay here, get your education where you come from. I left Canada to live here and stay here, I have met 2 people in 5 years who complained about my Swedish skills.

Boo hoo, I can't get a job because they want me to speak Swedish, or because I'm a foreigner. . .whiners, just try harder.
15:12 February 20, 2010 by Malmoman
What is with the Systembolaget comments! It shows a great deal of ignorance on the part of the foreign students. I believe we still have that freedom in Sweden.

Swedish students that I know are really hard working and are hardly drunks. If they go out on the weekends and have a few it does not make them worse students.

I think the Swedish history of innovation and invention speaks for itself.
15:17 February 20, 2010 by Iraniboy
@here for the summer

My point about classification of EU, Non Eu stands. There is no obligation in EU rules for such classification in education.

By the way my main point was intended for those who think education is something like health service. If it was so, US and Canada were not paying these many scholarships, TA/RA funds to international students. They don't pay this to all int'l students but they pay to many of them and usually those who are not chosen usually don't go there in the first place.So it's also simplistic to say that US/ Canada,.. directly earn money from admitting int'l students. They only earn science and money from the projects the have won to do the research.
15:37 February 20, 2010 by commenting
if Swedes were not based on social funds receiving from government, I'm sure that they would make it for swedish students at first. generaly this is a good move toward liberalism caz it increases competence required by most business, but it's a very bad short term decision as foriegn students form a high competenct group. then they should find a ... See Moreway also to increase competence among Swedish students if they dare to and if they accept the poor competence/high complaining swedish students reality!! they also should not forget that foreign students have made lots of developments and reputation for Swedish universities,
15:47 February 20, 2010 by silly t
who really cares? if it were not for free education I like many others would not come to Sweden. Pay 70000kr for fee in Sweden? thats aweful in a society that would never give u the opportunity to earn that kind of money in 2 years.

I am getting free education..thats final.after that what next? wish i could fly back to my country even on the day i submit my thesis.....

With 45000kr i am enrolled in the london school of economics,in an english country....so why pay even less and struggle with Svenska to get integrated?

Swedes are very unhappy people. their students look very frustrated in class...may be by the very fact of sitting together with some coloured fellow.

well good for them.let the fee come and we stop coming.

afterall many foreign students get poor grades from racists lecturers.

The govt had its reasoning for paying education for all.if its tired ,its just normal.
15:47 February 20, 2010 by here for the summer

You are wrong there is a reciprocal relationship between EU country students that doesn't exist for non EU students.

The US schools do make a lot of money ( used to reduce the costs or running the school not profit ) from foreign undergraduates mostly. The graduate students are the research work but they are paid very low and from their home country mostly. There was a big stink about that in the local a few months ago.

All the people predicting disasters that students will leave etc should see what happens. I predict better qualified students due to the free being only for the best due to scholarship qualification and more revenue to help support Swedish Universities .

We cannot expect that students who do not pay taxes or tuition would be in favor of now having to pay so shouldn't consider their opinion in the debate they are conflicted.
16:34 February 20, 2010 by Iraniboy
@here for the summer

If you mean exchange programs. That's another story. Here we talk about general law in national level which affects all nationals of that country regardless of their relationship with other EU student.

US and other universities mostly get their money by winning national or foreign research contracts. As far as I'm concerned I don't know any Iranian student studying in US in undergraduate level due to this high tuition fee. That's why I excluded U-graduate level because that doesn't contribute to university nor the benefit of that country unless it is continued until and after graduate level.

It depends. If it is performed as Denmark did, it's not promising. Like many other persons mentioned above, very qualified students prefer to go to US/Canada/US,...unless Sweden pays more money to them or at least Sweden tries to catch almost qualified students who were rejected by US/Canada for scholarship. But it this scholarship is going to be 10 to 20 students, they surely can't get anything out of it.

In either ways, disaster in inevitable for small universities which were already struggling with low number of students even when it was already free!! Of course if they keep free education for these specific universities this can be solved.

No. Like I said before your approach is not correct in nature. People of US and Canada also pay tax and obviously they don't want it to be wasted. But they trust their universities that only those who can contribute to the benefit of their country are funded by this tax. I don't know why this fact is hard to understand for you and some others.
16:43 February 20, 2010 by mikmak
@sillyt Sweden wants to cut the flood of students that has been only for the past 10 years ( a trebling to almost 36000 students). There is *no way* that the Swedish job market could absorb this amount of people, which is why these students cannot contribute back to the Swedish system.

The point is that it will still be "free" for the best students, i.e. those that are offered scholarships and it allows Sweden to effectively put a cap on the amount of freemovers, hopefully so that the prospects for these students to be absorbed into the Swedish job market are increased. I.e. "educate only as many as Sweden needs and only the best". The offer for these selected students will still be "too good to refuse"
16:47 February 20, 2010 by Malmoman

The US system is MUCH different than the Swedish system, especially with regards to the private versus public education. I would guess that less money comes from research funds than than from endowments.

Take where I did my first bachelors, Boston College. The tuition is around 300,000 kr a year. Maybe half the students actually pay all of that. The other half get scholarships to offset these costs etc. This is still not enough to cover the operating costs. In order to offset this they have a huge endowment where former students donate money to the school. As of today they have 1.83 billion dollars sitting in a bank account. Imagine that the students are so grateful they give money back to a school that they paid 300,000 kr a year to go to.

Could that happen in Sweden?
17:09 February 20, 2010 by Iraniboy

It depends how that scholarship procedure is conducted. Surely those too good students are not coming to Sweden but good students do. By having two or three scholarship for each university , students are not even motivated to apply so Sweden as a destination for education for good students will be forgotten.

I have spends a year and half in a Swedish university and I can tel you that the worst and best students in our class were non-Swede and international students. I also think that there is flaw in the system that allows a very low qualified student to enter the university while that person is not motivated at all. But I think this proposed solution for this problem doesn't work well as experienced by Denmark.


And how many of those u-graduate students were coming from abroad?! Almost zero ,right? Because that tuition( although considered for both domestic and int'l students) it was mainly intended for domestic and few wealthy int'l students who are happy to pay for what they get. But when it comes to higher education they know that there are some people living very far who can't pay this but they can make big changes to the reputation of their university and their country so it is worthy to pay them! That's how it works.
17:35 February 20, 2010 by skatty

You mentioned about Swedish job market. Actually, to send unemployed to University is a method, which has been practiced in Sweden for over two decades.

For some years politicians have come to this conclusion to solve unemployment (at least temporarily) by pushing unemployed to get student loan (from CSN), and pay it back by interest in good economical time (in their dreams!). As a matter of fact, whenever Sweden get economical problem like early 90s and at present, usually it sticks to the problem for half a decade to get a good result for couple of years, and at these times the seats increase in Universities, some programs become easier to apply, budget for student loan rise. So, it's not something like educate as many as you need and only the best.

First of all, from a Swedish point of view, the best is just Swedes, and not international students, immigrants or refugees; secondly, their inability to solve their economical problems doesn't let them to think in the direction of their needs!!
17:36 February 20, 2010 by adit@kth
Its been interesting to read all these comments. Just a few thoughts -

- Many have argued that foreign students contribute to the economy by paying rent, food, working at minimum wage and so forth. It is however ridiculous to think that these are good reasons for Sweden to subsidize its higher educational programs. When a university offers a Master's program in English, it doesn't do so to attract tourists or to bring in cheap labor into the country.

- I'm a student from Bangladesh and I'm pretty sure I have not brought in even half the money Sweden has spent for my education over the last year. In addition, Sweden has given me a Swedish personal number that entitles me to the same level of social security that the tax paying Swedish people have. I for one am thankful for this generosity. On the other hand I brought in 16 years of education and 4 years of work experience that Sweden didn't pay for. Does that make it even? I don't really know but nobody told me that it has to when I signed up.

- It is true that getting an education isn't the primary motivation for all who are issued a student visa. Many of these students fail to show the same level of motivation and commitment to their work as do other students. I understand that this can be really frustrating to many, especially when it comes to group work. But I don't think charging high tuition fees are going to help much (other than lessening the traffic); having brains are hardly exclusive to the rich community. I would say the issue would be better addressed if the universities screened the admissions more seriously and offer the opportunities to deserving students. For example they could start asking for GRE and GMAT scores as a proof of aptitude. Why bother at all? Cause many of us poor bastards do have something to offer but we really can't afford those tuition fees.

- Finally, I think foreign students ought to practice more caution in playing the racist card; its really not in good taste. The same goes for the Systembolaget nonsense.
17:48 February 20, 2010 by Malmoman

You would be surprised how many international students there were. Actually Boston University just down the road had many international students (at least as many as here). Their endowment was not close to ours though. There are a lot of scholarships within schools and sometimes they have connections with regions of the world. So you might have say lots of Cameroonians at one school.

I also lived by the Harvard and MIT campuses and I will tell you these cost at least as much as BC. Yet the international students were at least 30-50% of the student body (judging by my sprints into the buritto joint on MIT campus). Especially MIT. There are many wasy to earn money there though. Especially for technical fields. They were all willing (or somebody was willing) to pay their tuition for them.

Ultimately it is the elected officials and the people of Sweden who should decide these matters.

I do think schools like KTH may not have a problem but smaller schools like Mittuniversitet (which relies heavily on foreign students) will really feel the it.
18:48 February 20, 2010 by Iraniboy

I'm not saying there are not many int'l students. I say there are not many int'l students who pay for their education. That of course an option but they never choose to be a student in an abroad country unless they are paid and they are paid only because they are qualified and it is not just one or two students in each university. Most academic staff have one or two scholarship at hand to offer it to a student every year. I'm from a country which is an exporter of such students and I tell you I have hardly seen any Iranians paying for their studies out of a thousand I know!

I agree that it's up to Swedes to decide. After all, they don't lose anything. If it's badly conducted they just lose an opportunity that other countries like US,Canada, UK,...started to take advantage of years ago. Due to previous immigration laws and even current law most foreigners have come to Sweden as of refugee programs and there has been almost no opportunity for Sweden to find out how a correct immigration policy can a win-win situation rather than current moral-based-immigration-policy.
18:55 February 20, 2010 by mikmak
@skatty That is a completely unrelated problem that should also be fixed (hiding unemployment by putting people in universities). What we are discussing here is the selection process of freemover students. It's not like Sweden is doing anything to its unemployment figures by educating 36000 freemovers.
19:40 February 20, 2010 by skatty

The relation is obvious by considering to your answer to @silly t. The guy say that "Swedes are unhappy people and the students look frustrated in class by sitting together with some colored fellows, and talk about 70000kr fee", I said why it might be for! Now, you are talking about a cap on the amount of freemover (which is meaningless), scholarship and absorption in job market (Swedish job market is already absurd).

I believe you are thinking about the highly genetically modified supper intelligent students, who supposed to apply for Swedish Universities and get the high supper advanced Swedish knowledge to become the high supper scientists, who are going to contribute to the highly supper technological society in here! Is it what you are thinking? Swedes love these kinds of ideas, then good luck!
19:46 February 20, 2010 by Iraniboy

We all suffer from an illness which most of us are unaware of. We have a special motivation to put people in groups because then it's easier for us to talk about them. The easiest categorization which is already available is based on national identity, race or religion. You suffer from national categorization that you find Swedes racist. I, after being 18 months in Sweden, haven't come across any of them but even if I do I consider than person racist not their parents, friends, neighbors let alone country!!!
20:56 February 20, 2010 by senthil v
the government has already announced that fees will be collected from foreign students,,however it says "The government will present its proposition to parliament later on Friday, university and higher education minister Tobias Krantz told reporters."

1. which friday was this?

2. don't they need to pass it in parliament before announcing it??

either i am wrong,

or is it poor reporting with in correct words and incomplete information as usual by THE LOCAL.
21:58 February 20, 2010 by karlos
Paying fees in Swedish universities is not the problem. Some people say that fees were introduced in Denmark and students still paid. One thing we have to understand here is that foreign students would prefer to go to countries where they can find jobs. No matter how much the fees may cost, as long as there are jobs in that country, foreing students would prefer such countries. If fees are introduced in Sweden, it is more likely that many students would prefer to move to other countries where they can find jobs and integrate easily without language barrier. Therefore, the Swedish government need to give a second thought about this and consider the amount they will introduce for fees.
22:23 February 20, 2010 by mikmak
@skatty Ok, let me put it in more simple terms.

Sweden has a limited (in size) job market

There is a limit to the number of people that can contribute back to the taxpayers that paid for their education, no matter how willing they are to work in Sweden

Sweden thus needs better "return on investment", more bang for the buck when investing in someones education

At the same time students that have been educated wonder why they are not getting employed, "like in the US or UK".

Sweden will get a better return on investment, and students will be treated more fairly by offering better service and quality to a *lesser* amount of students. Sweden is a small country with a small education system, they cannot compete on quantity.

The future of Swedish education on the international stage is not to be the WalMart of education with low prices and crappy service.

Why is it so hard to see that education needs to be dimensioned to serve the needs of society, educating peope for fun is nice and all but it won't pay the bills.
23:31 February 20, 2010 by skatty

You sound somehow confused. I agree that Swedish international programs are definitely bad designed.

Swedish international programs are not like UK and US and can't even be comparable. First, there are many teachers who are not qualified to teach in English, there isn't any assessment to evaluate their English. Second, Swedish plan for attracting international students has a kind of commercial quality, mostly to introduce Sweden to the world and make the country look international. Third, don't try to confuse the permission of studding in Sweden with the permission of working in Sweden for international students.

There are many, many high educated, very talented immigrants and refugee in Sweden, who are fluent in Swedish and English, some with two degrees from Swedish Universities and their home land, and live here for over a decade and still work as a taxi driver in Stockholm never got a chance to work in their field; their education cost million of SEK, and they got huge debt by student loan in this country, and still nobody give a damn to that millions and their debts; the authorities let them to suck their miseries; so, if there is anybody who should get any return from investments, it's that people!

The problem is deeper than you can even imagine it, I can write a book about it, but not in here!
23:31 February 20, 2010 by rabindra
Sweden is the country of most discrimination in every aspect. Personally, I was not permited to donate the blood in the Stockholm University because I didn't knoe to fill the form in Swedish language. It proves that how much language barrier is prevailed here. So, the decision made by government seems totally bad luck for students outside EU as they have almost no possibilities to find the job to support the education.
00:08 February 21, 2010 by pupu
i think we should now stop criticizing what swedish government is doing. we are all living in the free world and hence sweden is free to many any decision that it things is best and will benefit her people. We should be thankful that we had free education though we also contribute through living expenses that we make. If they think now its time to charge let them charge.
00:50 February 21, 2010 by wifey

don't even go there. If you didn't know to fill in a form whether it be in English, Swedish or whichever language, that's YOUR problem. Do not talk about discrimination. Sweden has one of the highest amounts of foreigners on welfare, and the pot is almost empty. Not every EU country grants assylum and then eternal bidrag. So please, save it.

@everyone else ...

Really, no one is forcing you (I think) to go to university in Sweden. I have read complaints about the cold (also a fault of the politicians?), unfriendly Swedes (have been lucky enough not to have met any), and apparent 'costs of living'. For crying out loud, you go somewhere, you spend money. You live somewhere- again, you spend money. And unfortunately, many people come to Sweden under false pretenses and then live off bidrag, which as I mentioned, is coming to an end. So for those on bidrag (I'm not saying everyone is), you are NOT putting money into the country, you are only giving back what the goverment has already given you. If, of course, you aren't spending the money to travel. Trust me, I know a few who have done so.

So at the end of the day, stop complaining and either suck it up or go elsewhere. Why do you come here in the first place if so many other coutries offer free tuition, extend visas, are cheaper and offer better courses?????
01:27 February 21, 2010 by pupu
WIFEY u rock hehehehehe, starting to admire you because u speak with a lot of energy. put some senses in us because we complain alot. i just love arguing even when i know where the truth lays because its fun and also makes you what people put in their heart. before i came here i knew i was going to pay fees this year but i still came ( luckly my friends said its next year) i have my brothers in uk and a sister in Australia they all pay fees. but i chose to come here because this place is cool and there is no stress.

i stay with my swedish landlord and his family, they are a family to me because they are kind and sweet. Swedish are not bad but always there are bad people everywhere and that is normal. please let them swedish do what they want to do, we have no right to judge them or anyone.

but please those who want to complain continue giving your shots and those are defending i would like to read from you too. this is so interesting to me.
01:58 February 21, 2010 by wei2010
I am a Chinese student of UU. I think it is necessary for me to say some words based on my observation and experience.

1. Are students from poor countries come to Sweden only for making money?

Yes, some students do come here for money. But only a limited number and most of them are supported with scholorship. For most students, it is hard to find extra job here. I know a Pakistan guy, who is "making money" by distributing newspaper three times one week at 3.00 am.

2.Are students from poor countries less serious with study?

I know little about students from the other peer countries. From my own experience, I found that a lot of Chinese students study diligently but don't love their majors as much as Swedish students. Mean while, there are many Chinese students who come here to complete their academic dream. I can't tell which group account for a larger part.

3. Do the benificiary feel gratitude?

Those who say that we do not even say "thank you" to Sweden, please spend more time on thinking whether you get the whole picture or truth before commenting the others.As far as I know, "we" and "they" are always grateful and respect Sweden. But I think there are definitely a few students who take it granted.

4. Do they repay ?

As people discussed above, it is hard for foreign graduates to repay by working here.Only a few graduates succeeded in staying here. I would like to define "repay" more broadly. Can we see it as "repay" if I work to protect the environment or creat more peace in the world? I wish I can do something to benefit the global residence regardless the nationality. As the Chinese saying goes"If Someone give you a peach, please return a plum ", I do wish I can always have oppotunity to pay back to those people who help me.

5.Do they contribute to the local economy?

I am not a economy student. But I have to say Yes for certain

Rent is the major part. "6 people share 5000 kr rent apartment" is very rarely seen. In Uppsala, it is about 1700~3300 kr for a corridor room. I know a lot of Chinese students share rooms and pay about 1500kr every month. However, due to the expensive products, the average monthly coverage for a Chinese student not from a rich family is between 3000~5000 kr. It is impossible to study here without bringing money. Furthermore, some of the students travel during vacation and invite their family and friends too.

6.Never free dinner?

I agree that the charge of tuition fee can stop those who are not study motivated. Personaly, I feel uncomfortable if my group member don't take the study seriously and contribute little to the discussion or project work.

But I think 70000kr is too expensive and definitely stop those high quality students who wanna to study in Sweden but don't have enough fund and those rich students who can afford a little more to go to the other countries.
04:31 February 21, 2010 by dyane
Why do Swedes say that? I regard this as a lacked confidence.

Sweden is amazing not to speak of its education system.Moreover,I wouldn't call that fair for those who have been here.It just like a hoax.

Anyway,the idea is all right,however, how to realize by means is still worth discussing .
09:10 February 21, 2010 by Iraniboy

You also suffer from one the illnesses that I mentioned in #172 about sillyt.

Apart from that, things in this world are not decided based on one thing or two. So if X doesn't accept to receive blood from you you won't change your mind about the whole country. On the other hand, the idea of leave or suck it up doesn't make sense. What if something worse happen? In that case nothing could improve and nothing could be mended. I'm sorry for medievalism thinking.
09:10 February 21, 2010 by wei2010

Rock! I have to admit that there does exist language barrier because you can't force a country to stop using her own language. Everyone should prepare for the results of their choices. Try to accept, enjoy and love the life in Sweden if you chose her on your own.


Haha. Interesting Comments and open mind!


Yes, the idea is all right but the implement needs more consideration. I think so.
09:52 February 21, 2010 by Horace
About the System Bolaget comment, I actually think Swedish students work very hard. The ones who are lazy are really lazy, but I haven't met many of them.

I do think the price is a little high. But I also think charging some amount of money in order to filter out the abusers is necessary.
10:19 February 21, 2010 by skatty

I think you should live longer time in Sweden (at least six years) to figure out the meaning of unsigned language, because you mentioned about the wrong act of judgment on the people in the whole country, you believe there should not be a general judgment based on racist acts of some Swedes, which is acceptable.

Look, we (mostly) who live in Sweden as immigrant for long time usually call Swedes "Svenskar, means Swedes" and Swedes call us "Invandrare, means immigrant", these are the most polite words for humiliation, which we use (there are worse than that). Swedes know all immigrants are not bad and immigrants know all Swedes are not bad, but during the time we learned how to tease each other so good that just the use of "Swedes" and "Immigrant" give the necessary explanation. When we talk in Swedish language in conversation, and use these simple words, which look not harmful, we (both Swedes and immigrants) know what we mean by using it.

In the same way when people like @wifey use radical opinions like" leave here, if you don't like it". It's all because we live in a harsh atmosphere of not welcoming in Sweden. It's very common for immigrants and refugees to hear "leave Sweden, if you don't like it"; or "why are you living in here?" so, common that even the third generation of immigrants, who born in Sweden have to deal with it!!
11:04 February 21, 2010 by Iraniboy

I understand your point but there are some points I need to explain.

First, Sweden 's law until last January wasn't allowing an immigration based on qualification and most long term immigrations except on family grounds were based on refugee quotes so Swedes have never experienced how immigration can boost their country due to their previous laws as US, UK or Canada have experienced.

Second, I have been to Sweden for more than a year but I traveled to Italy and Germany for some days and I should regretfully say that Germans and Italian are way more reluctant to speak English than Swedes and the explicitly showed it to me. Do you believe that I haven't had that feeling in 18 months in Sweden than I had for some days in Italy and Germany?

About radical opinions of wifey, I have to admit I don't see it in Sweden whereas I see a lot of them here in thelocal.se forums. There are way too many anti-immigrants, racist,...in thsi forum but just look into Facebook for example. ther are two pages for SD party in facebook. One say SD i riksdag Ja with less tahn 25'000 fasn the other say SD i riksdag Nej with 300'000 fans!! And you will see most of those who joined the latter are those Svenskar!
11:28 February 21, 2010 by wifey
@skatty & @Iraniboy

I guess you haven't understood the main points to all of this. Number 1- the article is about FOREIGN students having to possibly pay for their studies. Number 2- everyone (including myself) is getting a little side tracked and the discussion is heading in the wrong direction. Number 3- my opinions are not radical. They are formed based on what I have seen and see daily. The point being, if you freely come to Sweden or to any other country, why do you whinge, whine and complain? No one is kicking you out, but I think that at least for the time being you should be grateful for many things.... Maybe third generation Swedes have to deal with crap as mentioned above, but at the end of the day it's really up to you and what you bring to the table.
11:52 February 21, 2010 by Malmoman

I may not agree with all of what Wifey said but I would hardly call her radical for saying "if you don't like it then leave". As an invandrare myself I think Sweden has done a lot for me and I am forever grateful. At the same time it is a free country and people are willing to leave if they are unhappy.

Swede's have seen their culture, traditions, and social system change a lot over the last 20 years (for better and worse). You can certainly understand where this anxiety and resentment comes from. By labeling someone a radcial you basically end the chance for meaningful dialogue.

When I was in my early 20s I lived and home and when I grumbled and moaned my father said the same thing "if you don't like it you can move". Of course rent was free so that wouls have been downright stupid.

My father was hardly a radical.
12:09 February 21, 2010 by skatty

I should say in the last two decades, immigration in Sweden mainly based on refugee quotes; however, Swedes have experienced an immigration, which can boost their country, but not in the way you think, you try to compare Sweden with US, UK, Canada like many other, which is a big mistake.

Swedish immigrants in 50s and 60s were mostly low educated workers to come in here to work in factories, and mostly from Europe.

The immigration policy and the whole philosophy of immigration in US, UK, Canada base on competence and competition; in contrast in Sweden there is an invisible line of division between Swede and non-Swedes, regardless of competence. In the Swedish philosophy of immigration, Swede is always in priority. You can get hundreds of University degrees and talk another hundreds of languages but be aware that your chance of competing with a dumb Swede is not high. If you like to see discrimination in Sweden, first you should learn Swedish language to understand people, then you should finish your education and try to apply for jobs and don't forget to mention that you are coming from Iran, and I suggest you take trip to Rinkeby, or some other famous ghettos; you don't find them on facebook, they are faceless!


My point is that all the foreign students should pay fee and tuitions, non-EU or EU students doesn't matter. I'll be grateful to see your money in my pocket; so, pay your fees and be appreciated of your life in Sweden!
13:09 February 21, 2010 by soultraveler3
I don't think this is a good idea either. Like others have said, it there were jobs available during school and summer and then after graduation it would be ok, but there's not.

The whole job situation here in Sweden for educated people just doesn't make sense. There are very few jobs available in the first place and on top of that you have to be fluent or close to it in swedish to even have a chance.

Sweden is a country that says every swede speaks "perfect" english (not true btw.) If that was really the case why not let some foreign people with advanced degrees and "okay" everyday swedish and good english fill some jobs?

Like others have said, I only know 1 swedish person that has gone to university (I've heard of 2 others but don't know them personally) and I know about 30 immigrants, myself included that has a university education. I know alot of swedes, my sambo is swedish and most of my friends are. I know the other immigrants from SFI.

It seems like most swedes don't want a higher education. They are totally okay with working at a retail store, resturant, factory or some other blue-collar job. The few that go for higher education don't seem to choose harder, high tech areas, like science or math. They go to become a teacher or a nurse etc.

As a side note...

I also think Sweden should change the requirements or make it eaiser for people who have been educated in their home countries to transfer their qualifications to swedish ones. That would also help fill alot of professional, white-collar jobs that swedes aren't filling but that need to be filled.

I have worked in pharmacy for over 10 years and have the education and the certificate to do so. I've worked for hospitals, in retail and even have a specialization in nuclear pharmacy. I had språkpraktik at the pharmacy here, the job is almost identical to ones I had before. It's even eaiser here because you don't have to deal with insurance companies or count or compound drugs and everything is pre-packaged, the computer systems are even similar.

I did so well there that the woman in charge of the pharmacy told me she'd love to hire me but can't because my papers weren't swedish. They even have a spot available because 3 of the 7 employees there are on some kind of sick time where they only work 20% or 60% etc.

It was really disheartening and discouraging to find out that even with 10+ years experience and a degree from the states that I have to go to school for almost 3 years, including swedish to be able to do the same job. It just doesn't make sense, not for me and not for Sweden.

There are a ton of refugees and immigrants with similar stories. In my SFI class of about 40 people we had 2 chemists, a doctor, a lawyer, 3 engineers and me. These are the kind of jobs that need filling here. It's crazy to make it so difficult that most of us end up working some worthless job.
13:49 February 21, 2010 by here for the summer

Your points are well made but they are about work not the proposed education policy. I have a situation like you except my sambo is now my wife and we live in the states during the winter. Although the opposite ratios .. most of my swedish friends have advanced degrees and the job markets not good for them either. Still my US friends who have moved as you have found good jobs in Sweden although they are the under educated part of the couple. There are jobs where perfect Swedish is not required including some tech/professional jobs.

This proposed law is about whether Swedish taxpayers should give free undergraduate education to students from non eu countries. Doesn't change PHD as some people have suggested.
16:19 February 21, 2010 by Iraniboy

I'm not sure why you're redirecting at me. I have almost finished one of these free educations and if less foreign students come to Sweden I have better chance for employment if I stay in Sweden. So you can understand what is my personal interest and obviously I can't biased against something that is against my personal interests. But I just tried to explain the situation as a whole and this one in particular to reject the claims of Education ministry an Kratz who claimed this proposal can help Sweden compete for higher quality of education.

First, there is absolutely no chance that Sweden earn any money form this tuition. Even in US. UK, Canada where tuition is employed, very few int'l go there with having tuition. Most int'l students go there by scholarship. So the main key in competence for attracting highly qualified students is how much scholarship is offered and quality of education in that country.

The main problem that I see in this proposal is about the amount available scholarship. This amount means education for 500 persons while currently the capacity of Swedish universities is tens of thousands. That means next year less than 5% of current int'l student will come. So prospective qualified students won't even challenge this low chance of getting scholarship while very qualified student already knew that they don't go to Sweden no matter it's free or not.

So in one sentence, the goals drawn by Kratz is not achievable by the proposal he is offering according to current global education system unless the scholarship system is something similar to that of US/ Canadian,....
18:06 February 21, 2010 by ATT
I made a comment (#78) about the economical aspect of having foreign students. I was hoping that It either ends the discussion on economical aspect or someone shows me wrong doing similar calculation. I think there are more important aspects of this problem that has been left almost untouched cause people are so focused on the surface of the problem.

As I have mentioned, my critical view of the solution put forward by government by no mean should be translated to defending the current system. There are many problems with the current system some of which have been explored by other people. But the source of the problem in my opinion was left untouched. I am saying this based on my experience with the admission process and education at Chalmers.

According to the current rules, the universities are getting paid for every student (regardless of nationality) that passes the course (It is critical to notice that they are not getting paid based on the number of participants in course but the ones who passed). This has several unwanted consequences:

1. There is clear incentive for universities to admit as many as possible. More students mean more money per class while the cost of the class is fixed (the salary of staff + rent). The result of this flawed business model is that the quality of admitted students becomes secondary to quantity. I am aware of cases in Chalmers where 100% of applicants got admitted. You can now imagine the scenario in less well-known Swedish universities. I believe this irresponsible behavior of some programs and universities has been one of the main the motivation behind the change in the rules (sharp increase in cost for Gov.).

2. It also created an opportunity for some people to exploit Swedish tax payers. I am aware of the case of an Iranian guy being involved in Borås University. He has an office in Tehran and he charges students about 10000 SEK to get them a guaranteed admission for which the Swedish tax payers pay. I am not aware if Borås University is playing an active part in this.

3. This also has consequence on the quality of Swedish education systems. Large number of teachers makes sure that majority of students pass the course so that they get paid for their job. The result is that the quality of the courses has gone done. In Chalmers where I am better informed, students can pass large number of their master courses by only doing the projects in group (for grade 3).

So, the question is if the current law will solve all these problems? It will solve 1 and 2 but with the negative cost of losing many cheap talents.

It will not solve 3.
19:18 February 21, 2010 by Iraniboy

1)That's a nice observation and it explains why universities may low qualified students. Se the real problem relies somewhere else!!!

As for #2 It is true but it is dealt with now. That guy was really pathetic. He was asking money from Iranian students for something that should have been free!!! I heard that he had some connection with Boras university.

I think #3 is not applicable in our porogramme at least.
20:56 February 21, 2010 by Malmoman

Like I said I certainly have no beef with you. Sometimes I do think you make up statistics.

For instance:

"First, there is absolutely no chance that Sweden earn any money form this tuition. Even in US. UK, Canada where tuition is employed, very few int'l go there with having tuition"

I would guess a heck of a lot of intl students pay tuition in the States. I spent the first 30 years of my life there and there is no such thing as a free lunch in the US. Either it is paid for by their governments or themselves (or they are incredibly gifted and get a scholarship).

Sweden has absolutely no obligation to pay for international students. The economy is down, tax expenditures are down. It is an obvious way to save 36,000 times 80,000 kr. Do the math it is an incredible sum of money. Even with 10% staying how many will find jobs outside of the universities they are at (which means further subsidies on the part of Swedish taxpayers)? Sure it may be because Swedes hire there own but that is another argument that will not be solved anytime soon.

Swedes have always been pragmatists.

As for the person who said that the UK charges higher tuition for EU nationals you are wrong. EU nationals pay the same tuition as Brits. It is the law.

Example: http://www.bournemouth.ac.uk/futurestudents/postgraduate/funding/tuition_fees.html

I may not agree entirely with the decision (particularly on the amount of the fee) but I do understand the logic.

Don't get me wrong my boss in the US was from Iran and two of my Math professors. AWESOME guys. In fact everyone I know in the US from Iran was a doctor, Lawyer, etc...But no one gave them anything for free. They earned it. A meal earned tastes better than a free meal any day.
21:41 February 21, 2010 by Iraniboy

It seems you have! I didn't say there is free lunch in the US so please refrain from attributing things that I haven't said!!

I repeat and I repeat and I repeat. 99% of all Iranians going to US/ Canada which I know about 100 of them have received scholarship so that they can even pay their living expenses. Now you can keep repeating your guesses.

I didn't say Sweden has obligation to pay for international students. So please don't write a rubbish claim in response to what I have never claimed! I don't intend to repeat what I said but I just said that the goals drawn by Education Ministry is not in line withe proposal due to the amount scholarship and situation of Sweden for competing to grab qualified int'l students.
22:12 February 21, 2010 by Malmoman

You said that very few "international students". Now this may be the case for Iranian students, I don't know. International students is a big group of people. I would like to see the statistics regarding Iranian students. From what I have seen it seems to be around 40% for international students

I am not even sure what "keep repeating your guesses" means. Anyways I digress.

I was not saying that you thought Sweden was obligated. That was just my opinion.

You are right regarding the scholarships. Even 10 million kr is only enough for 200 students. Given the built in capacity it is going to be a death blow to a lot of programs.

I am only trying to have a reasoned argument. No reason to get angry. You have posted a lot and I am interested in what you have to say. Your comments are reasonable and I thought it was OK to reply with my thoughts.
00:29 February 22, 2010 by Iraniboy

I just wanted to remind the basic rule of discussion that we can only challenge someone for what they have said not for what we assume they think!

Anyway, yes int'l are bigger than just Iranians but in general I think if there is any int'l student (even if they are few ) who has enough money to pay tuition they probably choose US then Canada, Australia, UK and maybe Germany, France even Norway(free) or Finland(free) and then maybe Sweden so it's not logical to think that Sweden would earn any money by introducing tuition as some suggested.

The other thing was about the amount of scholarship which is way too low to compete with other European opponents let alone North American so I can't imagine how it helps to compete in international education market as Kratz suggested unless this amount is hundred times more than this.

So the outcome of this decision is neither booming Swedish international education system nor earning any money for Sweden. It will only limit the number of admitted int'l students. That can be a goal for itself of course due to some reasons but this goal could simply be achieved by admitting less int'l student next year and obviously not in line with what Kratz says!!
02:41 February 22, 2010 by here for the summer
@iraniboy ..

Your conclusion on outcome misses a 3rd point which is a certain outcome .. Swedish taxpayers will spend less money giving free education to international students at the undergraduate level. Some of the students who didn't have to pay before will pay and the quality of the students will improve since the few free students admitted now will be based upon competition for the few free spots. This money can be used for other things .

No valuable research comes from undergraduate students so don't claim this as a benefit from the students affected.
05:05 February 22, 2010 by JoeSwede
I think we need to encourage higher participation in Swedish Universities from Swedish citizens.

I think the non-EU rate could be lowered a tad but that there should be a fee.
07:55 February 22, 2010 by Makaveli
@SouthAfrican_in Sweden. Next time u let your mind run away, you might waanna do some research first. I totatlly despise people like you because you seem to be so uninformed. You claim Swedes pay for foreigners to get an education for free! Guess what i am an international student and have been studying here for four years. I tell you what, nothing is really free in this country. They give with one hand and take with the other. For four yeears i've worked my ass off and paid heavy taxes in this country. That money goes to take care of lazy idiots and alcoholics who sit home all day and do nothing but drench themselves in booze. And mark you when i talk about taxes, am talking substantial amounts. I make on average 9.000kr every month after taxes so you do that math boy! I get a free education, and there is no denying it, but i do pay my dues back to the government in the form of taxes. Perhaps the free education in this country is offset by the absence of jobs for foreign students.The society at large is clearly not willing to integrate or provide jobs of any form to foreign students. And talk abotu integration, that is just one big falacy and we all know it. Ther is no such thing as integration in this country, because Swedes wanna stay Swedes and keep the rest out. That's nothing new to anybody who has lived here for a while. I can't wait to see the devastating effects this whole tuition thing will bring to the whole educational system in this country. Its a pity and i hope somebody with brains realises this before its too late.
09:27 February 22, 2010 by waleola
To start with i am a nigerian and i study in finland,though i was thinking of coming to study in sweden due to the fact that it's free and there is more likelyhood that i get a job when i finish here because in finland most people who finish never get a job due to the racist attitude of most finns and to be honext most of the teachers teaching the english courses are not qualified to teach those courses in english.Though most of them are good at the course they teach but their english language is nothing to write home about. Finland had thought sometime ago to introduce tution fee but the idea was dropped knowing for fact that many foreign students wouldnt come again cos the weather is not favourable neither is the job market open to foregners even when u speak perfect finnish.

Now coming to the tution been proposed by the swedish government,i had the opportuinity to speak with many foreign students studying in sweden(i came for exchange) on the issue of the tution and most if not all said they would rather go to the United states,UK,Australia or even germany with the money and study there because their chances of getting a job there are far more higher than that of sweden.

i do believe that if sweden introduces the tution fee,it will most likely backfire(my personal opinion) because the job market is harsh to foregner but in my view the easiest way to get the best students out of the lots is to introduce an application fee and extrance exam in the applicant home country.Because if the applicant pays a non refundable application fee and had to take an entrace exam before being granted a visa to student,only the best students will be admitted but to make students from 3rd world countries to pay tution will be suicider for swedish education system because many foreign student will not come again!!

Look at denmark today,due to the fee they collect from foreign students,non of its higher institution is within the first 200 in the world because foreign masters students shifted their attention to finland and sweden and atleast both countries have their universities in the top hundren.

As i said earlier,this is my personal opinion so i rest my case
11:11 February 22, 2010 by canam
This is why the socialist system frustates me. I grew up in Canada and went to university there, but worked my whole life in the US. Once you take away these "free" types of "benefit's", people whine and moan about how they should be entitled to it. Free education sounds outrageous on any level because of the huge costs associated with it. I´m surprised it´s lasted this long. I personally wouldn´t pay to go to an undergrad program here, but 10000kr is pennies compared to top-flight education anywhere else in the first world. If you can´t afford that, work hard in your home country and apply for a scholarship. At least in Canada they´ll let just about anyone in.
16:25 February 22, 2010 by khattak
Not a good idea by swedish government
18:26 February 22, 2010 by Iraniboy
@here for summer

Even now that is free very few int'l study at undergraduate level \because it is offered in Swedish. I'm not sure how this can make any changes to the tax payers money. Like I said before, they could simply decrease the limit of admission level to achieve this!
20:31 February 22, 2010 by espionage1079
this is a horrible decision indeed. if you want to stop bogus students coming to sweden then you could higher the level of admission requirements. i do agree that entry requirements to get admission in swedish universities are very ordinary and any one can get admission. make the entry requirements high so that only real students can come. foreign students dont have money tree at home, they just cant shake it and get money for university. come on sweden! we are students, how could we have that much money to do higher studies.is it our fault if we born in a non EU countrythis is completely ridiculous. students from most asianafrican countries are not that rich. and i can gurantee that rich people in those countries dont need higher studies coz they have family business or so. its the students from middle classpoor families those who want to do study to get success. about 10,000$ this is way too much. if anyone has to pay that amount of money then why Sweden!!they should go to UK,AUS,CANADA,US atleast they wont face language difficulties there and do something during vacation. if there are many foreign students sudying here for free and tax payers paying money for them so when the free education will be stopped for foreign students then there will be thousands of foreign workers who will be paying tax for EU students. and will Sweden stop taking their tax then but one thing many universities like vaxjo,umea,lulea,mid-sweden etc etc will not get students to run a programme thats for sure.
20:39 February 22, 2010 by Malmoman

Absolutely (#206). Actually by ending the free ride and basing it on scholarships they are effectively doing this. I think they need to up the scholarship amount by a multiple of 10 though. If you look at what they are spending now the current scholarship proposal is pretty ridiculous.

I can say this, at 80,000 kr I would rather go to just about any top 50 USNEWS uni in the US and get an in-state tuition waiver. Most schools have 50 to 100 of these to give away. This makes it about the same as the Swedish amount and you can get a job when you are done....unless you make the bonehead move like I did and study history for your first degree ;)
23:13 February 22, 2010 by khattak
To start with i am from pakistan.im studying Bachelor programe on Human Rights.

The initiative taken by the swedish government about implementation of tution fee on foreigner students is not good acoording to my own point of view because i think its violation of basic Human rights;Right to education; coverd by many articles.A poor student like me who cannot support himself because of no job,how he/she will afford 70000 Kr per year.this means quality education is only for rich people what about those who cannot support themselves.anyway its my own view.
14:53 February 23, 2010 by nickmak
If I have to pay for my (Masters) education, why not opt for widely known/recognized universities in the USA, Canada,UK or Australia? Even Singapore is a better option than Sweden (for engineeing students).

The bottom line: The only reason why Sweedish universities are flooded with foreign students today is *Quality - Cost free* education. Simply take out the *Cost Free* tag, and the quality factor alone wont be a motivating factor enough to ensure the inflow of [bright] students.

p.s - of course the mediocre lot can afford to shell in thousands, but then again, Sweedish unis will be the eventual losers.
21:53 February 23, 2010 by Malmoman

What Singaporean engineering schools are better than KTH, Chalmers, or Lund? Is this based on your opinion or a press release by the Government of SIngapore? I think the history of innovation in Sweden and the world rankings would disagree.

Check out the MAX-lab at Lund....CRAZY stuff.

If you really want to see innovation read about Scandinavian contributions to computer science!
11:51 February 26, 2010 by viejose
I read enough of this BS. Are you people for real?!

Not because you come from a poor country (refugee or not) you earned the right to have a free ride; we are living in tough times every where, so you better get use to. I am not coming from a wealthy family plus I worked all my life and I missed the opportunity to learn for free, and that's why I think only tax payers have the right to get not only free education but other benefits that this country offers. Besides the laws and rules were made for Sweden people not for EVERYBODY, unfortunately we are living a new world were frontiers are getting more open than ever, and people are taking advantage of systems like this. Try to do this in USA or other non EU country; you guys make me laugh.
01:13 March 1, 2010 by Jan.Andersson
I don't know why you choose sweden for studying. They think that their system is great. I have been one term Phd researcher in KTH. The most important issue of them is their foreign students. You can never compare it to free universities of Germany. Also, a really interesting matter about some of my swedish friends, they do not know that people of the poor countries should show the bank receipt of having 86000kr(7300 kr per month) for one tear expenditure in Sweden. You guys from other countries, you take money there without the chance of finding a job there. I agree with swedish individuals to leave there.
12:43 March 10, 2010 by jmcmahon
To those of you who believe that sweden should not offer free education to international students , you are misinformed. Firstly these international students will be able to help you with you english a language i that i understand most swedes desire to be highly proficient in, secondly Sweden would lose so much in revenues which would come from international student spending. It is obvious that the benfits of having free education to international students far outweigh the benfits of charging international students. I also think my perspective has alot of credibility because i am from Australia where we pretty much don't get winter and i am thinking of studying in Sweden because the country and people are great.

Indeed the Swedish government would be making a grave error by charging international students fee's.
13:01 March 10, 2010 by jmcmahon
i Think it is dissapointing to hear that Sweden is charging international students tons of cash to study in Sweden. Some of these interational students are from poor countries and barely make ends meet. I firmly believe that sweden is in a prime position to help those in desperate need of a good education due to its standing as one of the best countries in the world. It is also quite sad to hear that some swedes are also rejoicing that these poor people are being charged excessive amounts of money to study.
22:11 March 27, 2010 by fifitom
I am in Sweden only for studing, and my country pay everything like university's fee,hospital,subway and visa.

All The Cooperation Council for the arab states of the gulf (GCC) are paying everything for their students not only in sweden but in all the world.

I am wondering why only GCC paying and others not
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