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Record student intake at Swedish universities

Peter Vinthagen Simpson · 1 Mar 2010, 10:51

Published: 01 Mar 2010 10:51 GMT+01:00

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Swedish institutions of higher education furthermore reported a record surplus of two billion kronor ($280 million) for 2009, according to the National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket) report.

The agency has collated data from all of Sweden's state universities, as well as Chalmers University of Technology and Jönköping University, and found that student numbers have increased at almost all seats of learning.

"A large generation of school leavers and the difficult economic climate have probably had a significant impact on the substantial increase. This will probably hold even after this year," agency head Anders Flodström said in a statement.

Aside from the record student numbers, 2009 was also a bumper year in terms of financial performance for Sweden's universities. The sector reached the ceiling for state financing for the first time in several years, with research funding also outstripping cost rises.

Story continues below…

The combined surplus came in at two billion kronor, with Lund University reporting the highest surplus of 450 million kronor. Several more universities reported surpluses of over 200 million kronor while Växjö and Halmstad were among those reporting a deficit.

Peter Vinthagen Simpson (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:55 March 1, 2010 by Audrian
The Swedish government should be congradualted for making adequate money available for universities. In Britain the situation is dire. Because of decling funding levels universities are requited to cut back enrollment as well as reduce quality of education while the situation in Sweden is the opposite.

Why is it universities were showing surplus? The above article has left out an important query.
13:01 March 1, 2010 by Twiceshy
Audrian according to what I've heard, universities get money from the government for each student that is studying there. They get twice the money for foreign students (don't know why, so don't ask the details ;)).

At least this is what I heard from people I know at Uppsala university. This would explain the surplus; if there were many students, the universities got much more revenue and therefore a higher surplus.
13:02 March 1, 2010 by karex
Perhaps the high number of new students signing up is that many are trying to squeeze in before tuition is charged?
13:10 March 1, 2010 by just a question
More students mean high unemployment.

What do you do when you cannot find a job? study again!

And it is good for the government as they "hide" the real unemployment rate.
13:59 March 1, 2010 by hpunlimited
I bet alot of them are just taking up some simple university studies in sonething they are absolutely not interested in, just in order to kill time and squeeze out money from the government.
15:08 March 1, 2010 by Twiceshy
@just a question:

That is not true. Students are not part of the labor force, so they do not count towards the number of unemployed.
15:57 March 1, 2010 by Tall swede
Just a matter of time before some lunatic claims that increased number of swedes in swedish universities mean more competition for foreign students which is really discrimination.
16:09 March 1, 2010 by kenny8076
Twiceshy i think thats whats ''just a question'' said, as long as everyone is going to school, there not showing up on unemployed statistics because they are not in the labor force, hence making the numbers of unemployed better for the government. The amount of students should not be a surprise to Sweden or its economist. Its common since in a country that offers free college and pays you do attend college that it would be the number one choice to do for people that cant find jobs. I'm shocked its only 300,000.
16:11 March 1, 2010 by slickphilly
where's all this negativity coming from? congrats to sweden for having a highly educated population and generating a surplus....but in more important news....Canada beat USA to get the GOLD in hockey!!!!
16:24 March 1, 2010 by just a question
kenny8076, that is exactly what I mean.

The Swedish government has a very intelligent way of lie about the real unemployment rate.
16:44 March 1, 2010 by hpunlimited
I suppose that it is better that unemployed people are in University than laying in some backalley begging for coins.
16:53 March 1, 2010 by stoffer
Guys, what's wrong with you? If the government would do the opposite i.e. reduce funding for universities you would also complaing about it and say, that that increases the unemployment. Stop complaining and get to work instead of wasting time on web forums! (Disclaimer: I just finished my day at work) Work more, spend more, increase the demand and reduce the unemployment! Yes you can! It's the people who run the country, not the government. Saying that it is the government is just escaping from responsibility.
17:08 March 1, 2010 by just a question
Human beings are so predictable...
19:35 March 1, 2010 by svenskdod
I am studying because there is very little work. Since I am now a Swedish citizen it is very easy to get in. Basically riding out the economic crunch while getting another qualification... The thing is, there are many who are doing the same thing just in my class. Nothing wrong with it, and encourages a more educated population.
20:29 March 1, 2010 by skatty
You see, so many people apply to study at Universities to get education because of unemployment, then you should ask yourself why the roof a supermarket or so many other places collapse! Because of the education quality of course, not the snow; you get it!!
21:28 March 1, 2010 by DanielC
Personally I think it is a good idea for people who can't find a job to at least improve their qualifications. They are not contributing to the economy right now anyway, but if they improve their education they can at least make a greater contribution to the economy in the future than if they just sat at home doing nothing while their brains atrophy.
04:08 March 2, 2010 by glamelixir
Totally agree I am back in University at 35 after a long career in my field due to unemployment.

I meet daily people in the same situation.
09:24 March 2, 2010 by Gurkhan
If Sweden carries on with this pace of higher education, soon there will be an expansion of scope of swedish education dominating the European scale... eventually I believe the Swedish high standards will benefit all Europe!
22:13 March 2, 2010 by Greg in Canada
We have record enrollment in Canada also. It's all about the economy. The bottom line is that if you can't find a job you might as well go back to school.
19:59 March 5, 2010 by Brad_L
Twiceshy, you are correct. However, I believe the university only gets money for every student that graduates. International programs have been expanding for years, so they will see benefits already from that system, but they won't be benefiting from this year's high enrolment for another two years or so.

I was in an international master's program myself at Uppsala this year, but the student enrolment was so big that the university was unable to provide the same quality of education as the previous year. Coming from a university that ranks higher than Uppsala internationally, I couldn't justify staying, so I dropped out. It was really an unfortunate situation, and I can imagine that the lecturers would have been frustrated with the reputation they were getting amongst their students.
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