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Lund's foreign student recruitment efforts flop

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Lund's foreign student recruitment efforts flop
13:33 CEST+02:00
Despite major investments in foreign student recruitment, Lund University has attracted barely half of the tuition-paying students it hoped would enroll.

In the wake of the introduction of tuition fees for non-European students enrolled at Swedish universities, Lund had expected a drop in foreign student enrollment.

But recruiting paying students has proven harder than expected.

Only 207 tuition-paying students are enrolled at the university for the 2011-2012 academic year, barely half of the university's goal of attracting 400 paying students.

“We're not satisfied,” university head Per Eriksson told the Sydsvenskan newspaper.

Last year, more than 600 students from non-European countries were enrolled at Lund.

Students from China dominate this year's much diminished pool of foreign students, with students from the United States and Ukraine also featuring prominently.

And while Lund had 55 students from Pakistan last year; following the introduction of tuition fees, there are now only three Pakistani students at the school.

“The new rules primarily affect students from poor families,” Richard Stenelo, head of international student recruiting at Lund, told the newspaper.

The drop in foreign students at Lund comes despite an 8.5 million kronor ($1.26 million) investment in the recruitment of tuition-paying students.

Officials had hoped that tuition fees would help make up the difference when the state withdraws more than 40 million kronor in funding in 2013 which is currently tied to non-European student enrollment.

Einar Lauritzen, head of student affairs at Uppsala University also doubted that tuition fees paid by non-European students would make up the difference in reduced funding due to take effect in 2013.

“We're going to end up in the same situation,” he told The Local.

“We're going to lose more money in 2013 than we'll be able to bring in, but there is still time before then."

According to Lauritzen, Uppsala also failed to attract as many tuition-paying foreign students as the university had hoped, although it's goals were more modest.

“We were aiming for 150 tuition paying students and we ended up with 125,” he said.

But he added that, overall, the Uppsala University is “dissatisfied” with the “significant” drop in the non-European student enrollment, which Lauritzen estimated to be around 800 last year.

“We hope bring foreign student enrollment gradually each year, but it remains to be seen if we'll ever reach the figures we had” prior to the introduction of tuition fees, he said.

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