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Lund's foreign student recruitment efforts flop

TT/David Landes · 11 Oct 2011, 13:33

Published: 11 Oct 2011 13:33 GMT+02:00

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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."

Story continues below…

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.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:15 October 11, 2011 by StockholmSam
This is news? What should be the focus of this story is that the fools at Lund expected anything more than this and why they are so out of touch with reality.
15:26 October 11, 2011 by fxrider
Before deciding to come to sweden, a tuition fee paying foreigner will think about the quality of education, living expenses and the job prospects after completing the education. Now lets presume that the quality of the education and the living expenses in Sweden are similar to that of the USA, UK, Australia and Canada.

Where does Sweden stand in terms of job prospects? A big fat fee with no jobs isn't really what students buy these days. And even if there were jobs, would foreigners with limited Swedish language skills be able to get those jobs?

What I am trying to say is that by implementing the tuition fee, Swedish universities are in direct competition with the rest of the world. If they want tuition paying students then they will have to offer an equally competitive package.
15:49 October 11, 2011 by occassional
It might help give the appalling accommodation shortage that we hear of every year a bit of a breather.
15:59 October 11, 2011 by cupidcub
lolz.. what else did you expect ? You thought that tons of non-european students will hope in saying: 'yaay we got the chance'.. :D

Get down on earth.. as fxrider said, Sweden is not in any stage for competing with other countries having tuition fees for higher education.

If a student goes to USA, CANADA, Australia there is a chance that they would get job and a permanent residence-ship after completing their studies. Sweden doesn't even give time to search for jobs to its graduates.

Letting the students go is never a good thing to do for Sweden itself. Sweden is investing approximately a more than a million SEK to prepare a graduate (non paying students) and when Sweden can't or don't make the student stay and work in Sweden, the graduate is inevitably being hired by another country. So, others are enjoying Swede-grown fruits.

Its not hard to visualize the situation. And confusing a refugee/immigrant with a highly educated student (even if from the same country) is a big mistake!
16:08 October 11, 2011 by ?????

I couldn't agree more. Compared to other countries, Sweden is colder, more expensive, more law-restricted= less fun, the native language isn't english, it has an accomodation issue, and it doeasn't have better universities than other countries (I'm not saying they're bad). So...why someone would go there? Oh, because it's free! Oh, but it's not anymore! So bye bye non-EU students... We'll miss the money you were spending for living here, because some 'clever' people in economy offices thought that you cost more than your expenses...
16:16 October 11, 2011 by cupidcub
Another thing to mention that, while it was free Swedish universities would get the best pool of students from Non-EU countries, that means the top talents. Whereas now what they get is the leftovers of other European countries. It will certainly effect the education standard & research capability of the Swedish institutions within few years.

And yes as ????? said Sweden is also losing the living expenses that student spends every month.
16:43 October 11, 2011 by Migga
@ ?????

"more law-restricted= less fun"

You can`t be taken serious when you make statements like that. Also the foreign students have no accomodation issues, trust me. The universities set aside numerous, well equiped, appartments that only foreign students are allowed to rent. Even entire buildings/blocks.

If you wanna know why someone would study in Sweden instead of the USA, Canada, UK or Australia then why don`t you ask a foreign student? I have and the answare is almost always that it`s because Sweden isn`t the USA, Canada, UK or Australia that they are here. They came here because Sweden is Sweden. Including the tuition fee, the cold and the non english speaking majority.

Also the loss from the students living expenses aren`t that much. I`d say that single students are one of the least affluent groups in soceity. Regarding jobs it`s not always the main purpose when studying abroad. Most do it for a year as an experience or something to put on their CV. To think that it`s a given to get a job after studying in the USA, UK, Canada or Australia is as sure a thing that you won`t get one in Sweden.
16:57 October 11, 2011 by Twiceshy
What did they expect really... Several of the above comments are spot on, Sweden is simply not an attractive enough package to pay 100-200 thousand kronor for studying.

This could be improved by giving a better chance to find jobs after and during graduation, etc., but even then 100-200,000 kronor is probably still too much given some problems that are simply not solvable (language, weather etc.)
17:20 October 11, 2011 by ?????

Well, the statement I made is quite real though, isn't it?

Law restriction=Less fun: System-Bolaget! Curfew at bars! Age limit of being 20 at many bars! Shall I name more? I can, trust me...

No accomodation issues for foreign students? Hmm, it happens to know quite too many international students that even abandoned their studies after failing to find even the worst room available after 1 month of being in Sweden.

And I didn't ask why someone would come here instead of the US or UK. I know why. Because it WAS free. They're not coming any more though, are they?

Oh, and the living expenses issue, right? I don't think that there are many locals that spend more on rent, food, books, transport, bars, etc. than your average student.
17:28 October 11, 2011 by cupidcub
@ Migga

You are absolutely wrong in ALL of your paragraphs.
17:37 October 11, 2011 by OUIJA
Paying for coming to study in Sweden? Sorry, but that is a joke. Why should someone pay here when with the same amount of tuition a year they can study someplace else and with better, far much better teachers? Well...

Only those students who are here under an interchange program, do not pay.
17:50 October 11, 2011 by Just_Kidding
@migga: you said: "If you wanna know why someone would study in Sweden instead of the USA, Canada, UK or Australia then why don`t you ask a foreign student? I have and the answare is almost always that it`s because Sweden isn`t the USA, Canada, UK or Australia that they are here. They came here because Sweden is Sweden".

Do you expect a student who's application was refused from universities in US and UK to come forward and tell you that the Sweden was the best that they could get? You put these guys in a diffucult position and in retaliation they resort to bullshitiing... and saying meaningless things such as "Because Sweden is Sweden" :)
19:49 October 11, 2011 by fxrider
For those of you who thinks paying a huge fee in Sweden and returning back to there home country for taking up a job is a good deal:

Here is the story with proper calculations:

1. A student from India gets accepted in the best Swedish university. How nice!!

2. He decides to pay 150,000 for his 1 year international MS. Really??

3. He will take an education loan of 150,000kr (tuition) + 100,000kr (living+other expenses) so the total would be 250,000kr. Current exchange rate is ca 7Rs for 1sek. That would be 1.75million Rs. WOW!!

4. So he takes the education loan at 12% interest, repayable in 5 years.

5. He tops his class, finishes his education and returns back to India as expected.

6. Guess what? Since he has had such fab education, he gets a job the very next day he landed with a salary of 50,000 rs per month. Dream on!

7. Now he has to pay back the loan. Reality knocks his door!

8. Still remember that 1.75 million Rs loan with 12% interest? Good. If he decides to pay back the loan in 5 years, he will have to pay 39,000 rs per month for the coming 5 years. Leaving him with just 11,000rs per month to do everything he wanted to do in his life. Isn't that awesome :) In most cases his starting salary will be between 30,000 and 40,000rs per month.

Well you may now suggest that after finishing his education in Sweden the student can go to UK or USA for work. Well if that's where he gonna endup then why not do his MS there. I love Sweden but I also love my money. Sorry to say this but Sweden ain't the country to invest those million Rs that you ain't got. Unless the universities guarantee campus placements. Sweden can offer good education. But that's where the story ends. After the education you will end up with a debt that you can't repay. You will get your education but your father will loose his house. Oouch!

Here is the link if you wanna calculate the installments yourself: http://alturl.com/b3oyo
19:56 October 11, 2011 by hammad674
I am an international student in Sweden since two years. So i guess i am well in a position to reflect my experience. Well all the things are true that job difficulty, worst weather, Introward People, Language issue etc etc. Truly why i am here is just because of Free Education, and as soon i will finish my study i will move to Canada/US or Middle East where the people learn to appreciate the education.

In my opinion, Sweden invested much on Non-EU and i really thankful to all the tax payers and government efforts for that. But if the Government and the people do not want to employ the people at whom they have invested million SEK then what could be think of, simply move to a better place and that's true, because no one can wait for 3-4 year for changing of situation. Sweden only give right to the immigrants at whom they have to invest billions to educate them from the beginning and at the end they become addicted to government money and don't want to work, same goes for the Swedes as well, they are addicted to their government's money (which is obviously the Tax payers money) which make them lazy and arrogant.

Generally There are only two categories of jobs for International student if lucky enough which is cleaning (städ) and Pizzeria Job other just simply refuse you simply because of language and Nazi's issue. So who will invest million SEK here where Sweden's have less charm and to be Honest, without Job study and other expenses are almost impossible for a Non-Eu student. I am lucky enough to get the chance but i am disappointed for them who couldn't get a chance and Sweden couldn't get the talented pool and it seems that Sweden will suffer the quality of student as well because the eligibility is the financial mean rather than talent of Student :(
21:09 October 11, 2011 by Migga
@ ?????

So you need to be drunk and go to the club to have fun? Wow you are narrowminded. Also if you are so concern about drinking, you can do that when you are 18 in Sweden. And go to the club aswell. I think your statment is wrong since none of those "law-restrictions" mean that Sweden is less fun. It`s your view on it which you state as a fact. Which it isn`t.

Regarding your "accomodation issues" I can only say that we have totaly different excperiences.

"They're not coming any more though, are they?"

Aren`t they? According to the article it clearly state that both Lund and Uppsala university recived foreign students.

@ cupidcub

Mind telling me why I`m wrong and what your arguments are. Let`s talk about it.

@ Just_Kidding

I expect a person to be honest. I`m not putting them into a difficult position, that`s you making things up. I´m also wondering how you know what and why people tell me something.
21:34 October 11, 2011 by Hauser

I have to disagree with you. I'm a student from the EU. Even if I did not have to pay any fees I surely would have. Sweden is a great country and the quality of the Universities are good. I've met too many people from asia and the middle east which don't study hard. The reason these people can't find a job here is because they are immature, don't speak Swedish and don't cope with the Swedish mentality. I say, rather accept less international students but those which are highly motivated and willing to pay for it. Give first, then demand.

You should be a bit more careful criticizing Swedens social system. It's a remarkable achievement. By the way, what does your country do for international students from Europe ? ....thought so.
21:36 October 11, 2011 by rouzi
My experience from Sweden:

Swedes= hate spread machines

Education quality : Master degree= associated degree

Climate: 6 month winter 6 month spring

Living cost : my university sells food to me between 60 to 80kr

Bus card 350kr / m if you area full time student..

10 percent beer is 23 kr

SJ gives 10 to50 kr discount to student.

MacDonald 5 to 10 kr .

Asking yourself you are a student or beggar!!
21:36 October 11, 2011 by 0.5

Regarding your "accomodation issues" I can only say that we have totaly different excperiences.

Well. I can just say that you are lucky. This is really a fxcking annoying thing in Sweden. At least in Lund.

Yes, you can choose to live in Kristianstad and take a train everyday for over 1 hour to go to Lund and have a 90 minutes class then go back by train for over 1 hour again.
21:38 October 11, 2011 by darky
Poor students should pay fees. Rich students should study for free. How does this sound people?? The introduction of fees was just a polite way of saying, '' we don't want poor students(Non EU students) ''. The hand writing is clearly written on the wall and needs no magician for interpretation. So why complain now that there are a few number of international students from Non EU countries?? Hypocrites ! For your information, such students u guys barred from studying there by the introduction of fees used to spice up these programs. Now all is bul-''''sh'''t.
21:46 October 11, 2011 by cupidcub
@ Migga:

Okay. Lets Talk.

First, if you have really been through the process of the housing for foreign students, you couldn't say that. I literally failed in all the courses in the first term, just because of the housing problems. yeah, some people are lucky, they get lotteries. In fact housing is the biggest problem that a student faces in Sweden. How could you deny that ?

Second, the number you see of non-eu students includes SI, Erasmus and National Scholarship holders. If you exclude them, you would obviously end up in single digit numbers for each country, who really came to study on their OWN money.

Third, I spend around 6000 SEK per month. Now, as the article says, there were 800 (non paying) students last year. So only from Lund approximately, 800 X 6000 SEK have been added into Swedish economy per month. Whereas now multiply that with single digit student numbers, as I explained before. Surely a big decline on the amount.

I think, your thoughts are far away from reality and you assume a lot of things.
22:18 October 11, 2011 by rouzi
What is my situation? I had no other choice. Here was the only place that I could afford the expenses and the easiest place for getting an admission. Thanks for low population and empty universities.


Welcome to the greatest and best country in the world. Hope to enjoy your stay in Sweden.

Ps. Some people say Norway , Denmark and Finland are good as well and have lots of achievements. please pay a visit to them as well. by the way one of my friends said Germany is also a good country.

my another friend said Australia is a great country. Even better than Sweden (Swedes please forgive me it was my friend assertion and I worn him for telling such a nonsense sentence.)

Additionally somebody told me there is a country in the world which sometimes is called the land of opportunity.

Anyway, I heard a lot and everybody said we are the best or they are the best and I become confuse.

Finally, you just be very very careful to do not miss these great and remarkable achievements.
22:44 October 11, 2011 by Hauser

What's your point ? You really seem to be confused. Study might help...
22:57 October 11, 2011 by rouzi
The point is

To not judge people and conditions without being completely aware of them.

23:07 October 11, 2011 by ebsor12
Every decision has its own rational, Swedish government decision is bad for the students belonging from poor countries who cant pay the fee. But due to economic situation they have to take step.

Now this decision is good for Swedish tax payers as there money would be spent on there benifits,i.e housing. Like to get a aprtment in Stockholm you have to wait for more then five years. May be they can provide housing to people in country as they pay tax.

Sweden woul face man power shortage in future due to the decision and they have to get workforce and by this decision they cant get educated young people.

Instead there goal is to import people from Somalia,Afghanistan or other regions. No doubt that is appreciable they are helping Somalians as the situation is bad there but by stoping the student to come and study.
23:46 October 11, 2011 by graphixperson
@ Migga

How can you say there is no accommodation shortage for students in Lund? I had multiple friends sleeping in the floor of the AF-borgen for a week. A few are still couch-surfing around town with very generous fellow students. To adopt the Swedish mentality for a second, "this would never happen in my country!"
03:36 October 12, 2011 by Onepack
Higher education is a business for the universities. For Lund University it is more like a factory... trying to expand at any cost.

Higher education is an adventure for the foreign students. The non-Swedish students do not come to Sweden in anticipation of residing in Sweden after they complete their studies. Foreign students come to capture the knowledge and then return to their homeland. That's the reality.

Unfortunately, for Lund University the business is suffering. The factory is getting rusty. Suggest a good downsizing to give both the staff and the town breathing room to better manage growth in the future.
03:39 October 12, 2011 by Migga
@ 0.5

Yeah or Malmö which is 10 minutes by train. And Dalby which is 15 min by bus.

@ cupidcub

So since I haven`t experienced it myself I have no voice in the matter? I gave my opinion on the issue which was different from yours. You`ve had an experience that makes you say that there is an issue. My view based on my experiences is that there is no issue.

I don`t assume because that would make an ass out of u and me. I state my view on it, which is based on my personal experiences. Is your view more right then mine? Is yours better?

@ graphixperson

I never meantioned Lund. I do know several foreign students in Lund who got appartments straight away. Some live in buildings just for foreign students. Some live in apartments in town. Some even live in houses with a few other foreign students which is just for them to live in. I`m not saying your story isn`t true but for each story you have I have a positiv experience aswell.
04:47 October 12, 2011 by OUIJA
Lund University expected to receive applications from around 400 students outside the European Union. The truth is that they only receive 207. In 2010, they had 600 who enrolled in the university.

But just think that the amount that foreign students have to pay at Lund, goes from 13 thousand US Dollars per year for the social sciences program to 34 thousand US Dollars per year of medical school studies, that is, from around 100 thousand Swedish crowns to around 240 thousand Swedish crowns.

The above is the result of the "well" planned government policy of cancelling the free tuition for the students coming outsinde the EU zone. Now, they do not know what to do, as usual.

I just checked, and the problem is about the same at the University of Linköping.
05:15 October 12, 2011 by Not Dumb
I've read all the comments, read the article before it. Why is it that no one seems to mention that the present government's neoliberal tax cuts and corporate welfare have negatively and severely impacted the university system, this being only one of the early symptoms of the coming problem? The financial cut 0f 2013 is cited, but not that it's precipitated -- as is virtually every other cut here -- by the lack of funding due to the neoliberal 'reforms' which have left Sweden unable to maintain its once excellent educational, healthcare, elder care, pension, and other societal systems.

While the 'reforms' have made the rich here considerably richer, society is hurting, and the 'Nazis' mentioned in comment #14 have risen by blaming everything on those of foreign origins...or, even better put, the Sweden Democrats have. But, the problem is the 'reforms' that are killing and dividing this once truly great society, and I lack the words to express my outrage about the tragedy now ongoing.

I understand there's an 'Occupy' movement in Sweden, one part of it demonstrating at Sergels Torg in Stockholm this Saturday from noon to six. It would be good if the 99% of Swedes that don't reap the benefits the 1% do woke up. Sadly, denial runs deep here, as does the present xenophobia...but once Swedes had a strong tradition of worker solidarity, and there might be enough embers of that fire remaining to burn away the madness that's brought things to the sorry state they are. We can only watch and see.

And, to avoid meaningless debate with an SD troll, I will apologize that this is all I have to say on the issue.
08:49 October 12, 2011 by rfmann
I am a teacher at Lund University, and we recently hired a bunch of graduate students, foreign and domestic. Of course, they are not affected by the tuition raise, but their situation nonetheless provides some insight into what's going on here.

(1) Housing. Two months after coming here, they are still looking for affordable housing. They would like to stay in Lund, also be cause getting a car is expensive and they would at some point have to get a Swedish driver license, which isn't cheap, either.

(2) Motivation to come here. Just about all of the international students we hired had sent applications to U.S. schools, and got rejected. There was one guy who had friends in Malmö, so he wanted to come to Sweden for that reason, but he was from inside the EU. For all the others, Sweden was at best a second, and certainly never a first choice.

I know it's a difficult perspective for Swedish folks to assume, but from an international student's point of view, especially in a technical discipline, Sweden isn't a very attractive place to get a degree, and raising the tuition won't help that anymore than the rampant parochialism in so many everyday situations. As it is, we already get the second-tier students that get rejected from good schools in more attractive countries, and with higher tuition we'll further shift the selection toward those from richer families and countries, thereby reducing our ability to select based on merit even further.

None of this should be very surprising, but now it seems we actually have the data to back this up. So what will we do about it?
10:00 October 12, 2011 by Malmoman

I think you are right about many wanting the Swedish experience, but I believe there is a cost benefit relationship.

I was a student at a Swedish University English language program and here are my two cents. I was not born in Sweden but I am a citizen. I have a BA from the US and an MA from Sweden and a BSc from Denmark. I have done some graduate work in the US as well.

1. The quality of student when it was free varied GREATLY. Some of the students were very very good and some were very very bad and had no right studying in Sweden. The lack of a GRE type test did not weed out the really bad students.

2. It was really hard for some/many of the non-western foreign students to make friends with Swedes. I remember taking a math course with some Chinese and being told I was the first westerner to make friends with them since they had moved to Sweden (8 months before).

3. Nearly EVERYONE was there for the free tuition. We talked about this from time to time, as the tuition hike was coming, and this fact was very clear. Most of the arab guys I knew wanted to go to the UK. The Chinese talked about MIT and Harvard and wanted to go to the US. There were some Swedophiles that were there for the experience I am sure.
10:07 October 12, 2011 by mrgoble
I studied in Malmö and received a Masters (2 year)... although I wouldn't technically be affected by the tuition (swedish wife) I do know that our program was much, much better because we had international students.

Which of the roughly 15 total students throughout the 2 years of study only 2 have stayed in Sweden. 2! Not because they didn't like it here but because their is no jobs. True the weather isn't the best (i'm from the US) and the housing is crazy expensive and hard to come by. Out of the ~15 students 2 had university provided housing, in Rosengård... not exactly the nicest area of town. It took several months for the rest to find housing.

As for integration in Swedish culture, the truth of the matter is that it goes both ways, I studied swedish and am fluent enough to be able to work here, most of the students gave up after the first 6 months. They realized that they wouldn't be able to find work here and decided why bother. The education was in english BTW, which was a huge draw for most.

As for getting used to the Swedish mentality, most people come to terms with it. One way or another.

I must say though, a Swedish education can be highly regarded in many places in the world, much higher than in Sweden actually. But it just depends on what that education is.

I know now that they are charging 340,000 krs for the education i received for free a little less than 2 years ago. And I do know that they haven't had the easiest time finding students that are willing to pay that. Seeing as you can go to a much more highly regarded school for the same or even less. Just charging a lot doesn't create exclusivity. The education itself was lacking in real-world training as well. They (the teachers) knew most people wouldn't stay here afterwards, even the (few) Swedes that were in the class so they didn't really bother with introducing or creating networks with companies or requiring some sort of internship.

Yes, it costs Sweden a lot to educate people for free, but why not spend more time and effort trying to keep those educated people in Sweden? What the government should have done was offer the education for free but require that you stay in the country for x amount of years or you can opt to pay it back if you want to leave. This only works of course if their is an environment that would accept and foster international workers. And honestly most educated people will take the time to learn Swedish if they know they will be here for awhile.
10:30 October 12, 2011 by redblue
I, as a tax payer in Sweden, don't want to pay for international students who are here only because of free education (for them, not for us tax payers), and as soon as they have finished their studies will move to Canada/US or Middle East. I'm truly grateful the government finally said no to parasitical freeloaders.
14:50 October 12, 2011 by prince T
"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.


Only short sighted people will not want foreign students to come here. Those dat do not want the interest of sweden at heart. I wonder y some people think that the economy will improve if we do notin.
19:14 October 12, 2011 by 15U
I'm from Russia. 3 years ago I came to study free in Sweden. My Russian friend came at the same time to UK, her parents were rich, they payed.

after studies she received a right to stay in UK for 1 year to have a work. I think it's right scheme. Sweden needs the same.
01:47 October 13, 2011 by Kaethar
I don't know whether to laugh or cry at people exclaiming students won't come to Sweden now because it's a crap country to live in with crap weather and food and people.

Guess what? If someone dislikes Sweden that much why should we pay for them to study here? If someone is not going to stay on in Sweden after university then it's a lost investment and Swedish citizens foot the bill.

No, this law is great. We no longer have to pay the tuition of people who are just in the country to take advantage of our educational system. This is not a bad thing no matter what some of you seem to be imagining.
03:28 October 13, 2011 by SecondGen
I don't understand why you paid the tuition of anyone to start with? Is it because your taxes are so high you can't afford to pay your own?

I live in the United States (my grandparents were born in Sweden and came over in the 1900's) and we all pay for tuition unless you have a needs, sports or academic scholarship. You need some skin the game, else it's too easy to walk away from it. Education is an investment in yourself (at least that's what I've been telling myself in going back to school as an adult to complete an MS/CS degree).

I started following thelocal thinking that once I finish my MS next year that perhaps I'd see about contract work in Sweden just to explore the past and meet up with long lost family (I've been there as a kid, but that was in the 70's). Not sure it's exactly the thing for an older adult to do, perhaps this was something for in my 20's or 30's but it still seemed like it might be fun.

So, based on comments such as "Education quality : Master degree= associated degree" is Sweden suffering from in education as well?
11:20 October 13, 2011 by Malmoman
I think another thing that is largely overlooked is that MANY of the graduate students in the US really do not pay tuition. As an engineering graduate student in the US it is likely that I would be offered an assistantship or research position within the university. If it is a state university I would then be granted in-state tuition rates (depending on the state). On top of this I would have a paid position that would give me an annual income of between 20 and 35,000 dollars. This would significantly larger than the in-state tuition at many schools. This would open up a large network of researchers for you and widen you prospects for a job or PhD. It would also give you the possibility to get published. I know a lot of students in the US, both foreign and domestic, who either got jobs from this network or a PhD.

Perhaps Sweden should try to replicate this by creating research centers and employing both international and domestic students. It would be a boost for innovation and create a network for all involved.

As it is now the salaried researchers are PhD students and there is little or no opportunity for masters students to work to offset their tuition (particularly in their field). The idea here is better, and may be more costly in the short run, because it keeps the best talent, foreign and domestic, in Sweden.
15:10 October 13, 2011 by cogito
In the "World University Rankings, 2011," recently published by the Times Higher Education Supplement, 20 of the top 25 schools are in the U.S.A. or Canada. Of the five not in North America, 4 are in England and one in Switzerland.

Sweden first appears at #32 (Karolinska Institute) and again at #80 (Lund University).
15:25 October 13, 2011 by shahjee
I would suggest to those people who are thinking that they are paying tuition fees from their taxes are living in a fools paradise. they think that international students are burden on their economy. so they need to look this in deeper context. some of them think they should stop immigration and make Sweden heaven. i don't know why not u people think from your brain without the glasses of hatred of immigrant. whatever u say about immigration , you have to keep immigration for your own sake. because more than 60 percent people are retired or soon will retired ( are at the age of 60 according to Swedish statistics). so u need money and work force for their pensions, and to keep your country on track u will have to recruit people. so stop talking nonsense like stop immigration bla bla bla/. if you will stop immigration your country will be dead, may be after 100 years and so. i would rather suggest some good things which might help u. open your hands towards smart immigration instead of demanding stop immigration as Canada and Denmark are doing.

international student was not burden but a positive addition in your country, they have to pay from pocket (because of no jobs)they were spending here at least 7000 per month, so if you take round of all that money which you were gaining from their living expenses, and were spending on their tuition fees, you would realiz that it was not u who were paying, they were adding money in your economy.

so my point is that instead of taking uneducated immigrant (which u have to take for the sake of your country's survival) you could take those educated student which already understand your society and educated from your own country. what has happened with you , Sweden offered free education and attracted people from world, after completion of studies Sweden refused them to stay here and Danish smart government cashed the situation, they introduced green card scheme for student and hired many of masters degree holders who finished their studies in Sweden, they are now serving in Denmark, and Sweden failed to keep them here, there is no way in Swedish immigration system so student can stay here, so you even can not calculate how big is this loss. so guys carry on with your thought that u should stop immigration and bla bla bla. other countries are benefiting, and improving. because immigration is bitter truth for survival of EU countries.

for me whoever give suggestion for stop immigration is against their own country.
22:57 October 13, 2011 by Just_Kidding
@shahjee: If accepting immigrants is so beneficial for Sweden, maybe dening them will benefit the home country of immigrants which may need more help from these smart an young brains. Isn't it fair to help a poor country like Pakistan or India instead of helping the allready well off Sweden?

Iranian Atheist
04:06 October 14, 2011 by ccb
"I don't understand why you paid the tuition of anyone to start with? Is it because your taxes are so high you can't afford to pay your own?"


I think it is quite understandable why in the past Sweden has offered free education to non-EU students. Unlike in the US, the universities here are fully funded by the state so education is free to Swedish students and therefore by EU law it is free to EU students as well. So staff and infrastructure etc are all paid for by taxes and not via tuition paid by students. If a university has a student body of 15 000 Swedish and EU students that utilise state funded infrastructure, professors etc then extending this service to about 800 or so non-EU students isn't a huge stretch of these resources and has the benefits of producing a very attractive offer to non-EU students who would have otherwise overlooked Sweden due to its less prominent status in the world of higher education thus boosting world ranking. So initially it was a win-win situation. I think after a while it got out of hand, universities got overzealous in their expansion efforts to capitalise on extra funding offered per non-EU (which I suppose was to offset basic administrative costs etc). It also became difficult to assimilate many of these non-EU students into the work force since they would be the ones more likely to want to stay to work compared to EU students. As the economic crisis set in and economy began to suffer it became even to harder to justify the 'free-tuition' system for non-EU students to the general taxpaying community. So a decision was taken to remove this system and charge tuition fees.
01:51 October 15, 2011 by SecondGen

As a current MS/CS student I can say I could apply to work at the university if I wanted to which would result in discounts in tuition (instructors offer information occasionally at the end of class when such positions are funded - but the state of the economy is poor so there are fewer funded positions and I don't have the time as I'm an adult already working in my field).

I wouldn't generalize though thinking that few pay, at least not at state universities in Illinois where I live/attend. State Universities have lower tuition to start with, and, at least in my case, I can afford to pay cash so I do. Eliminates pesky government forms asking about my revenue and family finances. For the courses I've taken, it seems those who take government assistance are the ones you'd least want to work with later and the ones that tend to require the most assistance to finish projects. I prefer working with people motivated to do the work.


It just seems to me if you pay for it, you'll be more motivated to complete it promptly. I've had team projects where I end up doing the entire project and just dole out portions to others to talk about because I knew they weren't going to do it and it would have affected my grade if I had let them flounder.

I'm not sure we can compare apples to apples. I saw a website saying 30% of swedes have the 'equivalence' to a bachelors degree but then it referred to it as a 3 year degree, where as in the U.S. a bachelors degree is a 4 year degree. One can shorten the time a semester by taking full class loads in the summer when available, but that still puts U.S. around 3.5 years because U.S. schools typically limit summer loads to between 6-9 hours since they are condensed semesters.

It might be easier though to finish if the timeline is shorter, although I suspect most U.S. students who quit do so in the first two years, rather than the final year.
13:13 October 15, 2011 by Just_Kidding
In past Swedish universities charged government per student they educated. Accepting international students helped universities to beef up the reciept, without feeling any obligation to prepare these students for "job market". if an international student complained that they couldn't get a job with MSc degree from Högskolan BS, they would have been told that its because of them not knowing how to speak Swedish. The economic melt down reveald many operations with foolish business plans, among them Bernie Maddof's Hedge found and MSc programs filled by foreign students.
02:19 October 16, 2011 by Descartes
Let's summarize the issues, concerning the higher education in Sweden>

• No requirements for entry tests like SAT GMAT GRE, therefore the students are mostly ill prepared for higher education studies

• No higher rankingsfrom international organizations for Swedish universities

• High tuition fees, compared with the tuition fees of universities (e.g. universities in Germany, Hungary etc) which offer the education of more or less similar quality

• Some lecturers are astoundingly ignorant

• Evaluation criteria is ambiguous

• Job prospects don't exist

• No student loans can be obtained from Swedish banks

Actually, if send an application to ANY Swedish university and put my dog's name on it and pay tuition fee, my dog will be accepted for sure (at least he can understand English better than some of the lecturers and students in Sweden).
20:46 October 18, 2011 by ccb

I do agree with you that if one pays one becomes more motivated many Swedes and foreign students alike don't finish there degree possibly for that reason.

As for Bachelor's degrees, Bachelor's degrees in the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, the Caribbean etc are 3 years long not 4 years. The education system differs from the US in that courses tend to be more specialised with fewer general courses. Additiionally the final years of high school are also more specialised with students focusing more on 3 to 5 courses for a 2 year period in preparation for tertiary level.


I don't think SAT, GMAT or GRE determine if a student is well prepared or not for higher education. Me being to calculate the interior angles of a heptagon in 30 seconds doesn't show anything and that is as deep as most multiple choice quizzes go no matter how fancy they make them seem. I find American standardised tests to be rubbish, comparing the SAT to GCE Advanced Level courses is a joke. So why force a top A level performer to do such a test, it would be an insult if anything. Many European and UK universities attract very high quality students without the need of such tests. It is called rigorous screening. Unis here in Sweden have been all too happy to boost numbers and bloat classrooms, it was about quantity and not quality and that is where the issue was. As you said you could put your dogs name on an application and it be accepted...therein lies the problem.
10:12 October 19, 2011 by Descartes

Correlation between Gmat score and performance in B-schools is more than 60% (mba.com). I don't doubt your math skills, though Gmat encompasses not only math section (problem solving) but also data sufficiency, critical reasoning, reading comprehension and sentence correction. All the skills mentioned above is ESSENTIAL for the student to meet the requirements in top B-schools.
10:19 October 19, 2011 by SecondGen

In doing a BS/CS and MS/CS under the U.S. system I didn't have to take many non-computer related classes (in fact the final 2 years were all math and computer science for my BS degree). I believe for a BA I would have had to take several semesters of foreign language, but for a BS, the closest I got to a foreign language was a few iterations of calculus.
16:31 October 19, 2011 by akanned
I would have been surprise if I did not meet a post like this on thelocal. I have just come out of a recruitment agency where I went to secure an advertised job for part time cleaning job for students here in Umea and all I could get is that I must go and learn swedish before I could get a cleaning job to support myself as a student here. This is totally appalling, as far as I know international students in denmark, italy , uk dont get the sort of poor treatment international students are getting here in Sweden. Lund and other universities here in Sweden are nothing seeing anything yet, why should any sense person choose Sweden instead of Canada,USA etc. where you will have better opportunities during and after your studies. It is rather a pity that Sweden thinks only of her own but want to gain from others. For me Im in but I will not fail to tell my follow Africans to look else way for good education than Sweden, if there is no change and I really mean what I say.
09:25 October 20, 2011 by Descartes

"why should any sense person choose Sweden instead of Canada,USA etc"

Because their English isn't good enough for US and British universities and their analytical skills must be proven by means of Gmat, GRE, etc scores.
15:02 October 23, 2011 by ccb

I do not deny this correlation is correct and that the US based standardised tests have their place. However, my point is that they are good for persons who want to pursue education at US higher education institutions that adhere to the structure of the education system in the US. Here in Europe many countries have their own standardised tests. I would be appalled if a UK university were to make it mandatory for persons educated in UK or Europe to do SAT, GMAT or whatever though sadly it seems to be heading that direction. My point is that Europe has had excellent results with their education system and continues to be excellent and should focus on their own methods at vetting students for their own educational systems. The USA has systematically imported top minds from Europe and Asia especially to give their system a boost however they are still somewhat behind so I wouldn't be to fast to jump on their type standardised test bandwagon just yet.
03:03 October 24, 2011 by Bolante007
I don't get why people think they will get a job pretty easy in the US, specially how things are here now. I am actually leaving this place because of high cost of education and don't preach me this bs about education is an investment, education is a right not a privilege, I am done of being succumbed into the educational system in the US, for my MA in human rights law they're asking me $45,000 now if I want to study global studies or international relations its about the same price! I can go to South Korea and get a much better deal in Korea University, or go to Spain and pay less in Universidad Autonoma in Madrid. Moreover people who complaint about not finding jobs is because they're lazy in the first place, every place in the world that you'll go to it wont be an easy task to find a job. I had a lot of chinese friends with MBAs and MA in business, architecture, hotel and others and they didn't find any jobs after their OPT's were done. No company will sponsor them so they went back to China where they got a high paying job making more than the average businessman in the US.
12:33 October 24, 2011 by Descartes
@ Bolante007

Plz see the F.T. statistics, concerning the employement rates, after graduation from B-schools.

I guess we've lost the point during the discussion…

My statement, about finding a job after graduation, was concerning the top 50-100 B-schools in the U.S..

If you graduate from Wharton or MIT you've got more chances of getting a proper highly paying job than you graduate from Utah or Idaho University.
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