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EDUCATION

University applications rocket to record high

Swedish universities continue to draw vast amounts of applicants with the number of prospective students seeking a third level education increasing for the seventh year in a row.

University applications rocket to record high

The deadline for registrations expired on Wednesday with the Swedish Council for Higher Education (Universitet och högskolerådet) reporting that they'd received 390,000 applications – an increase of 9,500 compared to 2013. 

Due to the added demand for places the state body extended the deadline by a day. In the space of 24 hours they received 20,000 more applications for courses due to begin in the autumn.

As usual the universities offering degree programs in medicine, economics, law and psychology drew the most applicants.

The Karolinska Institute, a famed medical university in Solna, had the most first-hand applications (2,258) to study its medical program.

Stockholm University attracted the most first-hand applications in total with 40,200 expressing a desire to further their studies at the capital institute. Its law degree was the second most desired course for first hand applications with 2,099 prospective students.

The three universities which received the most applications in total were; University of Stockholm, Uppsala University and the University of Lund.

Applicants who wanted to study a full degree program made up 37 percent of the total, with 43 percent opting for individual courses which can be used to make up a degree.

"It is still the bigger institutions which attract the most applicants, chiefly owing that they have many of the most coveted specialist education," said Tuula Kuosmanen, head of the department for admissions and student support for the Swedish Council for Higher Education, in a statement.

In the most recent Times Higher Education ranking just one Swedish university made the top 100 list. The Karolinska Institute moved into the 51-60 bracket but both Uppsala and Lund universities dropped out of the top 100 entirely.  

TT/The Local/pr 

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EDUCATION

IES chain blocked from opening four new schools

Sweden's Internationella Engelska Skolan (IES) chain has been denied permission to open four new schools in Gothenburg, Huddinge, Norrtälje, and Upplands-Bro, after the schools inspectorate said it had not provided pupil data.

IES chain blocked from opening four new schools

According to the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, the Swedish Schools Inspectorate (Skolinspektionen) has denied permission to the chain to open a new planned new school in Norrtälje, north of Stockholm, even though the building that will house it is already half built. The inspectorate has also denied permission to three other schools which the chain had applied to start in 2023. 

In all four cases, the applications have been rejected because the school did not submit the required independent assessment for how many pupils the schools were likely to have. 

Jörgen Stenquist, IES’s deputy chief executive, said that IES has not in the past had to submit this data, as it has always been able to point to the queues of pupils seeking admissions to the school. 

“The fact that Engelska Skolan, as opposed to our competition, has never had the need to hire external companies to do a direct pupil survey is because we have had so many in line,” he told DN.

“In the past, it has been enough that we reported a large queue in the local area. But if the School Inspectorate wants us to conduct targeted surveys and ask parents directly if they want their children to start at our new schools, then maybe we have to start doing that.”

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According to the newspaper, when the inspectorate had in the past asked for pupil predictions, the chain has refused, stating simply “we do not make student forecasts”, which the inspectorate has then accepted. 

However, in this year’s application round, when IES wrote: “We do not carry out traditional interest surveys as we simply have not had a need for this,” the inspectorate treated it as grounds to reject its applications. 

According to DN, other school chain have been complaining to the inspectorate that IES gets favourable treatment and was excused some requirements other chains have to fulfil. 

Liselotte Fredzell, from the inspectorate’s permitting unit, confirmed that the inspectorate was trying to be more even handed. 

“Yes, it is true that we are now striving for a more equal examination of applications. Things may have been getting too slack, and we needed to tighten up.” 

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