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Number of students taking state-subsidized Swedish classes doubles in a decade

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Number of students taking state-subsidized Swedish classes doubles in a decade
An SFI class in Täby, northern Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT
13:48 CEST+02:00
The number of students enrolling in Sweden's state-subsidized language classes, Swedish for Immigrants (SFI), has more than doubled in ten years according to new figures.

The courses provide teaching in the basics of the Swedish language and are available for free to all foreign residents in Sweden.

Last year, 163,000 students attended SFI classes, an increase of nine percent compared with 2016. 

And over the past ten years, the number of students each year has more than doubled.

READ ALSO: Long queues and lack of teachers hit Swedish for Immigrants classes

When it comes to the make-up of the classes, the most common nationality of last year's SFI intake was Syrian. Almost a third (31 percent) of participants came from the Western Asian country, and Eritrea, Iraq, and Somalia were the next most common countries of origin. The gender split was almost equal, with 51 percent female students and 49 percent male.

The level of education among SFI participants, on the other hand, was varied.

Almost one in five students (18 percent) had completed less than seven years of formal education before enrolling on the course, while more than a third had studied for 13 years or more beforehand.

Of those who began SFI in 2015, just under two thirds (65 percent) had completed and passed at least one course two years later. Around 23 percent had ended their SFI studies, and the remaining 12 percent were still enrolled in the course.

READ ALSO: 12 untranslatable words they didn't teach you at SFI

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