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Sweden's international student numbers bounce back after pandemic

Emma Löfgren
Emma Löfgren - [email protected]
Sweden's international student numbers bounce back after pandemic
Thousands of international students travel to Sweden every year. Photo: Cecilia Larsson Lantz/

More international students are studying in Sweden than ever before, with enrolments now at higher levels than before the pandemic slump.


Almost 41,700 international students studied in Sweden during the 2022/23 academic year, new figures from the Swedish Higher Education Authority reveal – an increase of five percent on the year before.

The number of new international students also grew, from almost 23,900 to more than 25,500. That’s an increase of seven percent.

Of the students in Sweden last year, just over 28,700 were so-called "free movers", meaning that they have organised their own studies and applied independently, rather than moving to Sweden as part of a student exchange programme, and more than 13,000 were exchange students.

The exchange students in particular grew: up 12 percent on the 2021/22 academic year.


Almost 22,900 of foreign students were women, and just over 18,800 were men.

Almost 18,700 came to Sweden from the EU/EEA (including just over 2,900 from the other Nordic countries) and Switzerland, and 16,300 came from non-EU/EEA countries, the data show.


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