According to Universityadmissions.se the number of international applicants for master’s degree programs at Swedish universities have increased with 24 % compared to 2011.
The number of students that have paid the application fee has increased with 22 % so the increase is not mainly related to an increase in applicants that are exempt from fees. (Due to EU legislation, students from the EU/EEA, like Swedish students, do not need to pay tuition fees.)
Increasing number of international applications for Swedish mastern's degree programs. Photo: Ulf Lundin
Here’s a list of the top ten countries (with the number of applicants from each country in parenthesis)*:
- Sweden (1330)
- Germany (918)
- China (883)
- Great Britain (807)
- India (755)
- U.S.A. (639)
- Greece (562)
- Iran (531)
- Bangladesh (475)
- Pakistan (425)
And here’s a breakdown over the top ten most popular universities (with the number of applicants in parenthesis):
- Lund University (11449)
- Stockholm University (6724)
- KTH Royal Institute of Technology (5534)
- Chalmers University of Technology (5032)
- Uppsala University (4611)
- Linköping University (3905)
- University of Gothenburg (3592)
- Stockholm School of Economics (2169)
- Malmö University (2084)
- Blekinge Institute of Technology (1931)
If you are interested in more detailed statistics, including number of applicants for individual study programs, here is an excel file of the complete list of statistics from The Swedish Agency for Higher Education Services (VHS). We’re all about transparency.
* The list refers to the number of students that have either paid the application fee or are exempt from application fees. The total number of applicants per country can be found in the excel file above.
Since this is the first year that international students from outside of the EU/EEA area are required to pay tuition fees for programs held at Swedish universities, the number of international applicants has decreased dramatically. As expected, data from VHS (Swedish Agency for Higher Education Services) shows that the number of applicants to master’s programs decreased by 73 % compared to applications for autumn 2010. 25,094 applications were submitted for master’s programs of autumn semester 2011, compared to 91,788 for autumn 2010 (all statistics from VHS).
Lund University received the highest number of applicants for 2011.
Lund University was the most popular Swedish university — with the highest number of applicants both in total and as the first-hand choice university — followed by KTH, Royal Institute of Technology and Stockholm University. A detailed list of the number of applicants per university can be found here.
Although a decreased number of applicants do not necessarily translate to a decrease in admitted students, some Swedish universities will most likely have fewer non-EU students arriving to their campuses in 2011 compared to previous years. The same pattern, to a comparable or even larger extent, could be seen in Denmark and the Netherlands, who recently made a similar switch to tuition fees. However, competition for most programs is still high.
Because of the many positive effects an international climate has on the education and research conducted at the university level, this is of course an unwanted situation. On the positive side is that many Swedish universities have started recruiting qualified international students more actively and taken it upon themselves to work harder with ensuring quality and services for their students. Both on their own and in collaboration with the Study in Sweden team at the Swedish Institute. Hopefully the number of available scholarships will also continue to increase. It all comes down to a strong belief that Swedish higher education has a lot to offer the world, and that the world has a lot to offer to Swedish higher education.
It is truly a challenge for the Swedish universities, which I hope they will take on with passion.
*Update: If you want to find out more about the reasons for introducing tuition fees, please follow this link.