The Swedish 'Högskoleverket' - The Higher Education Administration (HSV) -claims that the new system goes against EU-law and the Nordic agreements.
The new rules for admission to Swedish universities discriminate against foreign students. This according to the Swedish Higher Education Administration (HSV), which claims that the new system goes against EU-law and the Nordic agreements. The new admission rules for the Swedish universities place applicants with grades from other countries in a special group. The reason behind this is that some specific high school courses give extra points in the new system. This makes it more difficult to translate the grades from other countries to the Swedish system. Högskoleverket (HSV) wants the selection group of foreign students to be removed. “Our conclusion is that this is not compatible with the agreements in the northern region and also not in the EU,” says Leif Strandberg, investigator at HSV to daily newspaper Sydsvenska Dagbladet. The positions are distributed after the number of applicants in each group and since the "foreign group" is rather small there is a risk that it will get no places at all in the end.
“It will most likely change in the smaller education programs where applicants from other countries have not gotten one single place. That is the negative side with all small selection groups”, says Pierre Bastin, deputy director at HSV.
Affecting all programs
But not only smaller education programs discriminate against foreign applicants. In the popular psychology program at Lund University there were 3,628 applicants to 42 places. None of the 124 applications from foreign students got any of the 42 places. The new rules were criticized already this spring. It was students from the Swedish speaking Åland (in Finland) and from the International and European Baccalaureate (IB-students and EB-students), which were critical since they felt discriminated. This led to an exception for students from Åland who are not a part of this "foreign group". There is also a reaction from Denmark. The Minister for Science, Charlotte Sahl-Madsen has said to the newspaper Politiken that she will follow this investigation and will speak to the Swedish Ministry of education. But according to HSV, the biggest group, which applies with grades from other countries, consists of people who have migrated to Sweden to live here. For people who live in Sweden there is also an alternative way to the university instead of grades. That is Högskoleprovet (the university test), which is a general test of knowledge and ability in different theoretical areas. If you plan to do Högskoleprovet and if you are not originally Swedish, you should focus on the Swedish language a bit extra before doing the test.