The number of foreign students from countries not belonging to the European Union or Switzerland who will study at Swedish colleges and universities this fall, is dwindling.
Only 1280 have registered, after having paid the new fee. Studying used to be for free for foreigners, and in 2009/2010 there were 16600 so-called “third country” students in Sweden, even though the Swedish government points out that that number for several reasons isn’t completely comparable. Exactly how great the decline is at Swedish seats of learning for this particular group of students isn’t all that clear, but Högskoleverket (the National Agency for Higher Education) notes that the number is declining considerably.
“Now all powers that be in our country must gather a good scholarship program that will make higher education in Sweden attractive again,” says University Chancellor Lars Haikola. Fresh numbers from Migrationsverket (the Migration Board) confirm the situation. From having been financed by taxes, educations for foreigners in Sweden now cost 100 000 SEK ($15,500) or more per year. One reason the fees were introduced was that Sweden was one of the few countries with free education for all foreign students.