More Indian Students Going to Sweden: Report

The biggest increase in incoming students to Sweden was from countries outside the European Union, shows a recent report.


Sweden has been seeing an increasing number of Indian students over the last six years. The number increased from 274 students in 2011-12 to 841 in 2016-17, according to a new report.

“Compared to the previous academic year, the number of incoming students both from the European Union and outside has increased, but the biggest increase was in incoming students from countries outside the Union,” shows the report, titled “Higher Education – International mobility in higher education from a Swedish perspective (2016-17),” released by UKA, a firm that checks the development of higher education.

The increase in the number of students from Asia is evident in 2016-17 academic year, when the number of Asian students was 4,649, as compared to 2,889 during 2011-12. While Indian students registered a rise in numbers from 274 in 2011-12 to 841 in 2016-17, the number of students from Pakistan rose in the same time period from 95 to 261. The corresponding rise for Chinese students was 1,093 to 1,592, while Bangladeshi students increased from 58 to 189. The number of students from Singapore increased from 395 to 429.

The overall number of visiting students studying in Sweden in the 2016-17 academic year was 35,900, up from 32,600 in 2013-14. While 12,600 students were from countries from outside the European Union, 5,700 were from unknown countries. Students from the European Union and Switzerland totaled to almost 17,600.

Free-movers, which means guest international students who are not part of a specific exchange program, made up 23,500 of the total 35,900 incoming students in Sweden in the 2016-17 academic year. “Among the incoming free-movers, 30 per cent of the 9,800 first-years were from Europe. Next came Asia with 25 per cent. The single largest countries were India, Finland and China,” the report said.

The firm had not analyzed why enrolment of Asian students rose so significantly in previous years, UKA analyst Tomas Egeltoft said. He, however, believes that the economic growth in Asia and an increased need of people with higher education might have impacted the numbers, PIE News reported. “There are yet not enough number of student program positions in these countries and therefore the student mobility from these countries increases,” Egeltoft said.

As per the document, Lund University had 3,300 international students — the largest number of incoming students who were studying in Sweden for the first time. The university’s marketing manager Maria Lindblad told PIE News that while marketing and common recruitment activities helped pushed the numbers, Lund’s strong international alumni base helps increase international admissions.

“With so many students and alumni from around the world who have studied at Lund, the reputation of the university travels and of course attracts many new applicants,” she said.

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