Here’s some information (from February 2010) regarding tuition fees in Sweden, from the Swedish Government.
Apart from anything else, isn’t it time that the Swedish authorities stopped saying ‘third countries’ for non-EU countries and found a better expression? – I notice it appears in several places throughout the article; some international students recently pointed this expression out to me as being, at best, patronising.
The main points of the article are:
- The Government wants Swedish higher education institutions to compete on the basis of quality, not on the basis of a free education.
- The number of students coming to study in Sweden has trebled since 1999, and these students currently make up just over eight per cent of the student population in Sweden.
- As tuition fees are introduced, it is intended that the central government appropriations for undergraduate education will be gradually reduced.
The Swedish authority for Universities (VHS) is investigating how to introduce application and tuition fees for Non EU students. It looks like students applying in 2010 will pay an application fee, and full fees will be introduced in 2011. The current information in Swedish says that tuition fees will be introduced for those students starting their education in the Autumn 2011. Thus, apply in 2010, you will be paying fees in 2011 – though we must wait for the governments investigation , results on the 15th September.
I heard today that it seems likely that the Swedish government will delay the vote on the Internationalisation of Swedish Higher Education Bill, which contains the new law on charging tuition fees to non EU Students, until September 2009. This is later than the previously reported date of March 17th 2009. My sources are reliable and say the reason that the vote will be delayed is that the Minister for Higher Education in Sweden does not want to introduce a fee scheme without first having the money in place for scholarships. This, apparently, will delay the implementation of fees until 2011.
This is the second delay we’ve had, but the first to effect the date of implementation which was originally proposed to be 2010. This presumably means that 2010, rather than 2009, will be the last opportunity to apply for ‘free’ education.
The most recent information from the Swedish Government says that the vote on the proposal for the internationalisation of higher education, which includes tuition fees for non-EU students, will take place on March 17th 2009.
The vote on tuition fees has been delayed until the spring of 2009, according to some very reliable sources. The date for the introduction of fees, should the vote pass (which it probably will) will probably be Autumn 2010.
So, more pain as we wait to see what happens with this. Hopefully we’ll get more information before the spring. What worries me is that this further reduces the amount of time we have to react to the bill, and its contents.
I have been recently writing a report regarding the effect tuition fees will have on the university. One of the reviewers was concerned that we will probably continue to use studera.nu as our application tool after the introduction of fees. This is despite that fact that most other universities, elsewhere in the world, handle applications for post graduate applications themselves.
The UK is a good example. Their online application system, UCAS, is for undergraduate applications. Post graduate applications, whether from national or international students, are handled by the university – usually at the faculty level. Why? Well, it means that the faculty has direct control over the process, rather than a third party being involved. An undergraduate application is about getting the right grades, a post graduate application is much more complex involving a more subtle assessment of grades, motivation and appropriateness of experience. Also, the recruitment process is a key part of conversion – do you really want to have that out of your control?
The University of Gothenburg’s School of Business, Economics and Law handles their own admissions – a distinct competitive advantage for them. They’ve already got an edge now, as their application period is almost a month longer than the new one from studera. Gothenburg can, no doubt, respond quickly to student enquiries and give rapid acceptance decisions. Studera.nu, on the other hand, will not even tell you if your documents have arrived.