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 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.
A recent report from the Swedish Institute shows that the willingness of international students to pay fees depends on how well they know Sweden. According to the survey, 47% of the students – who had expressed in interest in Sweden – would still recommend Sweden as a study destination, even if there was a fee. The report was published in July 2008.
The study shows that the more students know about Sweden, the more actively they will seek out knowledge and the more disposed they are to paying a fee.
A couple of thoughts – firstly, the more barriers we place in that attempt to seek out knowledge the more likely they are not to choose Sweden – our website must help them quickly and efficiently. Also, if knowledge about Sweden contributes to students being more positive to studying here then existing exchange students, who have studied as undergraduates in Sweden, may well be positive to studying in Sweden again. It would be interesting to find out the current conversion of undergraduate exchange students to master students.
The entries on my blog about fees have been very popular and I’d like to learn what you think about paying tuition fees in Sweden. For example, will it affect your choice of Sweden as a study destination? Would you still recommend Sweden to your friends? What information do you need to have?