Swedish Universities Worried About Reputation – says Swedish Newspaper

The reputation of Swedish universities will be seriously damaged if international students cannot get their residence permits considerably faster, said the Uppsala Nya Tidning today (in Swedish). This is the key message of a letter from Sweden’s universities to the Swedish government, continues the article, which also identifies Sweden’s embassies as struggling to process all the residence permit applications in time.  An example of this was reported in Pakistan’s Daily Times, on November 3rd, which has a shocking article about 12 000 Pakistani students whose residence permits for Sweden have not been processed in time for the start of term, due to delays at the embassy.

(I’m having real difficulty in getting the link to the Pakistan’s Daily Time’s article to work, here’s the link to their homepage, and here’s the URL of the story, http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2008\113\story_3-11-2008_pg7_27 , sorry about this!)

The article continues by pointing out that education will no longer be ‘free’ in Sweden (from 2010) and that this issue becomes even more critical as a result. The article concludes by saying that in the last year the number of applicants has effectively doubled; further growth could place greater pressure on a system which – for some students at least – does not perform at all well.

Read all my article on tuition fees here.

National Application System Delays Visa Applications

At least 200 students could be late starting their master programmes at Lund, according to an article published on the 23rd of August in Sydsvenkan. The main points of the article are:

- Applications for visas are still arriving to the migration authorities, despite term having started

- The online application system (studera.nu is part of this) delayed the application process by 3 weeks

- The migration authorities are already busy at this time of year

- Students who are late may not be admitted to their programme

- Approximately 200 of 1200 students may be late

- The problem could be relieved by only allowing applications to be made in December

These kind of issues so need to be sorted – not only for the students who are currently in limbo now but also for the future. Fee paying students will not tolerate these kind of delays. One point of view is, of course, that the number of applications will drop when fees are introduced which may ease the pressure on the system, but there’s still at least two application periods to go before fees are introduced.