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.
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.
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.