Edition 78 - October 2007

SI: Survey on foreign students in Sweden

Eight out of ten students from abroad would recommend others to study in Sweden. According to a survey made by the National Agency for Higher Education and the Swedish Institute, the three major reasons for choosing Sweden are interesting study programmes, English as language of instruction, and the absence of tuition fees.  Students find Swedish education to be of high quality, and value the efforts and knowledge of their teachers. As for Swedes in general, they are judged both friendly and with a good command of English. Another finding of the survey is that unique (often interdisciplinary) courses and programmes that have ties with research and industry stand the test of international competition best.

The survey has a lot of information.  We can only mention a few items.  Although foreign students in Sweden are happy with their studies, the survey also shows that 60 percent of them had little or no knowledge about Sweden beforehand and no base of comparison with other countries. Sweden still has no fees for foreign students.  That apparently was important to the students when choosing the country, but a majority of the students would recommend their specific courses, even if they would have to pay fees.

What was important in their choice of Sweden?  Not surprisingly, Internet is the most important channel of information for the students, particularly for students with little knowledge about alternatives. The students are particularly looking for detailed information about the courses offered and cost of living   For girls, lifestyle is a key factor and they want more information about the country itself. Boys are more career oriented and ranking is a priority with them, particularly for Asian students. Sweden's inquiry about student satifaction and decision making for studies is a key step in developing attractiveness as a study destionation.

Swedish Institute study

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