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Fewer applications from non-european students - but Lund still top in Sweden


Lund University had by far the most international applicants of all the Swedish universities and university colleges when the application period closed in mid-January. Of the almost 7 000 non-European students who applied for Master’s programmes at Lund, just over 2 000 have paid the mandatory application fee. However, we will not know until June how many will come to study in Lund and pay the tuition fees in full.It is clear that some Master’s programmes will have a more European cohort than previously, and some programmes will probably have to be cancelled.

The deadline for applications to the international Master’s programmes at Swedish higher education institutions was 17 January. In total, just over 9 000 international students applied to Lund University, of whom 5 919 were from outside Europe and therefore liable to pay tuition fees. Lund thus tops the list for the number of applicants. In second place was Stockholm University, with 5 385 international and 2 738 non-European applicants – around half as many as Lund received.

“We expected a third as many applicants as in 2009, when the decision to introduce tuition fees was taken. The results show just over a third, so we are pleased”, says Richard Stenelo, head of international student recruitment at Lund University.

Over the past six months, major efforts have been made to market Lund University and mitigate the effects of the Government’s decision to bring in tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students. In the autumn, Lund University went on tour and attended 25 education fairs in China, Turkey, the USA, India and the United Arab Emirates. Richard Stenelo believes this could be one reason why the number of applicants who put LU as their first choice has increased from 47 to 57 per cent. Some programmes have even received twice as many applications.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Eva Åkesson gives the figures a cautious welcome and is grateful for the work that has been put into ensuring the University retains its international students.

“Lund University admitted 600 non-European international students last year. Our goal was to get two thirds that number, i.e. 400 fee-paying non-EU/EEA students this autumn. We are not there yet by any means, but the outlook is good”, says Eva Åkesson.

Despite the fact that Lund came off relatively well nationally, there has still been, as expected, a major drop in the number of international applicants. Last year LU had over 32 000 applicants – this year that figure has fallen to just over 9 000.

Anna Knutsson
Britta Collberg

The most popular international programmes in Lund

Of the 20 most popular international Master’s programmes in Sweden, 10 are at Lund University. They are well distributed across the faculties, although LTH and EHL have the highest number of international applicants. The most popular programme at LU is the one-year Master’s in International Marketing and Brand Management at the School of Economics and Management, with 856 applicants. Next is the interdisciplinary Master’s in Development and Management (LUMID) with 551 applicants, which equates to 14 applicants per place. Several Master’s programmes have well over 100 first-choice applicants, for example the Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship, the sustainability programme LUMES, the Master’s programme in Public Health, and the programmes in Human Rights and Wireless Communication.

Countries of origin of LU applicants

In total, just over 26 000 international students have applied for higher education in Sweden to start in autumn 2011. Of these, just over 18 000 come from countries outside the EU and EEA and are therefore liable to pay tuition fees from the autumn. Out of this group, 5 000 students have paid the mandatory application fee of SEK 900.
Over 9 000 international students have applied to Lund University, of whom almost 7 000 are from outside Europe and therefore liable for fees. Of these, some 2 000 have paid the application fee.
The highest number of international applicants comes from Germany. Outside the EU, the countries with the highest number of applicants are, in order, Ethiopia, Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, the USA, Nigeria, India, Iran, Turkey and Uganda.