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International Student Numbers on the Rise Post Covid in Sweden

As per the annual report of the Swedish Higher Education Authority (UKA), despite a massive 28% drop in international student numbers, Swedish colleges and universities are getting recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic to attract more international students.

According to the annual report 2022, the total number of new students is almost at the same level as before the pandemic. This increase is because the number of exchange students has increased. It further states that there was a continuous rise in the total number of students applying for the first time to study at Sweden Universities until last year's autumn semester. The institutions are known to be receiving more applications from women than men.

A vast majority of international students are taking part in advanced levels of degrees in the country.

There was a tremendous fall in the number of incoming students at the beginning of the pandemic. This happened since there were many countries that put an end to the exchange agreements amid the crisis.

International Student Numbers on the Rise Post Covid in Sweden
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By the academic year 2020/21, the total number of exchange students who came to Sweden has become halved. However, there was an even larger decline seen in countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland.

It is also stated that after high school, more students choose to continue university during the pandemic. Women outnumbered men, with 19% of women and 13% of men continuing directly from high school to university.

A total of 66,160 students have taken exams in Sweden, and 13% are under mobility programs in the 2020/21 academic year.

From a total of 24,400 a year earlier, there was a massive drop to 16 9500 students in the country. The total number of 33,300 incoming international students enrolled at higher education institutions in Sweden, is a 16% decline compared to the year before.

The report suggests there was a huge impact of COVID-19 on Swedish students abroad. Countries that witnessed a massive drop in number of exchange students from Sweden are all European countries, except Latvia, Denmark and Switzerland.

North America has faced the largest decline in the exchange of students from Sweden, from 4,420 to 2,490.

  • Shivani Jain
  • December 7,2022
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