Lund might lose 50 percent
of international students
Lund University saw a 70 percent reduction in applications from internationals for the fall semester. But the number of accepted applicants has only decreased by 22 percent. However, the university may in the end still lose one half of the international students as a result of the tuition fees.
The deadline for sending in applications and paying application fees to Lund University’s fall term in 2011 has passed. Despite the 70 percent reduction in applications, Richard Stenelo, responsible for handling the new tuition charges, states that there has only been a 22 percent reduction in accepted applicants, as compared to last year.
However, he still admits that we may still lose as much as a third or one half of attending international students by the time tuition payments are due in June.
670 required to pay
For the fall, Lund University has accepted a total of 1 642 international students. 670 of these students will be required to pay tuition fees.
“We have continued to limit accepted students at the university only to those students who meet requirements for attendance. This year, we have actually raised expectations. For example, we have raised the bar for English language criteria,” says Richard Stenelo.
According to Stenelo, Lund University has met a pool of students this year with higher profiles than last year, allowing for the admissions department to accept a larger fraction of students from the lowered number of applicants.
Smaller reduction than expected
“The feared reduction of international students attending Lund University is, so far, not as bad as we had thought,” claims Stenelo. The university is “Lund University has fared better than other colleges and universities in Sweden, in part because we have a strong marketing division and also because we are ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world.”
However, Henrik Jonsson vice president of Lund University Student Unions, Lus, takes a different view. Lus has not taken the new tuition charge well, and has criticized the change, calling it “hasty” and “not thought through properly.”
Rather than focusing on Lund’s situation as compared with others, Jonsson explains that we should instead focus on our own goals. “You could say that, among Sweden’s universities, we’re simply the best of the worst.”
“A change in the wrong direction”
“So far, Lund University has fared pretty well, and we are satisfied with the batch of students that we have accepted,” concludes Richard Stenelo.
But there is still one more twist. Since the scholarships received by the university only amounts to 3 million SEK, a number of students accepted by Lund University from abroad may not attend the university due to lack of funding at the university and because they themselves may not have enough to pay tuition.
And even if these figures are lower than expected, Henrik Jonsson does not encourage this to be a reason for Lund University to take the change lightly. “Generally speaking, Sweden has long been slow to accept globalisation – something that colleges and universities here have realized and have been putting in major efforts to change. The fact that we are losing any number of international students, because of the tuition charge, still points to change in the wrong direction,” says Jonsson.