Doubled Scholarships to
Attract International Students
It has been a year since new tuition legislations was put into play. The Swedish government is now proposing a doubling of scholarship funds in an effort to attract more students from developing countries.
The stated goal when tuitions were introduced last year was to compete internationally through top quality education, not through free education. The legislation has been highly criticized by universities due to its effect on the international environment at campuses nationwide.
To attract students from low- and medium income countries, the government is now proposing to add another SEK 50 million in scholarship funds for this group, now totaling SEK 100 million. Moreover, there are SEK 60 million available for especially bright students from other countries.
Richard Stenelo, in charge of international marketing and recruitment, says he appreciates that the government understands the lack of scholarships.
”I would, however, like to see an increase in scholarship funds directed at especially bright students as we here at the university manages these scholarships as opposed to the developing country funds.”
When tuitions were introduced, Lund University saw a heavy drop in non-European students. Numbers have fallen from 600 students in the fall of 2009 to 207 paying students for the 2011 fall semester.
This does, however, put Lund at the national top followed by the Royal Institute of technology and Chalmers University of Technology with 150 paying students each.
“I anticipate that the new scholarships will bring in 30-40 new international students which is terrific” says Richard Stenelo.
So far, Lund University has invested SEK 16 million in trying to maintain as many international students as possible. Work has been put into improving the university’s English website, increasing scholarship funds and additional representation at international university fairs. Hopefully, the new scholarships will further help in this process.
Text: Tim Hansson