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Swedish government makes available more scholarships to entice non EU students

Sunday, 18 September 2011
Out-of-EU-students who where a growing phenomenon in Swedish Universities have fled the country’s institutions of higher learning in their drove as high tuition fees became a reality not a fad. As such the government has realised that it has to entice them with funding.

Therefore the Swedish government proposes that Skr50 million be spent on scholarships to foreign students, an increase of more than 60 percent, according a to a statement from the government

Since 1 July this year, foreign students who want to study at Swedish universities and colleges are required to pay tuition fees for their education, a deviation from previous free education for all. This is also said to follow similar systems that have long been in many other countries.

The purpose of reform to institute tuition fees in Swedish schools was to make them compete for students with high-quality teaching, not with free education. To assist students with limited resources to finance their own studies and the opportunity to study in Sweden, the government has established two scholarships:

One for the particular qualified students from around the world and one for students from 12 countries which Sweden has long-term development cooperation with.

“The quality of our university programs improves with the successful amount of international students participating. Scholarships are thus a way to attract talent,” says Minister for Education Jan Bj´┐Żrklund.

It is true that the Swedish governments in the past have invested strongly in education and visiting students will be amazed with the types of facilities that Swedish universities can boast of. But there are also problems that Sweden must resolved if it has to really attract students to study here rather than just throwing money at them. Scholarship alone will not be enough.

Sweden is a very tight place for international students. Swedish people are not open and hardly interact with foreigners. Such a thing is not seen in places such the as UK where student beg to pay the high fees and study in schools that lack the types of facilities that many Swedish universities take for granted.

Education is not just the seating in class, passing high marks in tests and cashing out scholarship money – it also has to do with the real feeling for leaning in a new country – the ability to learn the way of life of the people, its language, hospitality, and the factors that lead to their success. These added to class work makes real education worthwhile and even with no scholarship student will be screaming to come study here.

This is not like to change as Sweden may have money but they lack this way of expressing themselves with foreign students such that foreign students meet and bundle themselves together while Swedish students also bundle themselves together. There is no international feeling in this.

And other factor is the limited exposure of Swedish companies, organisation and even lecturers to the international arena. Sweden has a very impressive economic development history but as a small country it must have ambassadors that will sell them in a very subtle way internationally. Reading about Sweden from abroad and coming to live in Sweden are two great contrast. Swedish companies hardly accept non EU students to interact with them except those coming from a market where they might be interested in expanding into. 

Compare this with places such as the UK, here students can get into companies and learn and share experiences with companies officials and when they go back home they go with these companies, the people and their school at heart. The international climate in the UK is a class of its own if Sweden can gain just one tenth of this then it will be a great start

The government now proposes that the scholarship program for persons from countries with the government’s traditional assistance will increased substantially. The Budget proposes an increase from Skr30 million a year to Skr50 million per year while also expanding the program to Skr20 new million to be made available to students from all countries that are counted as aid countries of the OECD Development Assistance Committee.

“The grants we are providing aim at helping to increase developing countries' capacity to meet the economic, political and social challenges,” says Gunilla Carlsson. Economic aid minister
By Scancomark.se Team

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