The number of foreign students coming to Sweden is increasing sharply, but it is not at all as common for Swedes to study abroad. This implies that now fewer Swedes study abroad than the number of foreign students who come to Sweden to study. These are the latest findings of new statistics from Swedish National Agency for Higher Education and Statistics Sweden.
In recent years the number of Swedes who choose to study abroad has dropped. In the 2007/08 academic year, this figure was slightly less than 24 000. Of those students, about 19 000 studied on their own, (known as free movers), which is a decrease of 15 percent compared to the peak academic year of 2002/03. The number of students who travelled abroad within the frame for exchange student programmes amounted to about 5 000, which is a decrease of 5 percent compared to the previous academic year.
However, the picture is completely different for foreign students who choose to study in Sweden. The number has increased sharply in recent years, and in the 2007/08 there were 31 000 foreign students who studied in Sweden. Today foreign students comprise one fourth of all newly enrolled students in Sweden.
UK and US most popular
The Swedish students above all choose the UK and the US to study. In the 2007/08 academic year, these two countries respectively received 19 and 16 percent of Swedes studying abroad. Denmark has increased dramatically and is now the third most popular country. These countries were followed by Australia, Spain and France. However, more and more people choose to study in Asia - the number has more than doubled in the last five academic years.
The most common subjects are languages and art.
Nearly one third of Swedish students studying on their own chose languages and art in the 2007/08 academic year. But increasingly more students choose healthcare and social services.
Most of those who study abroad only do so for one or two terms, but it seems that more and more are obtaining their entire education abroad. This is above all true for those who study abroad on their own.