Fees for foreign students are slated to be introduced in the fall of 2011.

Country Overview

Sweden's generous welfare system ensures that its citizens enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. It also ensures high tax rates. More than half of the sparsely populated country is forest and about one-tenth is lakes and rivers. The Scandinavian country has had an outsize influence on the world’s economy and culture. Many of its corporate brands are international household names, as are many of its personalities in cinema and popular music. Most Nobel Prizes are awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.


Because of maritime influences, particularly the warm North Atlantic Drift and the prevailing westerly airstreams, Sweden has higher temperatures than its northerly latitude would suggest. Stockholm averages –3° C (26°F) in February and 18°C (64°F) in July. As would be expected from its latitudinal extent, there is a wide divergence of climate between northern and southern Sweden: the north has a winter of more than seven months and a summer of less than three, while Skane in the south has a winter of about two months and a summer of more than four. The increasing shortness of summer northward is partly compensated for by comparatively high summer temperatures, the greater length of day, and the infrequency of summer cloud; the considerable cloud cover in winter reduces heat loss by radiation. Annual rainfall averages 61 cm (24 in) and is heaviest in the southwest and along the frontier between Norrland and Norway; the average rainfall for Lapland is about 30 cm (12 in) a year. The maximum rainfall occurs in late summer, and the minimum in early spring. There is considerable snowfall, and in the north snow remains on the ground for about half the year. Ice conditions in the surrounding seas, especially the Gulf of Bothnia, often are severe in winter and seriously interfere with navigation.


$345,100,000,000 (2008 est.)



Overview of Higher Education

In the fall of 2011 Sweden will begin charging foreign students to study at its 52 institutions of higher education. The fees will not apply, however, to students whose countries are part of the European Union or the European Economic Area.

The country’s 36 universities are categorized as universities and university colleges. Only universities may freely award doctorate degrees.

Although most postsecondary institutions are public, they are essentially autonomous. Undergraduates pursue diplomas and bachelor’s degrees, while postgraduates pursue master’s degrees and doctorates.

In 2008 some 348,000 students were enrolled at postsecondary institutions. About 8.5 percent of the students were from other countries.

(Sources: BBC, The Europa World of Learning, Swedish National Agency for Higher Education,  Swedish Ministry of Education and Research, Studyinsweden.se)

Number of Colleges, Universities, Technical Institutes

Number of Colleges, Universities, and Technical Institutes (total): 56

Number of Higher Education Students

Number of students enrolled: 423,000

Number of international students enrolled: 27,900

Contact Information

Ministry of Education and Research

Swedish Government Offices, SE-103 33 Stockholm, Sweden

Web site: http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2063

Phone: +46 8 405 10 00