Swedish Industry and Higher Ed Leaders Propose Grants for International Students

Source : University World news

A group of leaders of Swedish companies and universities have proposed a new model for financing international students through 1,500 grants. The grants would be calculated on a cost-benefit analysis of at least 20 percent of the students working and paying taxes in Sweden for five years after graduating.

The leaders represent the companies AstraZeneca, Ericsson, Volvo and AB Börje Ekholm, Gothenburg University and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In an op-ed article in the major Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter, they proposed that the grants be distributed to higher education institutions based on their numbers of fee-paying international students from outside Europe, combined with an estimate of how many of those students would be eligible for a work permit as a specialist in Sweden upon graduating.

They pointed out that Sweden had lost 80 percent of international students from outside Europe after the government introduced tuition fees in 2011 – their numbers plummeted from 8,000 to just over 1,600. Thus Sweden, with 2 percent of students from outside Europe, was far below the European Union average of 5 percent.