Higher education in Sweden: More Indian students opting for Scandinavian nation


The 11th edition of the Sweden India Nobel Memorial week recently hosted the Mumbai leg of an all-India quiz in the city’s Wellingkar Institute of Management Development and Research. Winners of these quiz will eventually advance to the final of the event where the winner is given an all-expenses paid trip to Sweden.

This quiz is organised by the Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai and the Embassy of Sweden in New Delhi, along with leading Swedish companies present in India.

Speaking to DNA, acting Consul General of Sweden Jan Campbell Westlind said that such initiatives are a good opportunity for Indian students to see what life is like studying in Sweden.

“We may not be as big as the United States or have that many universities, but we ensure top quality education. People have noticed this, and Sweden has consistently seen an increase in an international student influx in the past few years,” he added.

Besides being amongst the most progressive, creative, free-thinking and well-educated countries in the world, the Master’s programmes in Sweden are taught in English. “While free education was the norm as part of the country’s welfare programme, the government decided that it wanted the right set of students, and implemented a fee structure. A Master’s programme can cost between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 13 lakh per year, minus accommodation (approximately Rs 60,000 per month), which is a lot lower than the fees of some of the colleges in the United Kingdom and United States,” said Westlind.

Now, a couple of universities even offer scholarships, with Royal KTH in Stockholm having a social one only for Indian students. “The main criteria is academic excellence,” Westlind said.

Students are also allowed to work while studying, but are expected to complete 40 hours of course time per week, according to studyinsweden.se, the go-to guide for international students who want to study in Sweden.

Graduates are given six months to find a job or establish their own start-up. People with a minimum of four years of service are eligible for a permanent resident permit. In 2014, Sweden simplified the rules to enable PhD students to receive permanent residence permits.

Currently, seven out of 10 Swedish companies in India are in the process of employing people, and a degree from Sweden can only help. In addition, many of these organisations have established bases in India, which gives the student the opportunity to come back, and implement what they have learned in Sweden in India.

While funding would be your responsibility if you decided to launch a start-up in Sweden, there are institutions and universities that support and advise entrepreneurs.

Another advantage of studying in Sweden is that the country’s 36 universities are under the government’s jurisdiction, and as such are recognized in other parts of the world.

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