More international students are heading to Stockholm: here’s where you’re all from

Sweden's international student body is growing, according to a new report.

More international students are heading to Stockholm: here's where you're all from
Students in the library at Stockholm University. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

International students make up almost 10 percent of Stockholm's total university student population, according to Staf – Stockholm's Academic Forum – an organization comprised of the City of Stockholm and 18 institutions of higher education operating in the Swedish capital.

The number of internationals rose by 14 percent in the past two years alone, compared to eight percent overall in Sweden in the same period, according to a new report by the organization.

The Indian student body grew the most (21 percent) in those years. That puts India in fifth place in Stockholm in terms of number of students, just behind Germany, Finland, China and France.


The majority of internationals are studying at Stockholm University (3,826), KTH Royal Institute of Technology (3,063) and Sweden's best-known university of medicine the Karolinska Institute (831).

The Stockholm School of Economics has the highest proportion of foreign students, with internationals making up 27 percent of its student body – an increase of 12 percent in two years.

University education is generally free in Sweden, but the number of overseas students dropped sharply in 2011 after the country introduced tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students. However, the figures (from 2016/2017) presented in Staf's new report bring Stockholm close to its pre-tuition-fee levels.

Where do Stockholm's international students come from?

1. Germany (725)
2. Finland (689)
3. China (659)
4. France (483)
5. India (333)
6. Italy (331)
7. Spain (281)
8. Greece (270)
9. United States (261)
10. Netherlands (248)

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Inquiry calls for free after-school care for 6-9 year-olds in Sweden

Children between ages 6-9 years should be allowed admittance to after-school recreation centers free of charge, according to a report submitted to Sweden’s Minister of Education Lotta Edholm (L).

Inquiry calls for free after-school care for 6-9 year-olds in Sweden

“If this reform is implemented, after-school recreation centers will be accessible to the children who may have the greatest need for the activities,” said Kerstin Andersson, who was appointed to lead a government inquiry into expanding access to after-school recreation by the former Social Democrat government. 

More than half a million primary- and middle-school-aged children spend a large part of their school days and holidays in after-school centres.

But the right to after-school care is not freely available to all children. In most municipalities, it is conditional on the parent’s occupational status of working or studying. Thus, attendance varies and is significantly lower in areas where unemployment is high and family finances weak.

In this context, the previous government formally began to inquire into expanding rights to leisure. The report was recently handed over to Sweden’s education minister, Lotta Edholm, on Monday.

Andersson proposed that after-school activities should be made available free of charge to all children between the ages of six and nine in the same way that preschool has been for children between the ages of three and five. This would mean that children whose parents are unemployed, on parental leave or long-term sick leave will no longer be excluded. 

“The biggest benefit is that after-school recreation centres will be made available to all children,” Andersson said. “Today, participation is highest in areas with very good conditions, while it is lower in sparsely populated areas and in areas with socio-economic challenges.” 

Enforcing this proposal could cause a need for about 10,200 more places in after-school centre, would cost the state just over half a billion kronor a year, and would require more adults to work in after-school centres. 

Andersson recommends recruiting staff more broadly, and not insisting that so many staff are specialised after-school activities teachers, or fritidspedagod

“The Education Act states that qualified teachers are responsible for teaching, but that other staff may participate,” Andersson said. “This is sometimes interpreted as meaning that other staff may be used, but preferably not’. We propose that recognition be given to so-called ‘other staff’, and that they should be given a clear role in the work.”

She suggested that people who have studied in the “children’s teaching and recreational programmes” at gymnasium level,  people who have studied recreational training, and social educators might be used. 

“People trained to work with children can contribute with many different skills. Right now, it might be an uncertain work situation for many who work for a few months while the employer is looking for qualified teachers”, Andersson said.