Scholarship foundation can increase international exchange

Along with several other organisations, UKÄ (Swedish Higher Education Authority) suggests the establishment of a national scholarship foundation to attract more students from outside Europe. According to the proposal, the foundation would be funded by profits from the real estate company Akademiska Hus.

Tuition fees led to a dramatic decrease of students from countries outside Europe

In 2011, Swedish universities introduced tuition fees for so called free-mover students (students who are not participating in exchange programs) from countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. The tuition fees led to a dramatic decrease in the number of free-mover students from countries outside Europe.

This is a problem, according to University Chancellor Harriet Wallberg:

We need to have international students at all levels. It broadens horizons and brings contacts and knowledge needed in our globalised society, for both students and teachers. This is important for the internationalisation of higher education.

National scholarship foundation a possible measure

Harriet Wallberg, together with representatives of The Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF), the Swedish Institute (SI), Uppsala University and the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR), suggests the establishment of a national scholarship foundation to increase international exchanges.

”Scholarships are an effective way to attract more students and a foundation, being free from political influence, is a secure way to obtain funding”, says Harriet Wallberg.

Under the proposal, the foundation would mainly be financed through state funds and co-financed by the business sector as well as through fundraising organised by the HEIs.