Students and graduates at first and second cycle studies 2014/15

New statistics show that the number of students and higher education entrants in Sweden continues to drop.

The number of students decreased to 403,900 in the academic year of 2014/15, which is 2,000 fewer than the previous academic year. The number of students who only take freestanding courses dropped even more and thus comprised the entire drop.

Even the number of HE entrants – new students studying at Swedish universi-ties and institutes of higher education – dropped by 1,400 to 86,000 in the academic year of 2014/15. The Swedish HE entrants, meaning new students excluding international students, decreased by 1,900.

The number of higher education entrants in programmes increased

During the academic year of 2014/15, 23,300 HE entrants studied in general programmes (programmes leading to a higher education diploma, a bachelor’s or a master’s degree). That was 3 per cent more than the academic year of 2013/14 and 32 per cent more than 2005/06. There were 26,800 HE entrants in professional qualification programmes, which was an increase of 2 per cent compared to the previous year.

More than half of the higher education entrants were under the age of 22

In the academic year of 2014/15, the number of HE entrants under the age of 25 decreased by 2,200, whereof 2,000 were younger than 22. Despite this, more than half of the HE entrants were still 21 or younger. Compared to the academic year of 2005/06, the share of HE entrants under the age of 22 has increased by 5 percentage points.

Among Swedish university entrants, 60 per cent were younger than 22 years in the academic year of 2014/15, a drop of 2 percentage points compared to the previous academic year, but 6 percentage points higher than ten years ago.

A somewhat larger share of the men compared to the women was under the age of 22 among Swedish university entrants in the academic year of 2014/15, 61 and 58 per cent respectively.

Higher share of men than women at the second cycle

In the academic year of 2014/15, 242,000 women and 162,000 men were regis-tered in higher education at the first and second cycles. Close to 102,000 students were enrolled in courses classified as second cycle courses, which is 25 per cent of all students. The share of students at second cycle was larger for men than for women, 26 and 24 per cent respectively.

More first-time graduates than ever before

In the academic year of 2014/15, 54,300 students graduated for the first time from Swedish higher education institutions. This was 600 more than in the previous academic year and the highest number ever. By first-time graduates is meant that only the first completed degree in Sweden is counted for each individual.

The total number of students who graduated was 67,900, including those who had previous qualifications. This number was also the highest ever. The increase was 2,300 compared to the previous year.

The number of qualifications awarded in the academic year of 2014/15 was 80,900. There is a difference between the number of qualifications awarded and the number of graduates because 13,000 qualifications were awarded to students who received more than one qualification during the academic year.

The number of double degrees continues to increase

During the academic year of 2014/15, 9,600 graduates were awarded both a professional qualification and a general qualification. Such double degrees have more than doubled during the last ten years, but the increase in the number of vocational qualifications has been relatively small. Most of the double qualifications were awarded to students who studied nursing or engineering.

More graduates studying longer

During the academic year of 2014/15, 14,200 students were awarded qualifications requiring at least 300 credits, which corresponds to five years of full-time study. The number of qualifications awarded in the longest study programmes has increased by 12,200 since the new structure of education and qualifications was introduced in 2007. The major part of the increase is due to a growing number of Master's degrees awarded.

The fact that some programmes, such as Master’s in engineering, were extended from 4.5 years to 5 years in 2007 has also impacted the number of qualifications awarded after the longest education programmes.

Younger graduates

In the academic year of 2014/15, the median age for graduates was 27.3 years. Women were somewhat older than men, 27.4 years compared to 27.1 years. Ten years earlier, the median age of women was 28.5 and that of men was 27.5 years.

Among those who graduated for the first time at Swedish institutes of higher education in the academic year of 2014/15, the women were younger than men. The median age of women was 26.4 compared to 26.8 for men.

Percentage of qualifications awarded to international students decreased

Between the academic year of 2004/05 and 2011/12 the percentage of individuals coming to Sweden to study (international students) increased from 5 per cent to 13 per cent among those awarded qualifications.

Since then it has fallen and was 9 per cent in the academic year of 2014/15. The reason for the decrease is the introduction of student fees for certain international students in the academic year of 2011/12.