Decrease in number of applicants to higher education

For autumn 2017, 125 000 people without previous higher education studies applied to higher education institutions. This is a four percent decrease compared to the previous autumn when the figure was 130 000.

Among those applying who had no previous higher education, 59 percent were women and 41 percent were men in autumn 2017.

The number of applicants without previous higher education has decreased for those aged 19-24 and 26, but 19-year-olds still account for the largest share of the applicants. The proportion of 19-year-old applicants in relation to the sameage population as a whole has decreased compared to autumn 2016.

In addition to applicants without previous higher education, there is a large number of applicants who have already studied at one or more higher education institutions.

A total of 410 000 persons applied to programmes and courses at higher education institutions in autumn 2017. This is a one percent decrease compared to the autumn of 2016.

Out of the total number of applicants, 63 percent were women and 37 percent were men.

Unchanged number of admissions of persons without previous higher education

Up until the beginning of September 2017, 54 100 persons without previous higher education were admitted. This is the same amount as the previous autumn. Of those admitted, 57 percent were women and 43 percent men.

A total of 237 900 applicants to programmes and courses were admitted in the autumn of 2017, which is an increase compared to the previous autumn.

Larger proportion of admissions compared to the previous autumn

Of applicants without previous higher education studies, 43 percent were admitted in autumn 2017. The corresponding figure for autumn 2016 was 42 percent. Between 2000 and 2011 the proportion of applicants has varied but has constantly exceeded 50 percent and was as high as 57 percent in 2001. Since 2011 the proportion of applicants admitted has decreased.

The proportion of persons admitted to their first choice of programmes out of the total number of those admitted to programmes has seen an increase from 61 to 62 percent for people without previous higher education.

Programmes leading to qualification in Education decrease in popularity

Of the 165 000 qualified applicants, 16 900 persons applied for one of the programmes leading to a qualification in Education as their first choice, which is a 5 percent decrease compared to last autumn. Between autumn 2012 and autumn 2016, the number of qualified first-choice applicants to the teaching programmes increased from 12 500 to 17 800.

Autumn 2017 is the first time in 6 years that the number of qualified applicants to the programmes leading to a qualification in Education has decreased.

The individual programme leading to a professional qualification which had the most qualified first-choice applicants was the Master of Science in Engineering, which had 11 800 first-choice applicants. The programme leading to the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing had 7 600 applicants, and the programme leading to the Degree of Bachelor of Science in Social Work programme had 6 800.

Programmes can also be classified by specialisation. Most of the qualified first-choice applicants applied to programmes specialising in social sciences, law, trade and administration (51 800) followed by healthcare and medical services and social work (38 200), technology and manufacturing (23 600) as well as teaching methodology and teacher training (20 300).

Greatest competition for places in psychology and medicine programmes

Among professional qualification programmes with at least 100 admitted applicants, the programmes that had the largest number of qualified first-choice ap-plicants per admitted student were:

  • psychology (9,1 qualified first-choice applicants per admitted student)
  • medicine (5,9)
  • physiotherapy (5,3)
  • law (5,1)

By and large, these programmes were the same as those that had the largest number of qualified applicants per admitted student in autumn of 2016.

Grouping the programmes by specialisation, the ones for which there was the greatest competition among applicants were oriented towards agriculture and forestry as well as animal health and healthcare and social services (3,2 and 2,6 qualified first-choice applicants per admitted student respectively), followed bythe area of social science, law, trade and administration (2,4).

Since the spring term 2007, most applications to higher education in Sweden are administrated via the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR), previously Swedish Agency for Higher Education Services. The statistics presented in this report cover applications and admissions via the UHR coordinated admissions system to higher education at Swedish universities and other higher education institutions. In previous terms, admissions were also possible via the local admissions systems of individual higher education institutions, known as LANT. Apart from these two systems, it is possible to gain admission to higher education through special entrance tests administered by individual higher education institutions.

Applications are made by people without previous studies in higher education and by students who have been enrolled before. Applications can be for entire programmes or for individual courses.

In the UHR coordinated admissions system, there are two admission rounds that apply to foreign students. These rounds are not part of the regular procedure for autumn 2017 and are therefore only reported separately under the heading Utländska sökande och antagna in this report.