Share with foreign backgrounds continues to increase

In the 2016/17 academic year, 24 percent of university entrants (not counting students coming into the country to study) had foreign backgrounds. One year earlier the corresponding proportion was 22 percent and ten years earlier the proportion was 18 percent. There has also been an increase of the share with foreign background in the population as a whole over the last ten years.

Foreign background refers to individuals who were born outside of Sweden and individuals who were born in Sweden but whose parents were both born outside Sweden.

Of all the university entrants in the academic year 2016/17 there were 14 700 entrants with a foreign background and 47 600 with a Swedish background. Of the 14 700 with foreign background, 5 800 were born in Sweden with two foreign born parents while 8 900 were foreign born. Of the 8 900 foreign born persons, 1 400 had immigrated to Sweden at age six or earlier, and 7 500 had immigrated at age seven or later.

The distribution between men and women was roughly the same among university entrants with a Swedish background and among those with a foreign background. In both the groups, 59-61 percent of the university entrants were women and 39-41 percent were men. However, there were differences within the group with foreign backgrounds. Among foreign born persons who immigrated at age six or earlier, 57 percent were women and 43 percent were men. Among the foreign born persons who immigrated at age seven or later, the share of women was 63 percent and the share of men was 37 percent.

Considerable variation among the different study orientations

Among the vocational programmes with at least 60 university entrants, the pharmacist and prescriptionist programmes had the largest share of university entrants with a foreign background at 74 percent each in the 2016/17 academic year. The dentist programme had the second largest share with 69 percent. Programmes leading to a Bachelor of Science in Military Studies had the smallest share of entrants with foreign backgrounds with 7 percent. The largest number of entrants with foreign background were enrolled in programmes leading to a Master of Science in engineering, followed by programmes leading to a Bachelor of Science in engineering, with 900 and 860 entrants respectively.

Half of all university entrants at Karolinska institutet have foreign backgrounds

Karolinska institutet had the highest share of university entrants with foreign backgrounds in the 2016/17 academic year at 53 percent. Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College follows at 39 percent and Södertörn University at 37 percent. These three institutions have had a large share of entrants with foreign backgrounds for several years.

Stockholm University had the largest number with foreign background at 1 800 university entrants. Gothenburg University follows with 1 400.

Largest share of Swedish-born with foreign born parents begin studies

Of those born in 1991 with Swedish background, 43 percent had begun higher education by age 25. This proportion has been relatively stable for 25-year-olds with Swedish background during the last ten years.

During the same period, the corresponding share of 25 year olds born in Sweden with two foreign born parents has gradually increased and finally passed the share of those with Swedish background. Of those born in 1991 the share of these persons was 47 percent, compared to 40 percent ten years earlier.

Among foreign born 25-year-olds who immigrated at age six or earlier, the proportion that has begun higher education has remained practically unchanged over the last ten years, from 45 percent to 46 percent. For the foreign born persons who immigrated between the age of seven and 18, the share that has begun higher education has decreased over the last ten years, from 35 percent among those born 1982 to 29 percent among those born 1991.

Many with backgrounds from Bosnia-Herzegovina choose higher education

Among those with a background from Bosnia-Herzegovina born in 1991, 52 percent had begun higher education by age 25. The next largest share that began higher education studies by age 25 was among foreign born persons with a background from Russia at 51 percent, followed by Iran at 44 percent. Also persons born in Sweden with two foreign born parents and backgrounds from Iran often choose higher education studies. Of those born in 1991 in this group, 61 percent had begun higher education studies by age 25.

Studies abroad most common among Swedish born with foreign born parents

Among those born in 1991 with Swedish background, 8 percent had studied abroad with Swedish student finance by the year they turned 25 (2016). The share was almost the same among those born outside of Sweden where it was 7 percent, but it was higher among those born in Sweden with two foreign born parents, where it was 11 percent. The latter group, born in Sweden with foreign born parents, has been the group with the most studies abroad for a number of years.

One in four new doctoral students have foreign background

During the 2016/17 academic year, 25 percent of new doctoral students had foreign background (not including incoming postgraduate students from abroad). The number of new doctoral students with foreign backgrounds was 440. Of these students, 370 were foreign born and 70 were born in Sweden with two foreign born parents.

Most of the new doctoral students with foreign background had backgrounds from Europe and Asia.

Medicine and health sciences most common fields of research for new doctoral students with foreign background

The largest number as well as the largest share of new doctoral students with foreign background was in medicine and health sciences. The number was roughly 200 and the share was 28 percent.