Higher education in Sweden is financed primarily via tax revenue. This policy once applied to both EU/EEA as well as international students, however, in 2011, fees were introduced to students who are not citizens of an EU/EEA/Nordic country or Switzerland.
These fees only apply to students who pursue bachelors and master’s programmes and courses. PhD programmes remain tuition-free regardless of nationality. Although these prices are dependent on the chosen college or university, the fees for non-nationals pursuing specific programmes within Sweden, can range between approximately 80,000 - 100,000 krona (kr) per academic year (with an additional 900 kr required upon submission of applications).
Excluding tuition fees, the various living costs which arise during the course of study, may amount to approximately 7,300 kr a month. Swedish universities are not required to provide accommodation to students and as such, costs are likely to be higher. This price is thereby inclusive of daily expenses such as food, housing as well as other fees attached to miscellaneous activities (for example, leisure, travel books etc. ). Student accommodation in cities ranges from 2,500 – 4,500 kr per month for a room. Healthcare in Sweden is also subsidized by the government. A fee-paying student may be provided with free health insurance from the university to which he or she attends.
One of the methods of financing studies in Sweden is via scholarships. For students wishing to apply for scholarships, two main sources of Swedish funding are provided.
The Swedish Institute, a governmental agency, acts a form of public financing which provides a limited number of scholarships for international students as well as local students and aims at offering solutions for students via a series of specially-designed programmes.
The Swedish Institute alongside the specific universities, both provide funding which is awarded on a competitive basis. In addition to public sources of funding, Sweden also provides less predominant, private sources, via foundations, and fund-raising organisations. These private sources often provide substantial funding, through grants, and are geared towards financing the research of international students.
Swedish Universities also offer a significant source of scholarships, in the form of tuition waivers for students. The amount and frequency of scholarship offered is dependent on each university. The Swedish Institute is a main contributor where scholarships are concerned. These scholarships are available to members of the EU/EEA including Swedish students. Approximately 120 scholarships are provided yearly, most of which cover both living costs and tuition fees.
The Erasmus Mundus Scholarship is available to students attending universities in Sweden. This particular scholarship lightens the burdens of living costs, tuition fees, insurance and also travelling for those who receive the Erasmus Mundus Scholarship.
Students may also opt for loans to assist in funding their studies in Sweden. Typically, a Swedish student will receive 9024 kr per month for a period of 10 months. This loan does not affect the taxes of the recipient’s parents or family allowances. For students over the age of 25, supplementary loans are available. Loans cover housing, travel, school gear, textbooks, university fees and all other costs related to studies in Sweden.
In order to work in Sweden during studies, a personal identity number is needed. However, a coordination number is also accepted. This number can be obtained by international students at the Swedish Tax Agency. Upon request, universities aid their students in finding employment in the region.