Areal view of the old main building of the University of Lund.
One of the perks about studying geology at a Swedish university like the University of Lund is that we have no tuitions for going there. We have of course expenses beside that like “small” administrative fees (around 100 dollars a year). The cost for litterature. Rents for student dorm or apartment. Commuting costs and general living expenses. And you are supposed to get by doing all this with around 8000 SEK (ca 750 US dollars). Its manageble, but just – and many have to get extra work and/or income from parents or partners. But in general – a student in Sweden have a good life. And this included foreign exchange students as well as far as I know.
But from next year (2011) it stops for the foreign students outside of the EU. Then they have to pay tuition of up to half a million SEK per year. Thats around 40 000 dollars per year. We Swedes (and still all ppl within the so called EU-area) will still study for free.
This will most definitly scare many foreign students from choosing universities in Sweden. Why choose Lund university when you can choose a more known university like Oxford and so on.
This will have little or no negative effect on lets say courses or programs within humanities or social studies. Theres already a big surplus of students on these courses. A program for a masters in economy will still get all its places filled up with Swedish students.
But for a lot less popular subjects, like the masters courses of geology, this will lead to a lot of empty seats when all those students from India, China and Pakistan disappear. So many empty seats that theres a risk of closing some of the courses down, or at least giving them less often. Instead of once a year, perhaps only every other year. This will be devastating for the Swedish students who now will face the chance of having to wait a lot longer than thought of before being able to finish their education.
Im quite sure the university will not hold courses if there are “not enough” students. Like for example last years masters courses. There where 2 Swedish students and 6 foreign. Will they keep teaching when theres like 2 students in the class? Probably not for ever.
In other words: I find the new politics crap. Its going to hurt so many subjects of natural science when the foreign students disappear. And disappear they will. Im glad it wont affect me, cause I will have finish most courses by next year, but still, it will be bad news for Sweden if courses in natural science disappear.
More on the other changes going on at Swedish universities right now here (Swedish link)