Startpage for Swedish National Agency for Higher Education

Please note! The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education was closed down on 31 December 2012. Instead two new agencies have been established: the Swedish Council for Higher Education and the Swedish Higher Education Authority. This website will continue to operate as the new agencies will have links to information it contains.  

2004:25 R

Marketing and mobility - Concerning growing student trends and increasing international competition

This report deals with distinctive trends in higher education from an international point of view; also the growth in student mobility, tougher inter-student competition and more comprehensive international marketing of higher education.

Student mobility and student recruitment

The number of international students has grown rapidly since 1950, and many foresee a continued strong growth in the number of those choosing studies abroad. Many countries have adopted national strategies for internationalisation of higher education; such as a particular country marketing itself in general as a higher education Mecca, and organisations have been created that support the marketing of the higher education institutes and student recruitment abroad.

Where Sweden stands vis-à-vis the international education market

Recent years have seen a growth in the number of foreign students seeking education in Sweden. By the year 2003 the number of incoming exchange students had reached almost 10 600, an annual increase of 1000 since 2001. According to OECD, the number of foreign university students in Sweden had increased by 64 per cent between 1998 and 2001, but these figures are based on Swedish statistics of students with “foreign background”.
Little international marketing

International marketing of Swedish higher education abroad can generally said to be in its infancy in Sweden, but it is gradually approaching normalcy. The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education is responsible for disseminating overall information abroad about Swedish universities and university colleges and for coordinating marketing designated for foreign presumptive students. Apparently many institutions of higher education in Sweden do not appear to be particularly active about making themselves known to foreign students.

Development must be encouraged

The report establishes that the growing student mobility is perhaps the most important global trend just now when it comes to higher education. It would, therefore, like to see a greater emphasis being put on strategic thinking and the existence of a body of measures emanating from the higher education establishments in Sweden. The Swedish National Agency for Higher Education states in the report that, something which many other countries have already done, Sweden ought to have a clearly adumbrated line of approach or strategy for the internationalisation of Swedish institutes of higher education.