Sweden witnesses a boom from Indian and other international students during the pandemic

New Delhi: Despite the current Covid-19 pandemic and the difficulties to travel and move internationally, the interest for international degree students to come and study in Sweden has increased by 13%. The number of admissions to Swedish universities was 27329 in 2020 foreign students compared to 24 099*, last year.

International students are not only critical in terms of helping the Swedish economy recover from the corona crisis, they are also an important source of skilled labour for Swedish companies and provide an important international dimension to classrooms at Swedish universities. Last year international students contributed SEK 1.1M to the Swedish economy. **

“Given all the hurdles related both to international mobility caused by the current pandemic and to the delayed residence permits process, it’s remarkable to see such positive numbers,” says Douglas Washburn, project manager for Study in Sweden at the Swedish Institute.

The interest for studying in Sweden is global, with students coming from over 117 countries, with the biggest representation of students from Finland, India and China.

Sweden has, in fact, seen an increase in Indian students choosing to study in the country despite the ongoing pandemic. In comparison to 2019 where 3526 students had applied; 6811 students applied to colleges in Sweden in 2020. Furthermore, there has also been increase in students applying for masters with 2111 applicants this year (An increase from 2044, in the year 2019).


When asked why they chose to study in Sweden, a large part of the over 10 000 students answering the audit made by the Swedish Institute, pointed out the country’s lifestyle and the open, progressive values. The focus on equal rights, LGBTQ-rights and sustainability are as important as excellent education at an affordable cost. Sweden as a study destination has become more appealing to young people. A safe and modern country with a unique work-life balance, as unique as the lack of hierarchy and sense of equality, which is often reflected in classrooms.

“Sweden’s reputation preceded it when I made the decision to study here. I knew I was headed to a country where I could continue living openly and authentically as a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community. A country where protecting the environment is at the top of the agenda, every day, wherein I could further my studies in line with my passions. Sweden’s vision for the future aligned squarely with who I am and who I want to be,” says Max from Canada, studying at Stockholm University.


Sweden offers over 1 000 English taught programmes in English. Some of the most popular subjects are Engineering and IT, Life Sciences and Business. Sweden also has a strong reputation in Design and areas such as International Relations and Human Rights.

More info on Study in Sweden:

Studyinsweden.se is a comprehensive, official resource on higher education in Sweden for prospective and current international students, built and maintained by the Swedish Institute, a public agency tasked with promoting Sweden abroad.

* Universitets och högskolerådet.
** An estimate by the Swedish Institute, based on the tuition fees in Sweden for international students and the Migration Agency’s calculation on the living costs in Sweden.