Speaking of the unique nature of Swedish higher educational institutions, the most important to consider is the very process of education based on the informal relationship between instructors and students. Such open interrelations facilitate development of creative thinking, which is highly appreciated in terms of cultural traditions of Sweden. It is also the rationale for many foreign students' desire to obtain higher education in a country, the advantages of which include:
Close ties between universities and industries, which enables students to undertake profession-oriented practical training several times during the period of study. Typically, students are assigned only to the most advanced enterprises for the intending specialist to master every stage of their future profession.
Full independence of institutions of higher education. As a result, increasingly effective training programs are introduced by universities every year, emphasis being placed on the knowledge the graduates will really need for work in industries.
Commitment to high standards for the quality of education. Such an approach enables diplomas obtained in Sweden to list equity throughout the entire world, which means every opportunity is opened up for the graduates, wherever they decide to apply their knowledge. Worth noting, the dominant number of Nobel laureates have been conferred a degree at a Swedish university, while Alfred Nobel himself was a native of Sweden.
Facilitation of early adaptation of students. Despite Swedish is the official language of the country, foreign students are offered instruction in English.
Available a free Education.
Any person wishing to study in English should submit to the Admission Committee their TOEFL results of at least 90 scores (at least 6.5 scores for the IELTS). The required figures may be scaled back depending on the academic ranking of the institution and the specialty chosen. The performance appraisal rating system is absent as such, the student either passes or fails. Applicants lacking a proper command of Swedish or English can take university-based language courses to proceed to the academic training upon completion.
Admission to Higher Education in Sweden
To be admitted to a Swedish university, the prospective student should submit appropriate documents to the National Admissions Office, which collects and processes data on each applicant. The documents should be sent by mail in the period from February 1 to August 15. The applicant may also apply beyond the said period on a space available basis; however, none is normally available. Applications for postgraduate courses can be submitted throughout the year.
Speaking of the documents submission procedure, the applicant should:
choose a specialization; it is possible to decide upon several programmes;
pay the fee for the examination of documents, as the procedure is provided on a paying basis;
send the package of documents translated in English by mail or courier delivery.
Typically, the required package of documents includes the language test results, diplomas obtained in the home country, letters of recommendation, copies of valid foreign passport, a printout of the data sheet confirming the prospective student has filed an application for admission. The applicant also needs to write a letter of motivation explaining why he or she wants to study in Sweden and why they should be admitted. Due to the independence principle, some of Swedish universities may request the applicant to submit additional items, such as a written assignment.
The applicant can get at the results of admission to the university via the Internet at the beginning of May. If several educational institutions are ready to admit the person, it is extremely necessary to quickly refuse all the proposals except for the one from the university the applicant is interested most of all. Otherwise, the person may be assumed irresponsible and excluded from admission lists. Such an approach allows Swedish universities to obtain prompt information on how much available space they still have. Noteworthy, the single admission system enables foreign students to see the list of universities that offer scholarships and grants in early May.
Stages of Higher Education in Sweden
Bachelor's Course in Sweden
There are several ways for a prospective student to be admitted for a Bachelor's course:
If the person seeking the Bachelor's degree is admitted to a home university that concluded an agreement on exchange of students with Swedish universities, the person may come to study in Sweden for one semester or one year to receive a Swedish diploma upon fulfillment of all the required tasks.
The person may matriculate after graduating a high school, as described above.
The Bachelor's degree granted by a Swedish university is a certificate of higher education, which enables the recent graduate to occupy an executive position in any country worldwide.
Master's Course in Sweden
University graduate students and persons who have a university diploma or a master's degree in another specialization may be admitted for a Master's course.
For admission, applicants should submit their grade records translated in English or Swedish. After the letter of invitation is received, the requested package of documents must be sent to the Swedish university within specified time limits; otherwise, the applicant may be dismissed. When a holder of Bachelor's degree applies for a postgraduate course, and the specializations of the postgraduate program and the applicant's diploma of higher education are concurrent, some universities may require a document confirming experience in the chosen specialization.
Postgraduate Course in Sweden
First preference is given to masters who are conducting research in the specialization they plan to study at postgraduate level, but bachelors are also allowed for admission. Applicants may be requested to submit not only their grade records, but also publications or rational proposals. Postgraduate studies lack a centralized approach; therefore, those wishing to take a course need to keep track of information submitted by Swedish universities to chance an available space. Practicing professors may also invite graduate students on the basis of interviews; however, people suitable for a specific research are usually sought in such cases.
Scholarships in Swedish universities
Free education in Sweden means that applicants themselves should find a source of funding, which is better to be secured at the time the decision on matriculation is made. Swedish laws do not assume any sources of funding for prospective bachelors, but the student is allowed to work without any restrictions on hours. Postgraduate and Master's degree students are financed at the expense of the university fund. Such scholarships fully cover all the financial expenditures of the intending specialist. Postgraduates are also paid wages and offered a full benefits package, as universities tend to do everything possible to encourage their students to stay in the country after graduation.
Student visa to Sweden
To obtain a temporary residence permit and the right to study in the country for more than 3 months, the following papers should be submitted to Embassy or Consulate of Sweden:
The document confirming admission to the university;
Bank statement confirming the applicant's account comes with the minimal sum of money specified by law;
The grant or scholarship award letter, or employment contract. If the student plans to live and study in Sweden at the expense of self-financing, the availability of €850 per month for the entire period of study must be proved.