Free university tuition may sound like a worthy model but the question of whether or not it’s the best way to attract and keep foreign talent is never too far from public debate. As Finland’s plans to introduce fees take hold this year, Beckie Smith looks at current and former fee-free countries to see what the future may hold for this ideal.
English is spoken everywhere in Sweden and its academic culture is based on creativity and free thinking – these are some aspects of the country which Study in Sweden is highlighting in a promotional film aimed at international students.
After outcry from educators about its strict post-study work laws, Sweden is set to extend the period for which international students can stay and look for work after they have graduated. The government also plans to make it easier for foreign PhD students to gain permanent residence.
Academic and business leaders in Sweden have called for a new, decentralised scholarship model that would provide funding to 1,500 non-EU students saying that "the decreasing number of non-European students gives the wrong picture of Sweden as an international player".
Senior political, academic and business figures have called for Sweden to relax its strict post-study visa, which requires students and researchers at Swedish universities to leave the country just 10 days after completion of their studies. They claim Sweden's tough visa regulations make it "the worst in the entire EU".
A delegation of universities from the Canadian province of Nova Scotia was in the UK last week, seeking to recruit British students into the Canadian university system. They were taking advantage of the hike in tuition fees at British universities, which is seeing students increasingly look abroad.