Large number of South Asian students at Swedish universities 2001–2010

During the period 2001-2010, no less than 23 662 South Asian students studied at Swedish universities. 

The number is based on official statistical data regarding all foreign students studying at Swedish universities provided by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education (Högskoleverket). SASNET has made an excerpt presenting the number of students from the South Asian nations.
Pakistan tops our list with more than 11 000 students – 47% of all South Asian students in Sweden during the 10 year period 2001-10, whereas India contributed with 33% and Bangladesh with 18%. Smaller number of students came from Nepal, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The statistics does not show any students from Bhutan and Maldives.
See the table below, and the chart to the right.

South Asian students in Sweden 2009/2010

In the statistical material from the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education, information is given for each individual year from 2001, but we have chosen only to give details for the final year available in the statistics, 2009/2010. See the full statistical material (as an Excel file).
The trend is the same regarding the proportion of South Asian students as for the entire 10 year period. 
The statistics however show another interesting feature, namely the proportion of free mover students, that come to Sweden on their own initiative, and those coming through different forms of exchange programmes (Linnaeus Palme, Erasmus Mundus and others).

The high proportion of free movers is a cause of alarm, since Sweden has introduced education fees for non-European students from 2011. This will most probably result in a sharp decline of free movers during coming years, whereas students in exchange programmes are exempted from fees. 
An interesting trend to be noted is the appearance of exchange students from Afghanistan, starting from the academic year 2008/2009, and continuing at the same levels into 2009/2010. These students were hosted by Karlstad University, the only one in Sweden that has had Afghanistan students since 2001.

Most South Asian students at BTH and KTH 

Another interesting finding is that Blekinge Institute of Technology (BTH) and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) are the major recipients of students from South Asia, primarily from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. What is more, Blekinge Institute of Technology holds the absolute leading place in numbers of accepted Indian students, a result of successful collaboration with some leading IT universities in India. 

The table below presents a ranking of all Swedish universities that have received South Asian students since 2001. It clearly shows that most of the South Asian students that came to Sweden between 2001 and 2010 were interested in natural sciences and technology, while less interest has been in pedagogical and other humanitarian fields of study. This interest has obviously given advantage to the major technical universities, but also to smaller universitity colleges such as  Dalarna, Halmstad and Skövde. 

Data source: Högskoleverket
Summary made by Julia Velkova, SASNET