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Sweden debates student fees and new funding structure for universities

The tuition fee debate rolls on in the Nordic countries. The Under-Secretary of State for Education and Research has announced that a decision on instating tuition fees for students from outside the EEA can be expected in spring 2008. This comes in response to a proposed new model for the allocation of funding of universities and other higher education institutions, a model that aims at developing the international profiles of all higher education institutions and creating a reward system for high quality research.

The Nordic countries have traditionally refrained from charging student fees in public institutions of higher education. However the tides are changing. Denmark has introduced full fees for students from outside the EU/EEA. Norwegian and Finnish institutions can take fees in certain cases (for example, for indivual courses or corporate training), and now Sweden may introduce fees. Considering what other European countries are doing, it seems every nation is finding its own way into student fees, but at their own pace, with their own national debate.