More people want to study at Swedish universities this autumn. Across the country, the number of applicants increased by 8 per cent compared to the same period last year. Malmö University’s increase stood at 6.4 per cent. Nursing is the most popular programme and among the courses, the distance course Leadership and Organisation attracted the most interest.

When admissions to autumn courses and programmes closed on 15 April, 38,407 people had applied to Malmö University. For the previous autumn semester, this figure stood at 36,095.

A university that wants to be at the forefront needs to have a good range of distance courses.

Maria Appelqvist

"This feels good and is further proof that we offer interesting and attractive programmes of good quality. It is also gratifying to see how our courses are developed on the basis of current research and that we can thus make the best possible contribution to the development of society," says Mats Edenius, pro-vice-Chancellor at Malmö University.

As in the corresponding application round last year, nursing, social work and dentistry attract the most applicants to programmes.

In terms of courses, the distance learning course Leadership and Organisation stands out. This course is offered both remotely and on-site, but the distance course is the most popular. It was offered in this format for the first time in autumn 2023, and the number of applicants has doubled for the autumn round.

“We have worked hard to create an effective online programme with pre-recorded lectures followed up with Zoom meetings. It has been very much appreciated and the course has a good reputation. We have students from all over the country with backgrounds in different industries. We offer skills development and create the conditions for lifelong learning," says Maria Appelqvist, who is in charge of the course.

Even in second and third place, it is distance learning courses that attract applicants, a sign of the times, according to Appelqvist.

"A university that wants to be at the forefront needs to have a good range of distance courses. The pandemic changed a lot, and we see a great demand in these courses.”

Across Sweden, a total of 406,000 people applied to higher education institutions for the autumn of 2024. This is a significant increase compared with 2023, when the number of applicants was 375,000.

"The fact that interest in higher education is increasing is not unexpected," says Andreas Sandberg, acting head of department at the Swedish Council for Higher Education.

He points to the deterioration of the labour market and the possibility of transitional study support for people in the middle of their working lives as two reasons why more people are choosing to apply for higher education.

Text: Cecilia Lindberg and Adrian Grist