Number of International Students in Stockholm Continues to Increase

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STOCKHOLM, March 25, 2020 - A recent report from the Stockholm Academic Forum shows that the number of international students in Stockholm is approaching 10,000. This represents an increase of 26% over the past five academic years. The figure at the national level is 17%. International students now account for 11% of the total student population in Stockholm.

We see the largest increase in the number of students from India, with 26% more since last year and a full 75% over the last three years. However, the largest groups are still students from China, Finland, and Germany. KTH is the university hosting the most Indian students in Stockholm.

“The increase in the number of Indian students strikes us as a positive. It speaks for long-term partnerships with high-ranking universities, the quality of our education, and systematic recruitment work. We also have strategic collaborations with companies in the fields of energy, communication, and automobile, for example – which is, of course, attractive to students. KTH's recruitment of international students is of great importance for the opportunities to attract talents to Sweden and not least to Stockholm”, says Stefan Östlund, Vice President of Global Relations and Professor of Electrical Engineering, KTH

The number of Swedish students going on exchange programs is still low (1,840) compared to the number of residents. A majority of Swedish exchange students choose to travel to English-speaking destinations, such as the United States, Australia, and Singapore, while very few choose countries within the EU.

“The Erasmus+ program offers fantastic opportunities and many more students from Stockholm should take advantage of the program to travel and study at a foreign university. Exchange students often create important contacts that prove essential for their future lives, both professional and personal. The imbalance between entry and exit is particularly obvious in studies in France and Germany, some of Sweden's leading trading partners”, says Maria Fogelström Kylberg, CEO of the Stockholm Academic Forum.

Number of incoming international students to Stockholm (academic year 2018-19) (compared with 2017-18)


1. China (870, + 5%)
2. Germany (795, +3%)
3. Finland (720, - 10%)
4. France (500, + 3%)
5. India (485, +26%)
6. Italy (380, +5%)
7. Spain (355, + 5%)
8. Greece (295, + 7%)
9. USA (275, 0%)
10. United Kingdom (265, +22%)

The Stockholm School of Economics has the highest proportion of international students of all universities in the city, followed by three of Stockholm’s artistic colleges. However, the number of international students is greatest at Stockholm University and KTH, which host 3740 and 3490 international students respectively.

Press Contact
Sophia Wallin

About the Stockholm Academic Forum
The Stockholm Academic Forum (Staf) is the peak collaborative body of the City of Stockholm and its 18 higher education institutions. As the collective voice of its members, Staf promotes and supports Stockholm’s position as one of the world’s leading academic centres. For more information, visit


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