SWEDEN: Lund reviews foreign student admissions

Lund University has unilaterally decided to change its admission procedures for this academic year and has resorted to manual selection among foreign students who were deprived of a place by unwanted side-effects of the new procedures. Its decision follows widespread criticism of the new Swedish student selection system reported by University World News last week.

In theory, foreign students with higher grades than all national students could be turned down because both groups were selected from different pools. A certain percentage of each pool could enrol. If many Swedish students applied to one programme and less than 50% of them could be admitted, a single student in the pool of foreign applicants could not be admitted because less than 50% of one student is no student.

"We have decided to carry out a special admissions review for this group," Lund University Vice-chancellor Per Eriksson said.

"It requires extra work for our local admissions department, but the important thing is that it gives greater fairness in the assessment of qualifications," said Bengt Lundell, President of the University Admissions Board.

For affected students to be reconsidered, their relevant grades should be at least equivalent to the average of those already admitted. Special assessments will only be carried out for programmes and courses where no foreign students were admitted. According to Lundell this affects 120 out of 1,100 pools.

"From the review of the first 18 programmes, 16 applicants were admitted. Overall we estimate that around 75 additional students will be admitted in this way."

The total number of foreign students at Lund University this year is 2,200.