At midnight on 15 April, just over 405,000 people had applied to autumn semester’s university courses and programmes – an increase of 13 per cent or nearly 47,000 applicants compared to autumn semester 2019. The autumn numbers – the highest since the coordinated admissions process was introduced – is an increase of just over 16,000 applicants compared to the previous record to autumn semester 2014.

”That the number of applicants to higher education has increased can be an effect of the coronavirus and the prevailing situation in society and the labour market,” says Karin Röding, Director General for the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR). “It is expected and positive that more people choose higher education studies when the economy is in decline.”

Increased interest in the nursing and medical doctor professions

Among the courses and programmes that received an increase in applicants were a number in the healthcare field. Applicants to the nursing programme increased with 34 per cent, or approximately 5,200 people, compared to last year’s autumn admissions round. The medical doctor programme has a 26 per cent increase in applicants, while the biomedical scientist programme has seen a 22 per cent increase.

”It is gratifying that more people are choosing these essential programmes and professions, where there is a high demand for qualified personnel. The person who selects a health education programme has good prospects on the labour market,” says Karin Röding.

More young people interested in higher education

The number of applicants increased in all age groups, but the largest percentage increase can be seen among those 19 and younger. Nearly 34,900 people in that age category applied for university studies to the autumn semester 2020 – an increase of 28 per cent or nearly 7,000 individuals compared to last year. The age group 25 to 34 increased with 15 per cent, from just under 123,000 applications to autumn semester 2019 to over 141,000 to autumn semester 2020.

UHR:s analysis Statistik i samband med sista anmälningsdag HT 2020 will be published on 23 April (in Swedish). Applicants will receive their admissions results on 9 July.

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