4 best tuition-free universities in Sweden for int’l students

study in sweden
These tuition-free universities make it affordable for to study in Sweden. Source: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Let’s face it: it is expensive to study in Sweden. On average, you can expect to pay 8,824.05 Swedish krona per month (1 krona is approximately US$0.093 at the time of writing) to live in what looks like a frosty utopia — and that is not including your rent and tuition fees.

Your cost of living also depends on the place you intend to study. Take, Stockholm, for example. Rent can soar up to 6,518 kronas and tuition fees at universities in Stockholm average at around US$17,400 (that’s about 18,6247 Swedish kronas). In Malmö, expect to spend 6,585 to 8,252 krona on rent and average tuition fees at Malmo University — one of two universities in the city — start from 106,200 krona per year.

Don’t be discouraged, though. If you are on a tight budget, consider tuition-free universities. International students from the European Economic Area (EEA), European Union (EU), and those with a permanent Swedish residence permit do not pay for tuition at Swedish universities. For those outside these countries, tuition range from US$9,000 to US$17,000 — still far cheaper than tuition fees in the UK and US.

With a bit of digging, here are the best tuition-free universities in Sweden that students outside the EU, EEA and Switzerland can consider:

study in sweden

Sweden is home to some of the most popular names, including Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg, an environmental activist. Source: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Best tuition-free universities for international students in Sweden

Linköping University

Linköping University, more commonly known as LiU, is a public university based in southern Swedish city known for its two canals, a bloody history, a cool university and successful hockey and football teams. It was the sixth university founded in Sweden and was granted full university status in 1975.

Today, LiU is one of the world’s 200 best universities in education, electrical and electronic engineering, materials science, and sociology. Many companies have their roots in LiU’s research or are founded by LiU alumni. 

Like most unis in Sweden, students from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland do not pay for tuition. The same applies to those with a permanent Swedish residence permit.

For those not from these countries, you will have to pay 900 krona for your application fees (which is standard for all Swedish universities), and tuition fees range between 80,000 to 136,0000 krona, (approximately US$7,490 to US$ 12,7344).

Uppsala University

When it comes to tuition-free universities in Sweden, Uppsala University ranks among one of the best. As one of the first Nordic universities, it is divided into three disciplines: humanities and social sciences, medicine and pharmacy, and science and technology.

Thanks to their research-led teaching, you will experience the highest standards of intellectual rigour. Some of their graduates include 15 Nobel Prize laureates — eight of whom received prizes for discoveries made during their time at Uppsala University. 

Depending on the chosen programme, one semester or full-time study will cost students outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland between 50,000 to 72,500 Swedish kronas. 

study in sweden

Stockholm School of Economics is near the city’s many gems, including the iconic city hall. Source: Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP

Stockholm School of Economics

Located in the city district of Vasastaden, Stockholm School of Economics is one of Europe’s leading business schools. Its programmes are developed in close cooperation with research and business communities and are delivered in English. 

Vasastaden is situated in the central part of Stockholm, considered one of the most modern and open cities in the world. From its iconic city hall to the world’s first open-air museum, you are one step away from discovering the city’s gems.

Generally, you can expect to pay 150,000 to 165,000 krona for a master’s programme if you are not from the EU, EEA, or Switzerland. However, the school offers generous full and partial scholarships for those who wish to pursue an MSc programme.  

Malmö University

Malmo University is one of the younger universities in Sweden. Founded in 1998, the university is located in the heart of the city of Malmö – ranked fourth on Forbes’s list of the most inventive cities in the world. At its core, the university is characterised by a multidisciplinary, challenge-based approach to education, research, and collaboration.

Here, programmes often include internship elements and project work in close cooperation with regional authorities, local initiatives and international companies. As a global campus, they house 1,800 international students and deliver their undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in English.

An education at Malmo University will cost students outside the EU, EEA, or Switzerland 80,000 to 425,000 Swedish krona.