KTH’s application figures are close to the record years of the 1990’s
Last year, KTH had more applicants to their educational programmes than in a decade. This year, the numbers are increasing even more. Among the educational programmes that stand out are the Chemical Engineering programme which is increasing by almost 70 per cent, and the Technical foundation year which is now one of the country's most popular educational programmes in all categories.
The year 2011 was a peak year for KTH's engineering programmes with over 3,100 applicants. This year, we have almost 3,500 applicants. In five years the number of applicants has increased by 50 per cent. The number of applications is thereby very close to the record years of the late 1990's when there were approximately 4,000 students applying to the engineering programmes.
“The interesting thing is that KTH is now increasing in virtually all educational categories and disciplines. It offers strong support to the fact that more young people have realized that a technical education at KTH is a good investment for the future,” says Lars Göran Nilsson at the Investigation Department at KTH.
Across the country, the number of applicants to engineering programmes is increasing by 8 per cent. The figures for KTH are higher with an increase of 13 per cent, which is also a greater increase compared with the other three major technical universities in the country.
The international Master's programmes have also attracted more students. The number of students who are obliged to pay for their studies has increased from just over 350 to over 500. In principle, this is the same increase as for the Master's students who do not have to pay.
Among the engineering programmes that have increased the most is Chemical Engineering with 69 per cent more applicants compared with the previous year. And this is an increase that has followed several years of struggle with a declining number of applicants.
Both KTH and the chemical industry as a whole have made special efforts to promote chemistry over the past year. The campaign was called “Kemiåret” (The Year of Chemistry) and also had international backing by UNESCO.
“The chemistry programmes have marketed themselves better among upper secondary school students and have succeeded in demonstrating that chemistry is an important and interesting subject. It is highly likely that it has indeed had an effect on the number of applicants,” says Lars Göran Nilsson.
Even Annifrid Pålsson who works with student recruitment at KTH believes in such a connection, and also notes that the increased interest in KTH’s programmes in general has been noticed in the recruitment activities.
“We had a record number of visitors during Open house and there has been a 20 per cent increase in the number of visitors to the website compared with last year,” she says.
The demand for educational programmes for graduate engineers at KTH has increased by 4 per cent according to the admissions statistics. The chemistry programme demonstrates the largest increase along with the computer technology programmes in Haninge and Kista.
Application statistics also show that KTH has two educational programmes on the top 20 list of Sweden's most popular programmes; the Architecture programme at number 13 (975 applicants) and the Technical foundation year at the KTH Campus at number 17 (910).
KTH has the largest share of the number of applicants to engineering programmes in Sweden, approximately 29 per cent. The second largest is Lund with 20 per cent.
Text: Christer Gummeson