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Steven Sampson

Steven Sampson

Professor emeritus

Steven Sampson

Why do Swedish students go to university? Results of an anthropological study


  • Steven Sampson

Summary, in English

This paper details the findings of an assessment of the Swedish "application crisis" to universities, where some fields have experienced a drop in applications. There are also problems with throughput of students. Our team interviewed gymnasium pupils, guidance counselors, and first year students in selected disciplines at Lund University to find out how they made their decision to come to university and what factors influence their decision to remain, drop out, or switch fields. We found that some students have a personal project for self realization, while others see the university as only a place for job/career preparation. These views are reflected among the pupils, guidance counselors and in recruitment activities. We need a more nuanced understanding of how young people view the university in their total life project. The entire report, in Swedish, is available from the author. The project was financed by the Lund Univ. Information Department.


  • Social Anthropology

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper


  • Social Anthropology


  • throughput
  • admissions crisis
  • university
  • first year experience
  • social anthropology

Conference name

Second European First Year Experience Conference

Conference date