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Sustainability one factor influencing KTH master’s applicants choices

People walking past a display showing the KTH logo and SDGs artwork
According to Times Higher Education research, applicants to universities are just as likely to rate a university’s sustainability and graduate employment prospects as top priorities. (Photo: David Callahan)
Published Apr 11, 2024

An all-time high of 3,423 students have been admitted for master’s studies at KTH in the autumn. If trends are any guide, the selection of KTH was for many applicants influenced by the programmes’ focus on sustainability.

A new batch of accepted students are approaching the conclusion of a months-long journey, where they finally selected among their top choices of universities for their master’s studies.

The 2024 admissions total represents a 14 percent increase over 2023. That year’s total, 3,001, in turn represented a 13 percent increase over the previous year.

Choosing a university is driven by a number of factors — cost, university ranking and study destination are all important considerations— but ultimately the decision hinges on how closely a university’s programmes align with the individual’s references, says Daniel Lindmark, marketing manager for student recruitment at KTH.

Sustainability linked to programmes

For most, the first phase of the selection process is comparing programmes at different universities. Then other considerations come into play. One increasingly influential factor worldwide is sustainability. According to Times Higher Education research, applicants to universities are just as likely to rate a university’s sustainability and graduate employment prospects as top priorities.

Lindmark says that while it is difficult to weigh the importance of sustainability in students’ choices at KTH, surveys conducted by the group for International Student Recruitment show that by linking its master’s programmes with specific sustainability goals, KTH has made a strong impression with prospective students. Eighty-three percent admitted in 2022 said they think KTH focuses on sustainability to a “high extent,” according to the International Student Survey 2022 conducted by Gullers Group.

All KTH programme descriptions  feature detailed explanations about how they align with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals. These take aim at 169 individual targets with the purpose of ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring the well-being of all human beings.

Artwork for the Sustainable Development Goals
All KTH MSc programmes are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“An important element of the programmes is how advancements in each field can be used to create a more sustainable future,” Lindmark says. “For most of our students, it appears that sustainability is the icing on the cake.”

Personalized support

But the sustainability connection isn’t the only factor for students. The delivery of service to prospective students gets high marks, beginning with the relevant detail provided in the programme section of the university website . The International Student Survey shows almost 90 percent say they find all the information they need on the website.”

“That’s our main hub. That’s where we drive the web traffic,” Lindmark says.

He says the web content is backed up with a heavy dose of personalized support from programme directors and administrative staff, as well as student ambassadors from the programmes. These first points of contact maintain that contact throughout the students’ process, all the way through to pre-departure, conducting webinars where both students and teachers present and take questions.

“We’re all on the same page, that it’s necessary throughout the process to be available to answer questions,” Lindmark says.

“More and more, questions aren't looked at as an administrative burden but as an opportunity to support the students on this journey.”

David Callahan (Callahan @

Find the master's programme that's right for you, in 5 steps

Daniel Lindmark, marketing manager for student recruitment at KTH, has five pieces of advice for how to choose a master's programme:

1. Cast a wide net. If you just started your search, cast a wide net and don't limit yourself to one university. Head to a portal, for example,, or, where you can search for master's programmes worldwide. And if you are dead set on KTH, I don't blame you; you are welcome to head directly to 

2. Check the courses and requirements. Immerse yourself in the programme content on the university websites and see how well they match what you want to study and do in the future. Make sure to not only read the well-written programme descriptions, but to also look at the courses, as they will give you an even better understanding of what you actually learn. If you find a KTH programme  that fits your interests, make sure you meet the admission requirements. KTH admitted 35 per cent of qualified applicants this year, so meeting the requirements is a must. 

3. Browse the rankings. University rankings are a sign of good quality education and prominent research, and a degree from a highly ranked university will boost your career opportunities and broaden your network. Browsing through the top 100 universities in the QS and THE World University rankings is an excellent way to hone in on a couple of universities.

4. Check if the location suits your values. The university's location will significantly impact the two years spent there and your future career. Stockholm and Sweden are well known for their clean air, closeness to nature, work-life balance, equality, sustainability, business and innovation. Make sure you find a location that matches your values and ambitions.

5. Look up alumni on LinkedIn. Head to the university's LinkedIn pages to see what their graduates actually work with. On KTH's Linkedin , there are over 115 thousand KTH graduates, so you are bound to find someone from the programme you are interested in who has your dream job. 

Belongs to: About KTH
Last changed: Apr 11, 2024