The population density of Finland is one of the lowest in Europe. Finland is one of the northernmost countries and is also called the country of the thousand lakes. These and many other natural sights make the Finnish countryside a good place for adventurous trips during the time you’re not studying!
The Finnish higher education system is separated into two different types of higher education institutions (HEIs): universities and universities of applied sciences. As it is usual in the European Union, the degree-structure is three-cycled: bachelor, master and doctoral degrees.
There are currently 36 Finnish higher education institutions which are spread throughout the whole country. The most northern university is the University of Lapland and the most southern universities are located in and around Helsinki.
Here we highlight the overall performance of Finnish universities on the institutional level per U-Multirank dimension. The table below shows the national breakdown of Finnish universities and how they stand across the spectrum of above average (receiving a score of ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good)), or below average (receiving a score of ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak)). In doing so, U-Multirank offers a clear picture on the country’s strengths and areas for improvement.
It becomes apparent that the vast majority of Finland’s higher education institutions performs well in view of regional engagement as well as international orientation.
Whereas EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, as well as people holding long-term EU residence permits or EU Blue Card, are exempt from tuition fees of programmes/courses not taught in Finnish or Swedish, from 1 August 2017, international students have to pay fees. There is no strict amount international students have to pay, the fees vary per institution, but most of them are at least 1,500 EUR per academic year. The Average tuition fees for English-taught degrees are 5,000 – 18,000 EUR/year. For further information about tuition fees in Finland, click here. Moreover, no tuition fees are charged for postgraduate research/doctoral studies or any programmes/courses taught in Finnish or Swedish.
You may wish to establish whether you need to have your national university entrance qualification officially recognized before applying to Finnish higher education institutions and being able to take up studies in Finland.
The Finnish higher education system offers the ability to study at a Finnish university and at a Finnish university of applied science. If you are looking for a study programme or exchange at a Finnish university it might be a good idea to contact the higher education institution admissions offices directly.
Reference year(s): 2020/2021
In this section we highlight the fees for studying in [insert country name]. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.
Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.
In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in Finland. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances. How these terms are defined, are outlined below:
What are the entry requirements for Finnish Universities?
In general, one’s national higher education entrance exam certificate is sufficient to take up undergraduate studies both at universities and universities of applied sciences. However, it is advisable to check the respective institutional admissions page first, before you send off your application documents as admission criteria might differ between courses/subjects/programmes. In addition to your higher education entrance exam certificate, Finnish institutions often require students to sit entrance examinations. Further information about the entrance examinations is available here.
In order to apply for a postgraduate degree at a Finnish higher education institution, you must – at a minimum – have successfully completed your undergraduate degree. In case you wish to do a postgraduate degree at a university of applied sciences, you may need to give evidence of having worked for three years. For further information, click here.
No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in Finland. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.
EU (except Nordic students), EEA and Swiss citizens do not require a visa in order to study in Finland. Nevertheless, they need to register with the local immigration office (MIGRI) branch if their stay exceeds 90 days as well as the Finnish population register if they stay in the country for longer than 12 months. Nordic students will only need to register if their stay exceeds six months.
For all others, applying for a visa is compulsory. There are short-term visa if you do not intend to stay in the country for longer than 90 days, and a student residence permit if you plan to stay in Finland for longer than 90 days.
Here you can find the current Finnish country report.
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