Study in Finland
An increasing amount of foreign students decide to add a Finnish flavour to their studies and look for something different to include in their studies. Situated in the crossroads of west and east, Finland has developed cooperation not only with neighbouring countries but also through the whole world. The extensive international networking, which increases the diversity of education, Finland’s excellent reputation in higher education, the wide range of courses offered in English and the high standard of facilities for students make the country an attractive place to study.
Study in Finland
The Finnish higher education system
The Finnish higher education system consists of two sectors – universities and polytechnics. There are 20 universities of which ten are multi-faculty universities; three are universities of technology, three business schools and four arts academies. In addition, university-level education is provided at the National Defence College under the Ministry of Defence. Finnish universities have roots going back to the 17th century and today the country has one of the most comprehensive university networks in Europe.
Finnish university degrees correspond to Bachelor, Master and Doctor degrees. It takes around three years to complete a Bachelor degree, and two to three years more to complete an MA. All universities are under the supervision of the Ministry of Education and they all carry out research and confer doctorates. Currently there are around 147,000 students registered at Finland’s universities of which more than 3,000 are students from abroad studying for a degree. The number of international visiting students at the Finnish universities is approx. 2,600 per year.
The 30 polytechnics in Finland offer multi-field instruction, an emphasis being on close contact with business, industry and services, especially at the regional level. The degrees are designed to meet the changing requirements and development needs of the world of work, having a pronounced occupational emphasis, and qualifying graduates for various expert duties. Polytechnics undertake some R&D with a distinctly applied and practical emphasis.
In polytechnics, studies are organised into degree programmes, which take three to four years to complete and include a period of work experience. Currently there are 78,000 students registered at polytechnics of which around 1,000 are students from abroad studying for a degree. There are approx. 1,100 international visiting students at the Finnish polytechnics per year.
Quality, Diversity and Modernity
Quality, diversity and modernity are the key elements in Finnish higher education. Quality in education is of special concern. Finnish universities and polytechnics are committed to maintaining high standards in their education and they all have concentrated in developing education by extensive assessments. The praise for quality applies to both teaching and research as well as student services.
Diversity describes higher education in Finland in the sense that students can choose between universities and polytechnics, different geographical areas, the capital and the provinces, and the language of instruction – Finnish, Swedish or English. There are more than 300 international study programmes in English, both non-degree and degree programmes, offered by universities and polytechnics. A list of programmes is available at www.finland.cimo.fi (Studying International Programmes). Furthermore, there are many institutions, faculties and departments that offer tailor-made curricula for international students. Modernity in Finnish higher education is assured by maintaining close relationships with the business world and by constantly developing the use of technology in education. All our universities and polytechnics are on the Internet and the students are given own e-mail accounts. Information technology improves the international contacts and cooperation in studies, and is used to create virtual seminars through video-conferencing facilities along side with e-mail. Furthermore, thanks to the new technology the libraries are no longer limited to printed sources of information, but the students also have access to the extensive electronic databases.
Make your way…
There are several options you can choose from when deciding to study in Finland. Interested in forestry or environmental studies, biotechnology, Arctic, Russian or East-European studies? These are just examples of the fields where the Finnish expertise is well known, but you can choose from a wide range of high quality study programmes in almost all possible fields. Furthermore, you can come to Finland as a visiting student, become a degree student or to complete your postgraduate studies. Students enrolled in regular degree studies pay no tuition fees, but should you consider coming to Finland as a degree student, you should master Finnish or Swedish to some extent and be prepared to take an entrance examination.
The institutions of higher education in Finland wish you warmly welcomed to Finland by organizing orientation programmes on your arrival. These days are designed to guide your way to the studies and to the more informal student activities as well. The nature up here offers excellent leisure activity opportunities ranging from hiking to shooting of the rapids and skiing. Or are you more interested in lace making, astrology or politics? Students have hobby clubs of all kinds, and by participating in them you will be sure not to be bored.