Stunning natural beauty and laid-back cities, a strong focus on research and innovation, a good selection of world-class universities and a commitment to offering higher education free of charge… It’s easy to see why many international students choose to study in Finland.
Universities in Finland
While Finland’s system of higher education is relatively young compared to some others in Europe, this is definitely not at the expense of quality. Finland has eight universities in the 2012/13 QS World University Rankings, most of which improved their overall positions compared to the previous year.
While Denmark and Sweden have both now introduced fees for students outside of the EU/EEA area, Finland has so far managed to avoid this, as has Norway.
All undergraduate and PhD courses are free in Finland; some master’s courses do charge fees for non-EU/EEA students, but scholarships are available.
In fact, according to a report from the Europaeum, Finland is among the few European countries that actually managed to increase state funding for higher education in recent years – by 12% between 2010 and 2011
Applying to universities in Finland
Applications are usually made online, either direct to the university, or via the centralized admissions service University Admissions Finland (UAF).
Deadlines vary, but the main applications period is November-January, for courses starting the following fall. At some polytechnics it is also possible to apply in August-September for courses starting the following spring, but only for selected programs.
As well as proving your academic credentials, you may also need to pass an entrance examination.
If you are successful, you will be glad to hear that, no matter where you’re from, you will not have to pay a penny in tuition fees. This applies at all levels of degree, except for some master’s degrees, for which non-EU/EEA students may have to pay a fee.
Facts about Finland
- Parliamentary democracy with unicameral legislature
- Head of state is president (largely ceremonial), head of government is prime minister.
- Finnish and Swedish are official languages, though English is more widely spoken than Swedish
- Capital city is Helsinki, which is the second most northern capital city in the world
- Part of Sweden until 1809, then duchy of Russia until gaining independence in 1917
- Known as Suomi in Finnish
- Slightly larger than Malaysia, but with population (estimated to be 5,400,000) smaller than Kuala Lumpur alone
- Currency is Euro, symbol: €, €1 = US$1.35
- Uses Eastern European Time (UTC+2), switching to Eastern European Summer Time (UTC+3) in summer
- International dialling code is +358
- Homeland of Nokia and Santa Claus (Lapland is in Finland)
- Finland has 180,000 islands and 230,000 reindeer
More about Finland