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