About the Higher Education System
There are ten universities in Finland and 14 universities of applied sciences. There are also seven specialised universities in the fields of technology, design, music etc.
All institutions are typically referred to as universities and they all have the ability to award bachelor-level qualifications. Universities award Bachelor degrees such as BSc and BA, whereas universities of applied sciences award Bachelor degrees in subjects, for example, BBA (business administration), BEng (engineering). An undergraduate degree from a university typically takes 3 years to complete and university of applied science degrees last between 3.5 and 4.5 years including work placements.
Universities in Finland are highly selective and often oversubscribed. Completion of secondary education at advanced level, equivalent to passing the exam at the end of Finnish upper secondary school, is the basic requirement for entry to Finnish universities and university colleges. If you have A levels you should be eligible for entry to a Finnish university although each university is free to determine its own requirements and you will need to contact each university directly to find out what these are. Additionally each university also has its own entrance exam.
The most common form of entrance exam is a written test, but when applying to subjects like visual arts, drama, or music, you may need to prepare a portfolio of your work, or you may be invited to an audition.
- in most cases, the entrance examinations are held in Finland, and those who are invited to the exams must personally travel to Finland to take the test.
- if you are applying to the Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences (polytechnics) it is sometimes possible to take exams in other countries and there is an examination planned for London in early 2012.
- if you are applying to a Finnish University you need to be in direct contact with the Finnish university you are applying to in order to find out if you can take the examination in your home country.
Most Finnish Higher Education Institutions use online application systems. For universities of applied sciences there is a centralised application process which you can access at www.admissions.fi. This system does not include the universities and you will be required to apply directly to them.
For Universities of Applied Sciences the main application period is January-February for the following autumn. You can also apply in August-September for courses starting in January. For Universities there is usually only one application period and that takes place between November and January.
How much does it cost?
Finnish universities do not charge tuition fees for EU students.
How do I get a visa?
As Finland is part of the European Union this is not required. You will need to register with the local authorities once you are resident in Finland but this is not a step you need to undertake in advance.
Can I work there as a student?
If you have an EU passport you can work while you are a student.
Which are the best universities?
- University of Helsinki
- Aalto University
- University of Eastern Finland
- University of Turku
Aalto University is the only research university with any Bachelor’s degree programmes taught in English.
Universities in Finland
- Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
- Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
- North Karelia University of Applied Sciences
- Tampere University of Applied Sciences
- Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
- NOVIA University of Applied Sciences
- Turku University of Applied Sciences
- HAMK University of Applied Sciences
- Vaasa University of Applied Sciences
- JAMK University of Applied Sciences
- Oulu University of Applied Sciences
- Aalto University
- Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
- Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences
- Laurea University of Applied Sciences
- Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences
- Saimia University of Applied Sciences
- Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
- Kymenlaasko University of Applied Sciences
- Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
- Arcada University of Applied Sciences
- Central Ostrobothnia University of Applied Sciences
- Lahti University of Applied Sciences
- Savonia University of Applied Sciences