Last Updated: March 14, 2022
Universities in Finland
Finland is one of the destinations chosen by international students who are interested in research and innovation. Most of the programs here are taught in either English or Swedish languages with English-taught programs gaining popularity in institutions. The country offers more than 500 bachelor’s and master’s programs that are English-taught spread across different disciplines. The education offered here for both domestic and international candidates is of high quality. One of the major highlights of studying in Finland is that education is stately funded for even international students. This implies that most programs offered are tuition-free in the country.
The country has 22 universities for applied sciences and 13 other universities dealing with other fields of study. Most of the universities offer doctorate programs in English. Being situated in the Northern part of Europe, Finland is one of the five Nordic countries. The society here strongly follows the policy of equality and also keenly focuses on research. They have an inclination toward technological innovation which reflects in the educational programs they provide within the field of science and technology.
Most of the programs are taught in Finnish or Swedish languages. Courses in English are becoming popular in the country which is an added advantage for international students. Most admissions are done via University Admissions Finland (UAF). The Tampere University of Technology, University of Oulu, University of Helsinki, and other universities have MS programs in English, as well. (TOEFL/IELTS might be required from non-native English speakers).
Higher Education System in Finland
The higher education system in Finland contains two sectors which are universities
and universities for applied sciences
. Both these sectors contain programs that pertain to a specific kind of educational requirement. Universities offer programs that focus on research and innovative thinking where students will be able to focus on a few subjects. Universities of applied sciences on the other hand provide professional education that will deal with multiple subjects which students will require for a certain job sector.
- University- Universities provide students with opportunities for scientific research. They mainly deal with programs in the sciences and arts with universities being provided autonomy over the content and planning of their programs. Students will be able to take a bachelor’s degree (kandidaatti) of 3 years and a master’s degree (maisteri) of 2 years under this sector both of which are considered undergraduate programs. The duration mentioned is the least number of years they will have to spend for the program but can be extended as long as the student requires to gain the set number of credits.
Students will be able to choose their course direction and content based on their interest ensuring that their classes do not overlap since class schedules are not set by the university. Both bachelor’s and master’s programs require candidates to submit a thesis for course completion. Students who have completed their master’s degree will be able to enter research where they will get a licentiate degree or a doctorate. A licentiate degree is provided for candidates who have not defended their dissertation. Upon successfully presenting their defense of the dissertation they will be able to get a doctorate.
- University of Applied Sciences- This sector deals with programs rooted in business and services and are designed to provide immediate career options for candidates. Students will be able to take a bachelor’s degree in their field of interest which has a duration of 3 years. After this, if they wish to continue with a master’s degree, they are required to complete 3 years of work in their chosen sector.
Documents and Eligibility Requirements for Universities
The documents required and eligibility requirements for programs vary mainly from university to university and also from department to department. But at the same time, there are general requirements that most programs will have which include-
- A valid passport
- Educational Transcripts
- Proof of English language proficiency- IELTS/TOEFL
- Letters of Recommendation
- Statement of Purpose
Fees Structure of Universities in Finland
Since the Finnish Government wants to promote higher education in the country most of the courses offered by the Universities are exempt from any tuition fees for all students irrespective of their nationality. However, from autumn 2017 tuition fees will be levied on some courses for non-European candidates.
Doctoral studies are still provided free of charge. However, it is the sole responsibility of the student to bear the cost of living in Finland. The cost of survival in the country of Finland is not much as compared to other European countries. Students will have to provide proof of having sufficient financial funds to apply for a student visa.
Top Universities in Finland
A few of the top universities in Finland are-
Abo Akademi University
This university was established in the year 1918 and is one of the few universities that have programs only in Swedish. It has a student population of around 5,500 along with over 1,100 administrative staff. They offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs to both domestic and international candidates. The main faculties in the university are arts, psychology, & theology, education & welfare studies, science & engineering, and social sciences, business, and economics. Other centers include a language center, religious & cultural history, biotechnology, etc.
Research programs include both licentiate programs and doctorate programs under all four faculties. The topics include arts, historical sciences, theology, business administration, social sciences, education, biosciences, information technology, etc.
This university was established in the year 1640 and is a public research university. It has a student population of 32,000 along with over 4,7000 academic staff. They provide bachelor’s programs, master’s programs, and doctoral programs to both domestic and international candidates. The faculties available in this university include theology, law, medicine, arts, sciences, pharmacy, social sciences, etc. They also have programs for agriculture & forestry, veterinary medicine, educational sciences, etc.
They have the Aleksanteri Institute for research in arts, the center for consumer society research, the Center for educational assessment, the Center for European Studies, the Center for Social Data Science, etc. as part of their research centers.
Tampere University of Technology
This university was established in the year 1965 and is the second-largest university in the country focusing on applied sciences. It has a student population of around 10,000 along with over 1,500 administrative staff. It provides undergraduate degree programs, post-graduate degree programs, and international undergraduate degree programs. The fields of study under which programs are offered include architecture, biotechnology, civil engineering, materials engineering, information technology, science & engineering, mechanical engineering, etc.
The international programs that are provided include programs for sustainable architecture, bioengineering, information technology, materials science, industrial engineering, etc. The research degrees offered include Doctor of Science in Technology, Doctor of Philosophy, and even a Licentiate of Technology under the existing fields of study.
University of Jyvaskyla
This university was established in the year 1863 and it is a research university. There are over 14,000 students in this university along with over 1,500 academic staff and over 1,000 administrative staff. They offer undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs to both domestic and international students. The faculties at the university include humanities & social sciences, information technology, education & psychology, mathematics & sciences, etc. They also have other institutes for educational research, multilingual academic communication, etc.
They offer research programs through all the faculties in the university. The fields of study included for research are history & ethnology, applied language studies, information technology, cognitive neuroscience, psychology, economics, business studies, sports sciences, etc.
University of Turku
This university was established in the year 1920 and provides bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs to all candidates. The programs offered are in the fields of teacher education, future studies, global innovation management, biomedical sciences, future health & technology, neuroscience, cyber security, data analytics, software engineering, cryptography, health technology, mechanical engineering, East Asian studies, etc.
The research programs offered are in the fields of clinical research, law, nursing science, molecular medicine, technology, exact sciences, economics, drug research, oral sciences, social & behavioral sciences, etc.
University of Vaasa
This university was established in the year 1968 and it focuses mainly on business-related fields of study. They offer programs at bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. They have a student population of over 5,000 along with over 200 administrative staff and 300 academic staff. The different faculties are for management, accounting & finance, marketing & communications, and technology & innovations. The programs offered under these fields of study include public law, regional studies, strategic management, marketing, international business, business law, computer science, communication studies, etc. They also have an open university and provide programs for exchange students and those continuing their education.
The doctoral programs they offer are for business studies, technical sciences, and social sciences.
This university was founded in the year 2010 by merging the Helsinki University of Technology, Helsinki School of Economics, and the University of Art & Design Helsinki. It has a student population of around 17,000 along with over 3,000 academic staff. The major fields of study are art & design, business & economics, and technology & engineering. Students will be able to take bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs along with double degrees.
The doctoral programs offered include chemical engineering, science, engineering, electrical engineering, business, economics & finance, arts, design & architecture, etc.
University of Oulu
This university was established in the year 1958 and is a research institute. It has a student population of 13,000 along with over 3,700 administrative staff. The university offers 21 international programs along with other bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. The faculties available in the university include biochemistry & molecular medicine, education, humanities, medicine, science, technology, business, etc.
The research programs offered in the university are through the 8 faculties present.
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences
This university was established in the year 2007 by merging the Helsinki Business Polytechnic and Haaga Institute of Polytechnic. It has a student population of over 11,000 and provides both undergraduate, and graduate programs to all candidates. The fields of study offered here include aviation business, business information technology, international business, tourism, sports coaching, digital business innovations, etc.
Research programs are offered in the areas of entrepreneurship & business development, sales development & digitalization, service business development, etc.