Finland Higher Education

According to Countryaah, Finland is the northernmost country in the EU and is a modern welfare society similar to the other Nordic countries. Finland joined the EU in 1995.

Higher education in Finland.

In 2005, a new degree structure and a new credit point system were introduced, which corresponds to the ECTS point system. This makes international comparisons with Finnish educations easier.

The academic year is divided into semesters. The fall semester begins in August and ends in December. The spring semester runs from January to July. Some universities as well as a number of summer universities arrange courses during the summer months.

Denmark has entered into a co-operation agreement with the other Nordic countries on higher education. The agreement means that you as a Danish citizen are free to apply for admission to a higher education in another country in the Nordic region, including Finland.

If you are already in education, and you want to continue your education in Finland, you can apply to have your exams transferred to your new place of education.

Institutions
The Finnish higher education system is divided into a university sector, which places great emphasis on research, and a vocational polytechnic sector.

Universities: There are 16 universities in Finland, of which 2 are technical universities, 2 are business schools and 3 are schools for music, dance, art and design. At some universities, teaching takes place in Swedish, e.g. Swedish School of Economics in Helsinki and Åbo Akademi University.

Polytechnic institutions: There are 25 polytechnic institutions (Ammattikorkeakoulut, AMK / Yrkeshögskola, YH), all of which offer vocational higher education of 3-4 years duration, i.a. engineering and maritime education. As of 2005, the polytechnic institutions also offer postgraduate education of 1-1.5 years’ duration.

Degrees at university level
There are basically 4 different degrees at university level:

  • Candidate / candidate, Finnish bachelor’s degree, obtained after 3 years of study.
  • Master’s / master’s degree, which is obtained after a further 2 years of study.
  • Licentiate / licentiate, which lasts 2 years and can be taken after a master’s degree.
  • Tohtori / doctorate, obtained after 4 years of study after a master’s degree or after 2 years of studies after a licentiate degree. A Finnish doctoral degree can best be compared with a Danish PhD degree.

Some health science educations last 6 years (doctor and veterinary studies).

Degrees at polytechnic institutions

  • Breastfeeding degree / polytechnic degree, polytechnic bachelor’s degree, which is obtained after 3-4 years of study and is vocational. Internships are included in the studies. The name of the exam you receive indicates which subject you have studied, e.g. an engineering education: insinööri (AMK / engineer CYK).
  • Ylempi ammattikorkeakououututkinto / higher polytechnic degree, which is obtained after a further 1-1.5 years of study and can be taken after a bachelor’s degree and 3 years of work experience.

Application for higher education

Finland does not have a central application and admission system. Each educational institution determines its specific requirements and application procedures, and you must therefore contact the individual institutions directly, approx. one year before you want admission.

Finland is a party to the Nordic Convention on Access to Higher Education in the Nordic Region. This means that as a Nordic citizen with a high school education, you can apply for higher education in other Nordic countries on an equal footing with the country’s own applicants. Many higher education institutions require you to pass an entrance exam or undergo an admission interview. The entrance exams take place between May and July.

Language skills
The primary language of instruction is Finnish, but in some places Swedish is also taught. Many courses and educations also take place in English.

Application deadlines
Most application deadlines are in the spring. For accurate information on application deadlines, please contact the individual educational institutions.

Recognition of foreign educations in Denmark
If you have completed a publicly recognized education abroad, you can have it assessed by the Danish Agency for Education and Research

Practical conditions

For foreign students between the ages of 18 and 30, there are a number of opportunities for summer stays and summer jobs in Finland. You can get information about the different options by contacting CIMO (Center for International Mobility).

Housing
It is usually easy for students to find housing in Finland. Often there will be housing adjacent to the universities.

Facts about Finland

Population: 5.4 million. Helsinki is the biggest city in Finland with a population of 558,568.

Languages: Finnish, Swedish and Sami

Employment: In December 2013, unemployment in Finland was 8.3% of the total workforce (Eurostat).

Residence permit: Not necessary for Danish citizens

Finland Higher Education