Finnish universities offer wide variety of educational programs taught in English. Every year Finland receives foreign students from all around the world.
Higher education system consists of universities and polytechnics (Universities of Applied Sciences). The Finnish higher education system is made up of two parallel sectors: universities and polytechnics. The universities rely on the connection between research and teaching. Their basic purpose is to perform scientific research and to provide higher education connected with it. Students at universities may take a lower (Bachelor's) or higher (Master's) academic degree and also academic further education, consisting of licentiate and doctoral degree. Universities also arrange further education and open university teaching.
The polytechnics are usually regional higher education institutions which provide instruction in subjects from several sectors, and which emphasize a connection with working life. The degrees they provide are Bachelor's degrees with a professional emphasis.
There are universities and polytechnics all over Finland, and the ultimate aim is to ensure that all prospective students have equal opportunities for study, regardless of where they live.
Finland attracts international students because of the high quality of education. More than 8400 students from abroad are studying for a degree in Finnish universities. Additionally, thousands of international students from over 100 countries visit Finnish universities annually.
To find a degree prospective students are suggested to visit the websites of the educational institutes. A database of all English langauge education can be found at the joint university application website for both Bachelor 's and Master's levels. Ministry of Education also updates links to universities websites.
Application criteria for Bachelor's degree is a competed higher secondary education and a good command in English proven with IELTS or TOEFL.
Application for Bachelor's Degree in polytechnics can be done with an online joint application at www.admissions.fi twice a year. Application times are January-February and September. The admissions website also provides a lot of practical information about living in Finland. Guidance for filling up the online application is available at the Embassy. After completing online application the applicant receives a confirmation email and a student application number. Students are required to send one attested set of their educational certificates to an address in Finland (first priority college) given in the confirmation email. At one time, student can apply up to four different degrees. A gap in the studies does not affect the chances of getting admission.
Participating in the entrance examination is required for Bachelor's degree. Students will be notified with a letter if they are invited to sit in exams (for this purpose students should write their current address or GPO Box address when filling up the online application especially if their permanent address is in a remote area of Nepal).
The colleges themselves decide where their exams are held, students get the information of the exam location, date and time when they receive the exam invitation letter. The Embassy is normally not notified who are invited to the exam unless the Embassy has been asked to conduct exams. Not all exams are held in Nepal, if the exam location is in Finland, it is necessary to apply a tourist visa in order to participate. For this, more information is available at the Embassy.
Always give preference to colleges who organize exams in Nepal. Within the FINNIPS network colleges the first priority college invites you to sit in exam which result are valid for all colleges applied to if you apply to same field. If you apply to other fields, wait for letter for all exams. When you apply, make sure your first priority college has an exam in Nepal. The Embassy of Finland will organize an entrance exam for Metropolia UAS in Civil Engineering, Information Technology and Media Engineering on 17th April. Asia network does not conduct exams anymore with British Council. Some sample questions are available on Nepal-Finland webpage.
Students can apply to Master's degree programmes if they have completed their Bachelor level studies. Also IELTS/TOEFL is generally required. However, application time, other application and admission criteria can be different between universities.
Many universities also take part to an online application system; the website www.universityadmissions.fi is a shortcut to the Finnish universities. University websites also have informative pages on application process. It is recommended to follow the university's instructions carefully especially regarding application times and required documents. Students might be called for a phone interview.
For PhD studies a completed Master's degree is necessary. Students are advised to contact the student offices of the universities to get more information of the studies and application criteria.
International students are not required to know Finnish language when applying to English programs.
Bachelor level students are required to have passed IELTS/TOEFL in order to qualify to apply. IELTS 6.0, TOELF 550. English skills will also be evaluated in the entrance exam.
For Master's degree programmes IELTS/TOEFL is usually required.Each university has different admission criteria.
Studying in Finland is free of charge. For Bachelor level there are no scholarships available. Master's degree students may inquire the possibilities for scholarships from the university they are accepted to, CIMO (Center for International Mobility), or Erasmus Mundus.
Students who are accepted to study in Finland are required to prove they can support themselves financially during their studies in Finland. Each student needs minimum of 560 €/month for all expences.
If student is accepted to study in Finland a deposit of 6720euros must be made to student's own account. When residence permit is granted, € 6720 must be carried to Finland as a traveller's cheque or bank draft. When opening an account students are adviced to check if bank issues traveller's cheques or bank drafts for euros. The border control is not entitled to let any student enter the country who do not have the the money with them on arrival.
Students who are granted a student residence permit are allowed to work up to 25 hours/week during the academic season, and full time during holidays. It is very difficult to get a job in Finland as a foreign student, therefore carrying the required 6720 € is essential for survival. The Ministry of Labour publishes job vacancies. Students are allowed so stay and travel in other Schengen countries than Finland max. of 90 days. For working regulations in these other countries please contact the respective Embassy in Finland.
All universities and most polytechnics offer affordable student housing also for international students. After being notified of being accepted to study in Finland student should contact the student office or student union in order to make a booking for accommodation. For major cities links below:
In Helsinki area:
In Turku area:
In Tampere area:
For other cities:
When selected to study in a Finnish educational institution, student must apply for a student's residence permit as soon as possible. The Immigration makes the positive decisions within approximately two months.
All students who apply student residence permit are required to have a health insurance valid for one year (renewable annually) when they come to apply residence permit. The validity of the insurance should begin from the date when the student is expected to arrive to Finland.
Many students have reported being victimised by student consultanices or their agents in Finland. Students should be aware of the fact that consultancies do not have any influence on residence permit decisions or job opportunities. Consultanices also have agents in Finland who cheat students' money in exchange for a job, however, jobs are very difficult to get and an agent cannot do this for you. Do not give your passport, citizenship card, original educational certificates, traveller's cheque or bank draft to anyone.
The government of Finland has not authorized any student consultancy to represent Finnish colleges or universities in Nepal. Students are strongly advised not to use the services of the educational consultancies; all the information is available free of charge at the Embassy of Finland. The consultancies do not have any influence over the residence permit decision or job opportunities in Finland. The only charges students have when applying to Finland are: postage charge of documents to Finland, entrance examination fee, insurance charge and student residence permit application fee.
Information leaflet is available at the Embassy for everyone who is interested to study in Finland.