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 (study visa) 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 about the application procedure, specific application deadlines and links to the universities' web sites can be found at the University Admissions Finland site (www.universityadmissions.fi).
Higher Education Institutions
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.
The universities represent the oldest educational tradition in Finland. The first university, The Royal Academy of Turku was founded in 1640. The universities' operations are still based on academic freedom and individual autonomy. Autonomy means that the universities have considerable freedom and independence in making their own decisions. The universities and their faculties decide on the regulations applying to their degrees and on their own curriculums. They also decide how many students to admit each year to study the various subjects they teach. There are 20 universities in Finland, all of which are owned and largely funded by the Finnish government. University studies are available to all, in principle, as Finnish universities do not charge term fees.
The special feature of the polytechnics is their close link with working life and their aim of providing skills for expert duties in different vocational sectors. The polytechnics system is fairly recent in Finland, having been created in the 1990s. The new system was introduced in an effort to channel the growth of the higher education sector from universities into the new polytechnics. The new name for polytechnic is University of Applied Sciences.
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.
Master's and PhD degree
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.
Studying in Finland is free of charge. For Bachelor level there are usually 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 500 €/month for all expences.
If student is accepted to study in Finland a deposit of 6000 euros must be made to student's own account. When residence permit is granted, € 6000 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 6000 € 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 Embassy will help all students who report any problems with consultancies or agents.
The Embassy is happy to receive suggestions regarding the content of this website from students!