Split between universities and polytechnics, Finnish higher education has been ranked as top global plenty of times. Teaching institutions charge no tuition fees, while tests are standardized and focused on abilities. Students satisfaction has an extremely high rating (9/10), according to International Students Satisfaction Awards 2015 by StudyPortals.
The country has high rankings also in greenness and global innovation impact. Study programmes are available in English, Finnish and Swedish. Before you apply to a university or polytechnics in Finland, take a look on the tips and steps below.
Differences between Finnish universities and polytechnics
These are the two sectors of higher education in Finland. Universities are multidisciplinary and academic institutions with a learning system that focuses on theory.
Polytechnics are also known as universities of applied sciences (UAS) and provide professional, vocational learning. Master degree courses in polytechnics are targeted on students who are already employed. In most of the cases, it is not possible to begin your higher education with a university programme and switch to an UAS for postgraduate study and vice versa.
Tips before you apply for a university in Finland
- Find your preferred field of study and then search for the higher learning institutions profile. While universities only accept admissions for the autumn term, some UAS also enrol students for the spring term.
- After you learned what type of institution would you like to apply for, its time to search for a programme that suits your background and plans for your future career. Find and compare degree courses on BachelorsPortal or MastersPortal.
- Some undergraduate degree courses also require an entrance examination which may be a written test. Some other exams may include auditions or portfolios. A few of the UAS organize entrance examinations abroad. Check out the list of countries that you can take your exam from!
- You have the possibility to contact an agent or consultancy to advise you throughout the application process. However, you are advised to limit their access to your documents submit process and, if possible, try to apply independently.
- You can use a joint application for up to six programmes from one or more institutions, in order of your preferences. The order of programmes you apply to is also the order of your evaluations. There is also the possibility to apply separately to a university or UAS.
How to apply for an undergraduate degree
Below you will find the general documents you will need for an application to a university or UAS in Finland. Please note that you will apply directly to the institutions, so there are high chances you will also need specific documents.
- A completed application form
- Translated academic degrees that youve completed the required studies
- Proof that you paid the application fee
- Proof of English proficiency language exams: TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or Cambridge ESOL CPE/CAE.
- Transcript of academic records with a copy of the original version
If required, you will take a written entry examination.
How to apply for a postgraduate degree
Since the application for Master degree courses also takes place directly to the university, you will have specific documents to submit. Below you will find some of the general requirements of documentation.
- A Bachelors degree relevant to the field of study
- English proficiency, as stated above
Key dates and deadlines
When it comes to applications, the key periods for Bachelor degree courses are January (for classes that begin in August) and September (for January) in UAS. Deadlines for universities differ, so you are recommended to search for them on the institutions websites.
University Master programmes usually hold their admissions between early December and January/February. Polytechnics accept applications between January and April.
These are just estimated dates, so you should double check on the universities websites.