Press release

Higher education in Finland attracts more than ever – a record number of applicants in the joint application, mostly from abroad

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More than 61 800 students applied in the first joint application to higher education this spring. The number of applicants doubled from the corresponding joint application 2022. Most of the applicants are of another than Finnish nationality. The application mostly contains of study programmes in English.

The joint application to higher education this spring ended on Wednesday 18 January. In the joint application, one can apply to study programmes in English. Also programmes in Finnish and Swedish at the University of Arts were available in the joint application this spring. This year, the joint application had over 61 800 applicants, which is more applicants than ever and twice as many as last year. 

Overall, there were approximately 7 400 study places available in 369 programmes. This is 1 000 more study places than in the same application last year.  Furthermore, there was a remarkable increase in the number of programmes offered by universities – this year slightly more than half of the programmes are offered by universities and just under half by universities of applied Sciences (UAS). 

A majority of the applicants, more than 50 000, came from outside the EU/EEA -area.  The biggest nationalities in terms of the number of applicants were Bangladesh, Nigeria, and Finland. 14 % of the applicants were of Finnish nationality. The number of Finnish applicants were almost the same as the year before.

The number as well as the share of international applicants has increased for several years now. This year, the increase was higher than ever – compared to last year, the share of international students doubled.

- The interest in higher education in Finland has increased as a result of the active student recruitment and country branding work carried on by the higher education institutes together with national operators. There was also a reform of the student’s residence permit in the spring 2022. These actions explain the immense increase in the number of applicants, says Senior adviser Janni Jokela from the Finnish National Agency for Education. 

A joint digital entrance exam named International UAS exam is also used in the joint application this spring.  The exam was introduced last year. Applicants participate in only one entrance exam, and its result is considered by all the study programmes that utilize International UAS exam. 

- The digital entrance examination makes it even easier for international students to apply to a programme in the joint application this spring. This also explains why the number of applicants has increased, Jokela says.

Study place available for every eight applicants

The most popular fields by the number of applicants were business, administration and law, and information and communication technologies.

The toughest competition for study places was in the fields of services (approx. 31 applicants/study place), health and welfare (approx. 19 applicants/study place), as well as arts and culture (approx. 16 applicants/study place in both fields).

The fields with the lowest number of applicants per available study place were humanities and education (approx. 8 applicants/study place in both fields).

Study place is available for approximately every eight applicants.

Admission results are published at the beginning of June at the latest

During the next few months, higher education institutions inspect applications and organize entrance exams. The first results of the first joint application will be published starting from the end of January and the beginning of February. All results will be published on June 2 at the latest.

Accepted applicants will be automatically informed via e-mail.

The joint application for degree programmes offered in Finnish and Swedish will be arranged from 15 to 30 March 2023.

Additional information:

Senior adviser Janni Jokela, janni.jokela [at],  +358 29 533 1818
Planning specialist Risto Hanhinen, risto.hanhinen [at], Tel. +358 29 533 1615