Coronavirus complicates the situation of incoming degree students as well as exchange students in Finland

The coronavirus pandemic has had a considerable impact on international student mobility in higher education institutions (HEIs). In the course of this year, the Finnish National Agency for Education has investigated the situation by means of several surveys on the number of mobilities and the arrangements made by HEIs. The most recent survey revealed that coronavirus has in many ways complicated not only the situation of exchange students but also the situation of foreign degree students in HEIs.

Over 23 000 applicants to higher education institutions’ English-taught study programmes and art study programmes

A record number of applicants participated in this spring’s first joint application to higher education: the number is approx. 3000 more than the number of applicants in the corresponding joint application last spring. There are also more study places available. The application included English-taught study programmes, studies offered by the University of the Arts and the theatre study programme at Tampere University.

Joint application to English-taught programmes begins January 7

The first joint application of the spring to universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS) begins on Thursday the 7th of January at 8:00. The joint application ends on Wednesday, the 20th of January at 15:00. The application form can be filled at No registration or login is required in order to apply.

Scholarships aimed at international postgraduate students to be renewed at the turn of the year

EDUFI Fellowship and the Finnish Government Scholarship Pool will be merged into one scholarship programme.

Finnish survey reveals increase in school absenteeism

Approximately 2–3% of all lower secondary school pupils in Finland constantly have a large number of absences from school. According to Pirjo Koivula, Education Counsellor and the Agency’s National Co-ordinator for Finland, non-attendance has negative consequences for both the individual learner and for wider society. It has been linked to mental health problems and school drop-out, which can both lead to difficulties finding employment and other financial and health problems later in life. The reasons for absenteeism are wide-ranging and include illness, problems at home and social problems at school, such as bullying. The COVID‑19 pandemic has also contributed to absenteeism in Finland: a study by the University of Helsinki and Tampere University in May 2020 found that 8% of teachers had been unable to make any contact with some of their learners during the school closures.

Coronavirus epidemic delays language tests: from now on, you can only reschedule your registration once

The coronavirus situation has complicated the organisation of National Certificate of Language Proficiency (YKI) tests. The YKI system is doing its best to ensure that a maximum number of candidates in need of the YKI certificate can sit the test as soon as possible. This certificate may be needed when applying for Finnish citizenship, a study place or a job, for example. In addition to YKI tests, language proficiency in Finnish and Swedish can be demonstrated in the Civil service language proficiency certificate system.

Higher education institutions estimate the number of student exchanges in the autumn semester to be much lower than normally

Student exchanges in Finnish higher education institutions (HEIs) continue during the autumn semester 2020. However, as a result of the COVID-19 situation, the number of both incoming and outgoing exchange students in Finland are much lower than in a normal situation. According to the HEIs’ estimates, the number of outgoing students from Finland will be only one quarter of what it was last autumn. The total number of incoming exchange students is also clearly lower than before, but some HEIs have even seen an increase in the number of incoming students.

OECD indicators: In Finland vocational education and training appeals to people of all ages

Vocational education and training is popular in Finland and attracts a wide range of people of different ages to study. By international standards, vocational education and training is also an...

Recognition of a qualification completed abroad can now be applied for online

The Finnish National Agency for Education's decision on the recognition of a qualification completed abroad can now be applied for electronically by using the online application form on the Studyinfo webservice. The new application form was introduced on 7 September 2020.

Finnish schools coped well with the transition to distance education, but students hope for more interaction

As Finland switched to distance education in March 2020, Finnish National Agency for Education launched a study to find out how schools and institutions in primary and secondary education cope with being forced into distance education by the COVID-19 pandemic. The study collates and summarises a number of Finnish studies and reports with the aim of facilitating further reforms and development of education in the future. Both international comparisons and national studies indicate that the transition to and delivery of distance education in Finnish schools and educational institutions were successful considering the circumstances. This is attributed to the high professional skills of teachers and society's investments in education and digitalisation.
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