In Finland, education is financed by the government, which helps reduce education costs. Many of the universities are tuition free, only needing students to be able to cater for their feeding, books, travel and living expenses. Bachelor’s, Doctoral and many Master’s programmes don’t charge any tuition fees, regardless of nationality; however, some Master’s programmes may charge tuition fees from non-EU/EEA students.
Finnish universities and Universities of Applied Sciences offer scholarship opportunities to exception non-EU/EEA students who are admitted to their fee-charging degree programmes based on their academic performance. These scholarships are usually come as either full or partial fee waivers, performance-based refunds, or other formats as agreed by the university to which the student is admitted. Luckily, some of the scholarships may include a living cost allowance.
Here is a list of top universities that you can study for free in Finland
Aalto University – Aalto currently has over 2000 international students enrolled and her students majorly excel in the areas of business, architecture, art and design. The university has also done extensive research in the areas of ICT and digitalisation, materials and sustainable use of natural resources, global business dynamics, art and design. At Aalto, there is no tuition fee for doctoral education. Programmes taught in Finnish or Swedish are free of charge for all students. The University also has a scholarship programme for international students.
Tampere University of Applied Sciences – Often referred to as TAMK, this institution was founded in 1996, and the Pirkanmaa University of Applied Sciences merged with it in 2010. It has over 10,000 and a music academy in one of its smaller campuses. The school offers tuition fee waivers for talented students and their Excellence Scholarship offers awardees an extra 7000 euros for their living expenses along with free tuition.
University of Helsinki – This is the oldest and largest institution in Finland, with over 35,000 students and researchers. The university is ranked in the top 100 by the International University Ranking. At University of Helsinki, there are opportunities for tuition free + living costs grant, tuition fee grant, half tuition fee grant or a living costs grant. All applicants to their Master’s programme are eligible for this.
Lappeenranta University of Technology – Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) was established in 1969 and since 2014 they have been ranked among the world’s top 600 universities and in the world’s 20 most promising and rapidly developing challenger universities. LUT has 3 scholarship categories 50% Tuition Fee Scholarship, 100% Tuition Fee and Full Scholarship.
Hanken School of Economics – The Hanken School of Economics is a business school established in 1909 and is the only business school in Finland. They offer master’s, doctoral, and MBA programmes in English, as well as bachelor’s and master’s programmes in Swedish and the Financial Times ranked Hanken’s Masters in Management programme 69th in 2016. There are 3 award opportunities at Hanken which are -Hanken Premium Scholarship, which covers the full tuition fee and 8000 euros/year living expenses; Hanken Honours Scholarship, which covers the full tuition fee; Hanken Support Scholarship, which covers 50% of the tuition fee.
Lahti University of Applied Sciences – Lahti University of Applied Sciences (LUAS) formerly known as Lahti Polytechnic has over 5,000 students in its over 20 degree programmes with over 40 specialisation lines. The board of the school is willing to waive 50% of tuition fees for students from non-EU/EEA countries as scholarship.
It is important to note that as of Autumn 2017, Finnish universities will no longer be tuition free with exemptions for
- a non-EU/EEA student who started their degree studies in Finland before autumn 2017
- Students admitted to Doctoral/PhD level studies and research
- Students going to study temporarily in Finland as part of an official student exchange programme
- Those admitted to a degree programme taught in Finnish or Swedish
Given that students have to cater for living expenses, older students estimate that they spend between 650 – 800 euros monthly with rents around 300 euros. This may also vary depending on the living style which a student decides to adopt. Students are only required to show proof of 500 euros for monthly expense when applying for residence permit. Most of the students who have come to Finland to study enrolled for STEM courses, Business Administration and Finance programmes.
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