163,700 Students Chose Finnish Universities in 2022

Finland Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News May 12, 2023

Aleksanterinkatu, Helsinki, Finland

Finnish universities recorded a slight increase in the number of students pursuing a university degree during the past year, according to data from Statistics Finland, the national statistical institution.

According to these data, 163,700 students were enrolled at universities nationwide in 2022, an increase of 2.6 percent compared to a year ago. But, the number of completed degrees fell slightly by 1.7 percent compared to the previous year. In total, 30,800 degrees were completed in 2022, Erudera.com reports.

University Degrees Completed

Last year, the total of completed degrees was as follows:

  • 15,800 master’s degrees
  • 13,300 bachelor and,
  • 1,600 doctoral degrees.

Data further show that 32,600 new students enrolled at universities across Finland last year; this number remained unchanged from 2021.

Statistics Finland figures dating from 2001, reveal that the number of university students in Finland has fluctuated since that period. A greater increase was recorded in 2006 when a total of 176,555 students attended universities in the country.

On the other hand, the lowest number of students since 2011 was recorded in 2017. That year, the total number of university students was 153,262.

University Students in Finland Since 2013

Regarding the programs, last year, most students (26,214) chose engineering, manufacturing, and construction, followed by 24,237 who chose arts and humanities, and 23,889 business, administration, and law.

Others selected the following fields of study:

  • Social Sciences, Journalism & Information - 20,703 students
  • Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) - 18,416 students
  • Education - 16203 students
  • Natural sciences, Mathematics & Statistics - 15,010 students
  • Health & Welfare - 13,639 students
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries & Veterinary - 3,163 students
  • Services - 2,207 students

Last year, Finnish universities saw a significant increase in the number of international students. By October 2022, 7,060 first-time residence permits for studies were issued to applicants from outside the EU, a huge difference from the 4,595 study-based residence permits issued during the same period in 2021. The increase recorded was 54 percent.

“The number of new international students has increased significantly, even when comparing to the pre-COVID years. The number of residence permits granted this year already surpassed the record-breaking year of 2016 when 6,348 first-time residence permits were granted to students," Deputy Director General Elina Immonen said last year.

Immonen added international students are the solution to Finland’s labor shortages.

According to the Finnish Immigration Service, it has been easier for international students to move to Finland since April 2022, because of the new legislation entering into force. International students may now obtain residence permits for the entire duration of their studies, while previously, they could only receive the permit for a maximum of two years at a time.

>> New Survey Finds Almost Half of International Students in Finland Consider Leaving After Graduation

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