International Students May Face Higher Education Costs in Finland

Finland Europe International Studies Higher Education News by Erudera News Sep 08, 2023

Helsinki Cathedral, Finland

The Finnish government has established a working group tasked with preparing a proposal to increase tuition fees for international students.

That means that non-EU and non-EEA university students who pay tuition fees in Finland, will have to bear the total cost of their education, reports.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the group is responsible for proposing amendments to the Universities Act and the Universities of Applied Sciences Act regarding increases in tuition fees.

"The working group is also expected to propose legislation to prevent the circumvention of tuition fees and to re-introduce university application processing fees,” the ministry’s press release issued on August 22, states.

International and domestic students studying in Finnish or Swedish are not subject to these changes.

Universities in Finland have been required to impose tuition fees of at least 1,500 euros for students from outside the EU/EEA whose education in the country started on or after August 2017.

Additionally, the ministry said that the amendments are expected to reinstate university processing fees for applicants who have graduated from outside the EU/EEA, allowing these students to apply to higher education institutions in Finland.

"When tuition fees were introduced, the Universities Act and the Universities of Applied Sciences Act were amended to abolish the administrative application processing fee which had been used for a short period,” the ministry recalled, adding that after the processing fees were removed, applications submitted for wrong purposes have increased.

Another task of the working group is to draft a compensation proposal, which is similar to the student loan compensation plan. That plan is designed for students from non-EU/EEA countries who have completed education at a Finnish university or college and paid tuition in Finland for a certain period of time.

Most recently, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) said that approximately 8,800 non-EU applicants have applied for a first residence permit for study purposes by the end of July this year. That number increased by almost 48 percent compared to the same period last year.

The same revealed that 7,039 international students received their first residence permits between January and July, most from Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, India, and Russia.

Finland has become increasingly popular among international students over the recent years. According to Statistics Finland, 163,700 students enrolled at Finnish universities in 2022.

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