Number of International Students in Finland Is Growing, Newly Released Data Show

Finland Europe Higher Education News Statistics by Erudera News Jun 22, 2023

Helsinki, Finland

The number of international students applying to study at universities in Finland has increased in the first five months of this year compared to the previous year, newly released data by Finnish Immigration Service show.

According to a statement of the agency released on Wednesday, June 21, the significant increase in the number of student residence permit applications has mainly been triggered by changes introduced last year in the legislation for this category of residence permits, reports.

In 2022, the amendments to legislation on student residence permits increased the number of international students applying to study in Finland. Based on the number of applications submitted this year, the growth has only accelerated,” the statement points out.

It further highlights that another two factors that have contributed to lure more students to Finland, is granting a residence permit for the entire duration of the degree program so that students do not have to bother to renew them every year like in most other EU countries, as well as the extended right to work during their studies.

Regarding the nationality of student applicants, this year so far, they were mainly from the following countries.

  • China
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Pakistan

The Finnish Immigration Service reported in November 2022 a record number of international students who had moved to the country, with 7,060 first-time study residence permits issued by Finland to third-country citizens by then. The growth of such permits compared to 2021, for the period from January to the end of October, is as high as about 54 percent.

Deputy Director General, Elina Immonen, at the time had pointed out that the increase in international students was even higher than pre-pandemic.

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,” she had said.

In spite of the growth in international students, a large share of them - 47 percent - plan on leaving the country upon graduation. According to a survey by research institute E2 Tutkimus, 43 percent of the students were already planning to remain in the country after getting their degree.

In total last year, 163,700 students were enrolled at Finnish universities, a moderate increase of 2.6 percent compared to the previous year. The largest share of them were studying in fields like Social Sciences (20,703), Journalism & Information (18,416), and Information & Communication Technologies (16,203).

>> Study in Finland - The land of snow, saunas, and most successful schools

Related News

Helsinki Cathedral, Finland

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


Sep 08, 2023

Aleksanterinkatu, Helsinki, Finland

Finland has recorded a significant increase in the number of international students applying for a residence permit, the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) said in a recent statement.


Aug 29, 2023

Aleksanterinkatu, Helsinki, Finland

Finnish universities have 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.


May 12, 2023