8 Best Kept Secrets About Universities in Finland

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Why Finnish universities are some of the best in the world

Finland is green, sustainable, innovative, and extremely safe, and home to Finnovations and Finntastic people. It’s also home to Santa Claus, Saunas, thousands of lakes, northern lights, and the midnight sun. Did I forget to mention that Finland also has the best education in the world?

Although secrets are often best kept, it’s time for you to understand what makes universities in Finland the best place to earn a degree abroad and what makes Finnish higher education the best in the world. These are secrets we simply can’t keep hidden forever!

Students in a group meeting

While teamwork and student teacher collaborations are common in Finland, Finnish students are also given room for independent studying.

1. Independent Student-Centred Approach to Learning 

The education system in Finland is very student-centric. Relationships between students and teachers are relaxed and informal. For example, students are expected to address their teachers by their first names. Finnish universities encourage open dialogues and collaborations between students and teachers, in an effort to make the experience of learning better. While teamwork is quite common in Finnish classrooms, students are also given a considerable amount of independence in their studies, and creativity and critical thinking are highly valued virtues by universities in Finland.

2. Green, Clean, & Technology-Focused Society

Finland is home to some of the world’s leading universities in terms of sustainable technologies and are designed to address global environmental challenges. It is no wonder that Finland is ranked as the greenest country in the world and the world’s second most innovative cleantech country. Finland also boasts world-class expertise in water technologies, which should come as no surprise since Finland has been nicknamed the land of thousand lakes. Needless to say, the Finnish know clean water and how to keep it that way.

NEXT STEP: Explore Environmental Studies Degrees in Finland

Lake located in Finland

Ranked as the greenest and cleanest country in the world, Finland is a world-leader in sustainable technologies and water expertise.

3. Professional Skill Development

Did you know that some of the most innovative and successful companies in the world are Finnish? Many global leading companies, including Kone, Stora Enso, Nokia, Linux, MySQL, Rovio, Supercell, and The Moomins, have roots in Finland. So, what does this mean for students at Finnish universities?

Many degree programs at universities in Finland include internships, which are a great way to get real-world experience while building your professional network. Finnish universities are known for working closely with the nation’s industries, and further, universities are focused on helping students learn skills required for their future career. Specifically, universities in Finland to bridge the theory, practice, and applying knowledge, while fostering creativity and encouraging students to come up with alternative solutions.

Innovation and application of knowledge are the leading words in Finnish higher education.
The Kirjasto Bibliotek Library

Finland is known for its educational excellence and the facilities for studying are exceptional

4. High-Quality Education & Institutions

Finland has a profound history of academic excellence despite its small population, and the Finnish education system has been ranked the best in the world many times over. Several Finnish universities are ranked by the Academic Ranking of the World Universities and Times Higher Education as being among the world’s best. Just look at the Nobel Prizes Finland has received, in fields ranging from literature to chemistry and medicine to peace to, most recently, economics, and you’ll understand the scope of Finnish universities’ excellence.

NEXT STEP: Browse Degree Programs in Finland in Any Subject

5. Work Outside the Classroom

While studying should be your main priority while attending university in Finland, international students are allowed to work up to 25 hours per week during the academic semester in Finland. However, during the long summer and winter holidays, international students can also take on full-time jobs, which is a great way to earn a few extra bucks, gain work experience, and widen your professional network. More than that, if you wish to stay in Finland for work after graduation, you can apply to extend your residence permit for up to a year to give yourself more time to look for a job. How does that sound for setting you up for success!?

Students in the campus grounds

Being a student in Finland is great. You enjoy loads of benefits and discounts, thus being a student is quite affordable.

6. Student Benefits

As an international student in Finland, you’ll enjoy more benefits than anywhere else in the world, so the affordability of living in Finland will definitely surprise you. For example, most universities in Finland have restaurants with subsidized prices for students. In other words, you can enjoy a healthy warm meal for less than EUR 2.50. Additionally, many universities in Finland have gyms with discounts for students AND with a student card you can enjoy discounted student fares on public transport as well as long-distance transport.

7. Degree Programs Taught in English

Did you know that almost everyone in Finland speaks English? Finland is continuously ranked as one of the top countries in the world for non-native English speakers, which is naturally reflected in their higher education as well. Finnish universities offer a large selection of degree programs in English; thus, as an international student, you will have no problems communicating with fellow students, professors, or strangers.

NEXT STEP: Check Out an MBA Taught in English

Phone with a photo of two tourists

Finland is one of the top countries in the world for non-native English speakers which is one of the reasons why many international students come to Finland for their studies.

8. Affordability of Tuition

Although students from countries outside of the EU/EEA need to pay tuition for degree programs at Finnish universities, tuition costs are way below those of other countries in Europe. On average, a bachelor’s degree cost around $7000, whereas a master’s degree is around $10,000. Additionally, many universities in Finland offer scholarships for international students to help cover the cost of tuition.

BONUS - Top Universities in Finland

  1. Lappeenranta University of Technology - Belongs to the list of top Finnish universities and one of 20 rising university stars of the world, according to the Times Higher Education (THE) and QS rankings as well as Firetail research. 
  2. Arcada University of Applied Sciences - Ranked the best university of applied sciences in Finland in 2016 and 2017.
  3. University of Lapland - Considered a top university both with regards to quality and location (located on the Arctic Circle close to Santa).
  4. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences - Provides a tight international learning and development community with roughly 2000 students and 235 experts working together in a compact campus area.
  5. Tampere New University - (also known as Tampere3) Unique higher education community, a merger between University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology, and Tampere University of Applied Sciences.

Convinced a Finnish University is the right fit for you? Get matched with the perfect degree program.

This article was contributed by Edunation, a Finnish start-up helping students find their way to the world-renowned Finnish higher education. Our aim is to make the application process fast and simple for international students by using Artificial Intelligence. Through Edunation, students can enroll in full degree programs, participate in summer schools and exchange programs provided by Finnish universities. We are the official gateway to Finnish higher education.