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Finnish unis to offer study places to 2,000 Ukrainians who fled Russian invasion

The effort was prompted by a request from the Ministry of Education and Culture. 

Hämeen ammattikorkeakoulun rakennuksia aurinkoisena talvipäivänä.
Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) campus in Hämeenlinna, file photo. Image: Ville Välimäki / Yle
Yle News

Higher education institutions in Finland are preparing to offer study spaces to around 2,000 Ukrainians who fled the Russian invasion.

The study spots will be offered to Ukrainians who are already in higher education institutions in their home country and want to continue their studies in Finland.

The effort was prompted by a request from the Ministry of Education and Culture.

The Vice President of Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), Heidi Ahokallio-Leppälä, said the exact number of arriving students is not yet known.

On Monday, the University of Eastern Finland announced it planned to offer study places for 20 Ukrainian students.

Ahokallio-Leppälä said that institutions were examining what kind of English-language courses could be offered. For example, HAMK has 11 international university degrees, saying it was a good and comprehensive selection.

"We believe that we can help enhance the sorts of skills that will continue to be useful when [the students] return to their home country," she said.

However, Ahokallio-Leppälä said that — at least at this stage — the Ukrainian students are not expected to finish their degrees in Finland.

Preparations are expected to take some time with coursework scheduled to begin in earnest this fall.

Finland halts research cooperation with Russia

The Ministry of Education and Culture has also recommended that all higher education institutions in Finland stop cooperating with Russian education and science institutions.

The new guidelines include not launching any new projects and suspending existing cooperation between organisations for the time being. Joint research projects with Belarus will also be halted.

According to Finland's Minister of Science and Culture Antti Kurvinen (Cen), the measures are aimed at supporting Ukraine rather than limiting opportunities for Russian students.

Students or researchers can still apply to Finnish universities regardless of their citizenship, and exchange students from Russia and Belarus will be allowed to complete their studies in Finland.

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