Skip to content
The article is more than 12 years old

Slow Start to Tuition Trial for Foreign Students

Only Helsinki's Aalto University and the Lappeenranta University of Technology plan to move ahead this autumn with a trial of tuition payments for foreign students from outside the European Economic Area. About half a dozen vocational colleges will also be imposing the fees.

Kuopion yliopisto
Image: YLE Savo

At the universities, students from outside the EEA in English-language Masters programmes, and those in graduate degree programmes at vocational colleges will be charged for their studies.

Aalto University received over 400 applications from outside Europe for its nine for-pay programmes. Of those, 150 were qualified and 81 were accepted for admission.

Around 30 of the students will be receiving grants to cover tuition, grants for another 32 will make up half of tuition and 15 will have to pay the full 8000 euro annual fee themselves, according to the university's Vice-Rector Martti Raevaara.

Not for the money

Lappeenranta University of Technology is imposing tuition fees on a trial basis in three of its programmes. It received 150 applications for these, most of them from outside the EU/EEA. Vice-Rector Minna Martikainen says that good applicants were seen from a number of countries, including Russia. According to Martikainen, the trial is not about the money.

"Absolutely, it will have significance that we are involved in the trial and learn to implement a complex and new procedure," Minna Martikainen told YLE

She adds that during the trial new processes will be will be developed to meet the demands of managing international marketing.

Other schools, such as the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland are not yet taking part in the trial that is scheduled to continue through 2014. Academic Rector Kalervo Väänänen of the University of Eastern Finland says that both the number of students that would be involved few and the experience gained would be small.

"We hope that the new government will quickly move to make this trial a permanent system because it is very difficult to start long-term planning if it all ends within a couple of years," says Kalervo Väänänen.

Few affected

There is a more than 60 billion euro global market in university education. Kalervo Väänänen believes that it is worthwhile trying to get a slice of that.

About half a dozen vocational colleges are also introducing the same type of tuition for foreign students. The problem they have been experiencing has to do with marketing and reaching suitable students. One requirement for a higher degree is at least three years of professional experience, so most potential students are already working.

The tuition trial will affect only a small number of foreign students in Finland. In 2009 there were just slightly fewer than 7000 students from outside Europe at Finnish universities and just over 7000 at vocational colleges.

Sources: YLE

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia