Kela approves financial aid for students of new coding school

The school, which is funded by mobile game developer Supercell, will not have classes, teachers or textbooks.

Participants of Hive Helsinki's "Piscine" admissions programme. Image: Hive Helsinki

Finland's Social Insurance Institution (Kela) has approved an application for student financial aid from Hive Helsinki, a new coding school based on a collaborative learning model. The school, which is funded by Finnish mobile game development company Supercell, is set to open next month and will not offer traditional classes, teachers or textbooks.

"Getting financial aid for the students of Hive has been crucial to us right from the start, so the application turnaround is a matter of great pleasure to us. Financial aid enables a lot more people to apply to study coding, regardless of Hive’s background," CEO of Hive Helsinki, Oona Ylänkö stated in a press release. According to Ylänkö, one of the key goals of the school is to increase diversity among coders.

"Coding know-how will enable solutions to big challenges in the future, and it’s important to us that these solutions are developed by coders that represent various backgrounds and abilities. Financial aid for students will support our goal of creating talented coders," she said.

Last summer, Parliament approved a government proposal to amend student aid laws in Finland. The conditions for granting financial aid to students of non-public educational institutes were made more flexible.

Institutes are no longer required to provide the course in question for a minimum of one year. Thus students starting at Hive Helsinki this October will be able to apply immediately for aid for an eight-month period of full-time studies. The three-year programme is divided into four sections.

New learning model

Hive Helsinki is based on an educational model used by the 42 school in Paris, France, funded by billionaire Xavier Niel.

Hive offers a full-time study programme based on peer-to-peer learning, whereby students are expected to evaluate each other. It also uses project-based learning, which involves solving problems based on "real life" situations.

Applicants need to pass an online test to qualify for the "Piscine"—a four-week long intensive coding training programme that determines who gets into the school. There is no tuition fee for the school, and applicants do not require prior coding skills.