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450 to lose higher education study places over official blunder

Roughly 40 university applicants have already accepted study places that will now be withdrawn.

Kuvassa nainen työskentelee pöydän ääressä.
The mix-up affected students who sat joint university entrance exams last spring. Image: Anni Reenpää / Lehtikuva

Hundreds of students aspiring to study at university now face disappointment because their study offers will be withdrawn following a blunder by the National Agency for Education.

On Friday the agency said that 450 students who took the second round of joint university entrance exams last spring were mistakenly informed that they had been accepted into higher education institutions when in fact they were on standby lists.

Since that time, about 40 of those students have already accepted study places. However the agency said that the offers will be withdrawn and that it would contact the candidates in question.

According to procedures laid down by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the application period for reserve positions at universities ended on 3 August. Decisions made about university places after that date only related to administrative appeals aimed at reversing previous decisions.

The Board of Education misstep occurred in relation to these appeals. In other words, exam candidates who appealed the decision not to offer them a study place, were told that they had been granted one.

In practice it is the universities that make decisions about accepting students and not the education agency. The organisation said that the mix-up was due to human error on its part.

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