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Monday's papers: Jobs for immigrants, students abroad and fugitive on the run

Finnish papers cover immigrant employment, university students abroad and a suspected stabber evading capture.

Ihmisiä Helsingin Aleksanterinkadulla.
People moving to the Helsinki region are largely of foreign background, writes HS. Image: YLE/ Jukka Koski

Monday’s editorial in daily Helsingin Sanomat highlights the importance of providing jobs for immigrants in the capital region.

The paper writes that a majority of people who have moved to the Helsinki region in the past decade do not speak Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue. What’s more, a large share of those moving to Helsinki from another parts of Finland are of foreign background. As a result, the capital area is rapidly becoming more international, HS says.

According to a study by research company MDI, the population of Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen is expected to increase by a quarter in the next 20 years, HS writes. On the other hand, the age-population ratio between seniors and people in labour force will rise considerably outside the capital area. Even though the number of seniors will also grow around Helsinki, the age-dependency ratio will remain more beneficial thanks to immigration and a stable birth rate.

In order to support the economic development of the Helsinki and the whole country, it is essential to further employment opportunities for immigrants, HS writes.

Med students head abroad

In other news, daily Kaleva reports that young people in Finland are increasingly interested in studying abroad. In 2016, 8,000 Finnish students were enrolled as students in foreign universities, twice as many as a decade ago, based on figures from the Finnish National Agency on Education. In addition to Sweden and the UK, which have topped the list of the most popular study destinations for a long time, more and more young people are headed to Romania and Spain for academic studies.

Sini Suomi from Eximia, which organises exam preparation courses and advises students about 14 partner universities abroad, says Riga Stradiņš University in Riga, Latvia has become Eximia’s most popular foreign destination for students. “The medical school in Riga Stradiņš has the most applicants, but there’s also interest in dentistry, business and psychology,” Suomi says.

According to Kaleva, some students choose studies abroad in order to avoid difficult entrance exams in Finland. For example, students do not need to participate in entrance exams to gain entry to medical school in Riga. Instead, entry is based on the grades of the Finnish matriculation exam certificate.

Similarly, Finnish students want to study in Romania, because the entrance examinations there are easier than at home. “The entrance exam in Romania is oral and focuses on human anatomy. Students do not need to know chemistry or physics,“ says Sampo Tiensuu from exam preparation company Lääkisvalmennus.

Kaleva says courses preparing students for studies abroad cost between 250 and 3,000 euros.

Fugitive still on the loose

Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reports that a man sought for an attempted double homicide in Helsinki has been added to the list of Europe’s most wanted fugitives.

According to IS, the 33-year-old Hayder Al-Hmedawi is suspected of stabbing his former wife and her friend as well as injuring three children he has with the ex-wife. The incident on 3 March took place in a child protection unit of a private social services company in the Haaga district of Helsinki.

IS says police has searched for Al-Hmedawi in the Turku area, but it is possible he has fled abroad. Al-Hmedawi’s 28-year-old brother was arrested and remanded in custody last week. The brother was not present during the incident, but he is accused of aiding in the crime, IS reports.

The former wife had a restraining order against Al-Hmedawi, who had previously received a suspended six-month sentence for assaulting her, IS said.

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