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Monday's papers: Profiting from foreign students, electric car dreams and road safety

Finland eyes untapped potential in the overseas student market, electric car dreams and drivers face heightened scrutiny this week.

Kansainvälisiä opiskelijoita Lappeenrannan teknillisellä yliopistolla syksyllä 2014.
Finland's foreign students - cash cows or human capital? Image: Yle / Heli Mälkiä

Could university tuition fees from foreign students boost Finland’s economy? Former marketing chief behind Angry Birds Peter Vesterbacka seems to think so, telling business daily Kauppalehti that Finland could easily attract 150,000 foreign students willing to pay for English-language degree programmes.

During the 2017–2018 school year, Finnish institutes of higher education drew some 2.7 million euros from foreign students—a figure that pales in comparison to the 3.5 billion euros collected by New Zealand from its overseas pupils, according to Vesterbacka.

This spring Turku’s University of Applied Sciences plans to launch a four-year engineering programme on the Internet of Things that’s subject to a fee. The principal told the paper that demand outstripped supply for the course, which especially appealed to prospective students from Nepal. The school, however, said many withdrew their applications due to lengthy visa processes.

Stable power supply revs up electric cars

Finland won’t have any problem supplying electricity for electric cars, reports national daily Helsingin Sanomat. The Transport Ministry calculates that some 670,000 electric cars will hit Finnish roads by 2030.

Authorities have estimated that 750,000 electric cars would increase power consumption by just three percent.

At the end of last year, Finland was home to some 15,000 electric cars, including hybrids.

Drivers face heightened scrutiny

Starting Monday, police are launching a week-long monitoring scheme targeting trucks across Finland, reports regional daily Turun Sanomat.

Police will especially focus on drivers’ use of phones and tablets while at the wheel. The move is a European-wide effort by the European Traffic Police Network to increase road safety.

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