Finland is a land of peace and quiet, lakes and forests. In international rankings of educational systems, the Finnish system is top of the class. Finnish higher educational institutions are mostly funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and the quality of teaching is carefully overseen. Higher education institutions react to the needs of the society, business and industry in their curricula and teaching.
Pursuing high-quality education in Finland is rather easy as it is mostly free from tuition fees. Although non-EU/EEA students may be charged from tuition fees at higher education institutions, there are scholarship opportunities that they can apply to.
University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki is a university located in Helsinki, Finland since 1829, but was founded in the city of Turku (in Swedish Åbo) in 1640 as the Royal Academy of Åbo, at that time part of the Swedish Empire. It is the oldest and largest university in Finland with the widest range of disciplines available. The offered degree programs at the University are spread across 11 faculties and 11 research institutes. The University of Helsinki has been ranked among the top 100 universities by publications of world university rankings such as THE, ARWU and QS.
The University of Helsinki offers scholarships to excellent students from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland who want to complete a Master’s program at the University. The scholarships comprise three categories: fully funded grant (tuition fee +10,000 EUR); full tuition fee grant, and; study grant (10,000 EUR).
The scholarship will be granted for two years. Students who receive these scholarships are required to study full-time (earn at least 55 ECTS per year) to fulfill the requirements of the scholarship. The scholarship will be continued on the second year of study by consideration of your study progress throughout your first study year.
Aalto University is a university primarily located in Greater Helsinki, Finland. It was established in 2010 as a merger of three major Finnish universities: the Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics, and the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Aalto University is ranked 140th on QS World University Rankings 2019. It specializes in science, art, technology and business, and is composed of six schools with close to 17,500 students and 4,000 staff members, making it Finland’s second largest university.
Prospective students subject to tuition fees are eligible to apply for Aalto University Scholarship. Certain international joint degree programs have their own tuition fees and scholarship schemes. The Aalto University Scholarship comprises two types of scholarships:
- Aalto University Scholarship program: merit-based and are allocated during the academic evaluation stage as part of the admissions process of a specific study option. It covers either 50% (Category B) or 100% (Category A) of the tuition fee.
- Aalto University Incentive Scholarship Program: valued 1,500 EUR and is granted if you have completed a minimum of 60 ECTS credits of studies according to your approved personal study plan during one academic year. The scholarship is paid on the following autumn term (or upon graduation, when applicable).
University of Turku
The University of Turku is the second largest university in Finland as measured by student enrollment, after the University of Helsinki. It is located in Turku in southwestern Finland, and was established in 1920. It also has 7 faculties and 5 independent units spread across Turku, Rauma, Pori and Salo. The University of Turku is recognized by world university ranking publications such QS and THE. It is also one of the top 10 universities in the country.
The University of Turku does not charge exchange students, doctoral students and those basic degree students with tuition fees. However, in the Master’s degree programs conducted in English, tuition fees are charged from citizens of a country outside the European Union (EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.
Those subject to tuition fees can apply for a scholarship which covers 100% or 50% of the fee. Scholarships and grants for university registered students and researchers are distributed each year from the funds administered by the University of Turku. Many scholarship funds have special preconditions required of the recipients. Information, instructions and application forms for international students can be found in Intranet.
University of Jyväskylä
The University of Jyväskylä is a research university located in Jyväskylä, Finland. It has its origins in the first Finnish-speaking Teaching Training College (the so-called Teacher Seminary), founded in 1863. It is the second largest university in Finland when measured according to the number of Master’s degrees conferred. It is also one of the top 10 universities in the country.
The University of Jyväskylä has 6 faculties and 4 independent institutes, with around 14,500 students, of which about 1,000 of them are international students from over 100 countries.
At the University of Jyväskylä, tuition is only charged from non-EU/EEA students studying Master’s program conducted in English. The applicant’s liability to pay tuition fees is checked during the admission process. Admitted students are informed of their liability in the Letter of Admission.
Those liable to pay tuition fees may apply for a scholarship, which covers the tuition fee for two years. The awarding of these scholarships is based on the academic criteria defined in the program-specific admission criteria. The scholarship may be awarded at the most to 50% of admitted scholarship applicants in a Master’s program, when there are at least two of such students in the program. The scholarship may be granted also in a case where the program has only one scholarship applicant.
The scholarship for the second academic year is optional and depends on the accumulation of credits during the first year. To receive the scholarship for the second academic year, you must complete at least 55 ECTS credits of degree studies during the first academic year.
Tampere University of Technology
Tampere University of Technology was Finland’s second largest university in engineering sciences. It is located in Hervanta, a suburb of Tampere, Finland. The University was merged with the University of Tampere to create the new foundation-based Tampere University on 1 January 2019. According to Times Higher Education, the Tampere University of Technology ranks 11th in the world, and 4th in Europe, for industry collaboration. It is also ranked among the top 10 universities in Finland.
The Tampere University of Technology offers a number of scholarships for fee-paying students in order to provide excellent international students with high-quality, yet affordable, education. The University cooperates with several organizations which provide scholarships to specific groups of applicants. The scholarship program is intended for tuition fee paying students as follows:
- Bachelor level programs
- 50% Early Bird: scholarship for the first year
- Academic Award: scholarships 25% – 50% in the following years based on credits gained and GPA achieved
- Master level programs
- 1,500 EUR Early Bird: scholarship for the first year
- Academic Award: scholarships 25% – 50% for the following year (if applicable) based on credits gained
University of Oulu
The University of Oulu is an international science university located in the city of Oulu, Finland. It is one of the largest universities in the country. It was founded in 1958, and currently has around 16,000 students and 3,000 staff. The University of Oulu is often ranked as one of the best universities in Finland and in the top 400 worldwide. It has 10 faculties spread across 4 campuses.
The University of Oulu trains experts and multifaceted professionals for specialized fields in 8 fields of study and 44 different programs. University graduates enter the job market as experts of the environment, economics, technology, medicine, education, and culture.
The University of Oulu International Master’s Scholarship Scheme (IM Scholarship) provides scholarships to academically talented international students studying for a Master’s degree in the University of Oulu two-year International Master’s programs. The scholarships will be granted in the form o da tuition fee waiver covering 75% of the full tuition fee. Applicants can apply for the scholarship as part of the admissions process. University of Oulu IM Scholarships do not cover living costs.
In order to retain the scholarship in the following year of study, a student must have completed 55 ECTS by the end of the previous academic year, otherwise the student will be liable to pay the full international tuition fee for the second year if they wish to complete their Master’s degree program. An exception to this rule can be made if a student has been granted approved leave form studies (e.g. due to serious illness).
University of Eastern Finland
The University of Eastern Finland is a university is Finland with two campuses in Joensuu and Kuopio. It was formed in 2010 by a merger of two previously independent universities: the University of Joensuu and the University of Kuopio.
The University of Eastern Finland is ranked among the top 400 universities according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). It is also on the list of top universities under 50 years of age published by QS World University Rankings and Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
The University of Eastern Finland has a substantial number of scholarships available for students who are required to pay tuition fees in Master’s degree programs offered in English. The scholarships will be available for the most talented fee-paying students. The scholarship can cover the tuition fee either in full (100%) or partially (80%). In practice, the scholarship is a tuition waiver providing wither a full or partial exemption from the tuition fee.
Scholarships are awarded for two academic years on the condition of completing 55 ECTS credits per academic year. Students who were not awarded a scholarship when applying for admission to the university may still be eligible for a scholarship in their second year of study, provided that they have applied for a scholarship and completed the required 55 ECTS credits during the first academic year as derailed in the personal study plan.
Lappeenranta University of Technology
Established in 1969, the Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT University) is situated on the shore of Lake Saimaa in Lappeenranta, Finland – the 4th biggest lake in Europe. LUT University’s second campus is in Lahti, Finland. The University has been ranked among the world’s top 600 universities, according to Times Higher Education and QS rankings, as well as one of the world’s 20 most promising and rapidly developing challenger universities.
Studies within the higher education taught in a language other than Finnish or Swedish are free for nationalities with the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Citizens of a country outside the EU/EEA (excluding Switzerland) are required to pay tuition fees. However, LUT University offers scholarships for students liable to pay tuition fees. Eligible students should be applying though Regular Admission to Master’s Program/s at LUT University (taught in English).
There is also a Partner University Scholarship Program at LUT University that offers scholarships for students from the partner universities who have a nationality of a non-EU/EEA country (excluding Switzerland), who are applying through Double Degree Admission or Joint Degree Admission to a Master’s Program at LUT University (taught in English) and who are required to pay a tuition fee.
The scholarships are differentiated into three categories:
- 50% tuition fee scholarship: covering for 50% of the tuition fees
- 100% tuition fee scholarship: covering for 100% of the tuition fees
- Full scholarship: covering 100% of the tuition fees in a two-year Master’s program plus the living costs for EUR 5,600 per year
Åbo Akademi University
Åbo Akademi University is the only exclusively Swedish language multi-faculty university in Finland (or anywhere outside Sweden). It is located mainly in Turku but has also activities in Vaasa. The University was established in 1918 by private donations, as the third university in Finland. Åbo Akademi University was a private institution until 1981. It has 4 faculties with a total of around 5,500 undergraduate students, 780 postgraduate students and 1,100 employees.
Tuition fee-paying (non-EU/EEA) students at Åbo Akademi University can apply for a scholarship to cover a part or the whole tuition fee. There are three scholarship categories:
- Full Scholarship, covering the tuition fee and includes an annual scholarship to cover the student’s living expenses (EUR 6,720), awarded for 2 years (second year conditional)
- Tuition Fee Scholarship, covering 100% of the tuition fee, awarded for 2 years (second year conditional)
- Tuition Fee Scholarship, covering 50% of the tuition fee, awarded for 2 years (second year conditional)
The scholarships are granted based on the academic performance of the students in their previous studies, how well they meet the program requirements, and the answers that they have given in the application form.
The second year scholarship is conditional depending on the progress of the student’s studies. In order to qualify, the student must earn at least 55 credits during the first academic year.
University of Tampere
The University of Tampere was a public university in Tampere, Finland that was merged with Tampere University of Technology to create the new Tampere University in 2019. Founded in 1925 in Helsinki as the Civic College (and from 1930 onwards known as the School of Social Sciences), the University relocated to Tampere in 1960 and was renamed as the University of Tampere in 1966.
The University of Tampere offers undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs, and has around 20,000 degree students and 2,000 employees. It is an active and attractive partner university locally, nationally and internationally. The University is known for its excellence in teaching and research and it collaborates with hundreds of universities and organizations worldwide.
The University of Tampere offers its students financial support for studying at the University, through the Tampere University Scholarships Program. This scholarship program is intended for students who are required to pay tuition fees in Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs offered in English. Scholarships are awarded at admission to the best applicants and during studies to students who have done exceptionally well in their studies. The program consists of the following scholarships awarded at admission:
- Tampere University global student award for academic excellence scholarships: include a 7,000 EUR annual scholarship to cover living expenses during the first year of study, as well as a tuition fee scholarship covering 100% of the tuition fees.
- Tampere University tuition fee scholarships: cover 100% of the tuition fees.
- Early bird scholarships: cover 50% of the tuition fee during the first year of study.