list of universities in finland for international students

Last Updated on January 18, 2023

Every scholar who dreams of going abroad deserves a guide that would help them make the right decision. In this article, we have provided you with a comprehensive list of universities in Finland that are great for international students.

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Ah, Finland! What is not to love about it? The education is free (for EU/EEA students), the country is beautiful, and people are warm and welcoming. So, it’s not surprising that Finland is one of the top destinations for international students around the globe.

Like any other country, Finland requires you to follow a couple of steps in order to be accepted at one of its universities. Luckily, we’re here to help!

1. Decide on a Finnish university for your studies

Here are some good Finnish universities we recommend considering:

  • Aalto University
  • University of Turku
  • University of Jyväskylä
  • LUT University
  • Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
  • University of Vaasa
  • Laurea University of Applied Sciences
  • Hanken School of Economics

2. Prepare to apply

You should first know that Finland divided its academic institutions in:

  • UAS (Universities of Applied Sciences), that train professionals in response to labour market needs and conduct research and development, which support instruction and promotes regional development.
  • Regular universities, that conduct scientific research and provide instruction and postgraduate education based on it.

Finland is one of the European countries that offer free education, so you should check if you can opt out of paying. If your chosen university isn’t free or as cheap as you hoped, you can always search for a scholarship in Finland. You can also check out the Studyportals Scholarship to get some help on financing your studies abroad.

You should also visit the international admission website of Finland and get all the details and information you need from there.

Find Masters in Finland

3. How to apply for a Finnish Master’s degree?

When it comes to the applications process, students have multiple options:

  • apply on the official websites of universities
  • apply on the official websites of Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS)
  • apply through Studyinfo, the official website for Finnish applications

Each of Finland’s higher education institutions has an admission office ready to answer any questions if you stumble upon a problem. Usually, each university or UAS has its own criteria and list of admission documents, but there is common ground, especially for the general application criteria. For instance, you can choose one of these two types of forms:

  • Joint application 
  • Separate application 

Joint application means that you can apply for up to six study programmes with one application. You have to place the programmes in the order of your preference on the application form, but be careful, because this order is binding and you cannot change it after the application period has ended.

If you apply through the separate application, you apply directly to an institution’s study programme. Separate application forms are filled for each study programme or institution and there’s no limit to how many study programmes you can apply.

4. Check the language requirements

English is indispensable for your serene life as an international student in Finland. Of course, you could study in Swedish or Finnish, but let’s be real here: nobody can actually speak only in consonants.

All jokes aside, if your mother tongue isn’t English, Swedish, or Finnish, you will need to take a language test. Usually, UAS can organise language tests for their prospective students, either written or in the form of an interview. Universities, on the other hand, will expect an English certificate directly.

The best part is that, if you have proof of education in a foreign language, you can submit that as proof of language proficiency. If you don’t, we recommend these tests, as they are universally recognised in Finland:

  • IELTS Academic
  • TOEFL iBT
  • PTE Academic

Also, Finland has its own National Certificate of Language Proficiency, if other English tests take too long or are too expensive.

Apply to a Master's degree in Finland

5. Gather the required application documents

The documents required by a regular university in Finland differ from those required by a UAS.

Universities of Applied Sciences will require:

  • Copies of completed or soon-to-be completed qualifications documents
  • Official translations of all documents
  • Original diplomas and original official translations
  • Employment certificates
  • Applications for special arrangements for entrance examinations

Regular universities, on the other hand, will provide a comprehensive list of required documents once you start your online application.

6. Mind the university application deadlines

Finland’s universities and UAS don’t have an exact calendar; admissions for Master’s programmes are between early December and mid to late January. Also, UAS can extend their admission schedules until March.

Seeing how there’s no pattern, you should check the study programme’s website for a clearer calendar for when to apply. Don’t forget to take into account that some Master’s degrees offer additional applications outside the main period.

Compare Masters in Finland

Commonly, spring applications have the following deadlines:

  • end of January: Application period 1 (for Master’s degrees in English)
  • start of February: Required certificates must be submitted
  • mid-March: Application period 2 (for Master’s degrees in Finnish or Swedish)
  • mid-April: Required certificates must be submitted
  • end of June: Student selection results will be published
  • mid-July: Deadline for the acceptance of a study place
  • start of July – end of August: Supplementary application round
  • September: Studies start

Meanwhile, the autumn applications have these deadlines:

  • September: Application period ends
  • end of September: Required certificates must be submitted
  • November: Student selection results will be published
  • start of December: Deadline for the acceptance of a study place
  • mid-December: Acceptance from the wait-list ends
  • end of November – mid-December: Additional applications
  • January: Studies start

7. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

Let’s assume you got your acceptance letter, in which case, congrats! Now go back online and research the Finnish residence permit, because you will need one for studies longer than 90 days. If they will be shorter than 3 months, you have to apply for a visa.

cheapest universities in finland for international students

Cheap Universities in Finland

1. Diaconia University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: 4,000 – 5,000 EUR ($4,890 – $6,110)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 6,000 EUR ($7,330)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition Fee Link

Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, also referred to as DIAK, is the cheapest university in Finland for international students. It is also one of Finland’s largest providers of social work personnel. The university offers instruction in social work, health care, diaconal work, and interpreting. Diak is a privately owned institution, with the main shareholders being various church organizations and foundations. Despite its connections to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, students are not required to follow that faith, and students from many faiths, beliefs, and nationalities attend the university.

2. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate and Graduate Programs: 6,000 EUR ($7,300)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition Fee Link

Kajaani University is a university of Applied Sciences located in the small town of Kajaani, which sits at the heart of Finland. Much like the town that it’s in, the university is also quite small, with just over 2000 enrolled students. However, that hasn’t stopped it from achieving tremendous success, and its teaching is considered the best in Finland according to the Ministry of Education and Culture. The student satisfaction rate was also the highest out of any Finnish university in 2019. These accolades will surely increase the university’s popularity, and attract many more students from Finland and beyond.

Kajaani University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Finnish, while there are also four bachelor’s: International Business, Sports and Leisure Management, Tourism, Esports Business, and one master’s degree in International Business Management, which are taught in English.

3. Novia University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: 6,000 EUR ($7,300)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 9,000 EUR ($11,000)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition Fee Link

The Novia University of Applied Sciences has locations in four towns across Western Finland. This cheap university in Finland was founded in 2008 following a merger, and it offers bachelor’s and master’s programs mainly taught in Swedish, but there are also a handful of English programs, mainly related to the fields of Technology and Engineering. The university currently enrolls 4000 students, whose diplomas will be internationally recognized upon graduation.

The main aim of Novia is to inspire and educate aspiring entrepreneurs, by teaching them valuable skills that will help them create and realize their ideas. As part of the study programs, Novia also offers its students with different internship placements, thanks to the university’s close cooperation with local companies.

4. Centria University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: 7,000 – 8,500 EUR ($8,550 – $10,400)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 7,500 EUR ($9,160)
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link
  • Graduate Tuition Fee Link

Centria University is a higher education institution located in 3 towns in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland. Internationalization is one of the key objectives of the university, thus they began offering 3 bachelor’s degrees in English: Business Administration, Engineering, and Health Care, as well as one master’s degree. While the university is still relatively small, with less than 3000 currently enrolled students, it is looking to expand in the upcoming years, and attracting more international students is one of their major priorities to help them achieve that goal.

5. Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: 7,000 EUR ($8,550)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 8,000 EUR ($9,780)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition Fee Link

The Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences is a municipality-owned university located in the towns of Seinajoki and Ilmaoki in South Ostrobothnia, Finland. There are four faculties as part of this affordable university in Finland, and those are the Faculty of Business and Culture, the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, the Faculty of Health Care and Social Work, and the Faculty of Technology. Out of all the faculties, there are three programs that are completely taught in English, those being the degree programs in International Business and Nursing, and the Master’s program in International Business Management.

6. JAMK University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: 8,000 EUR ($9,780)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 9,000 EUR ($11,000)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition Fee Link

Next on our list of cheap universities in Finland for international students is JAMK University, a university of applied sciences located in two different towns in the region of Central Finland. The university offers 6 bachelor’s and 6 master’s degrees in various different subjects in English, which are very attractive for international students. The university consists of four schools: the School of Business, the School of Health and Social Studies, the School of Technology, and the School of Professional Teacher Education.

All of the programs are carried out in a very modern and international environment, with students coming from every corner of the world.

7. University of Eastern Finland

  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 8,000 – 10,000 EUR ($9,700 – $12,200)
  • Graduate Tuition Fee Link

The University of Eastern Finland was formed in 2010 after a merger of two universities. It has campuses in Joensuu and Kuopio, two of the largest cities in Eastern Finland. The two campuses are located 130km apart. This cheap university in Finland offers masters and doctorate programs, and consists of four faculties: Faculty of Philosophy, Faculty of Science and Forestry, Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies.

The University is very active when it comes to international collaboration, and has agreements with 70 universities from all over the world.https://4402e1e8c213ff34220dac4086a67bd7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

8. Arcada University of Applied Sciences

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: 5,000 – 8,500 EUR ($6,100 – $10,380)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 10,000 – 11,000 EUR ($12,200 – $13,400)
  • Undergraduate Tuition Fee Link
  • Graduate Tuition Fee Link

The Arcada University of Applied Sciences is based in the capital of Finland – Helsinki and is owned by the Arcada Foundation. Most of the programs are carried out in Swedish, but there are also 3 bachelor’s and 4 master’s programs available in English. Aside from degree programs, there is also a large number of specialized courses for working professionals. Arcada offers programs in various fields, including business, nursing, data analytics, and more. There is a large number of Swedish students at the university, and the English programs are also very popular with international students.

9. Tampere University

  • Tuition Fee for Undergraduate Programs: 9,800 – 10,000 EUR ($11,980 – $12,200)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 6,000 – 12,000 EUR ($7,300- $14,600)
  • Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition Fee Link

Tampere is a very young university, having been founded in 2019, after the merger of two previously distinct universities. The universities in question are the Tampere University, and the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, which work in close collaboration. The university has a tradition of being deeply rooted in the core of the city of Tampere, and its alumni are world leaders in many different fields all over the world.

10. University of Vaasa

  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 10,000 – 12,000 EUR ($12,200 – $14,600)
  • Graduate Tuition Fee Link

We end our list of the cheapest universities in Finland for international students with the University of Vaasa, a business-oriented university based in Vassa, on the west coast of Finland. What started out as a school of economics has now evolved into a university that consists of four schools that cover different important subjects: Accounting and Finance, Management, Marketing and Communications, and Technology and Innovations. The university currently has 5,000 students across the different degree programs, making it one of the largest business universities in Finland.

Vassa is the sunniest town in Finland and is a cultural and tourist stronghold in Western Finland, which makes it a hotspot for international students, and those interested in economics and business waste no time in applying to the University of Vassa.

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