private universities in finland

Last Updated on December 24, 2022

studying abroad as an international student can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life but it can also be one of the most expensive.this is why college learners decided to compile a list of the best universities in finland for international students tuition free.

Free or Affordable universities in Finland for international students 2020 and how to apply. Top ranking private universities in Finland for international students

Private Universities In Finland

Top Private Universities in Finland

20Yrkeshögskolan ArcadaHelsinki
35Humanistinen ammattikorkeakouluHelsinki …

tuition free universities in finland for international students 2020

List of tuition-free universities in Finland

  • University of Tampere
  • University of Vaasa
  • Helsinki University of Technology
  • University of Kuopio
  • University of Helsinki
  • Helsinki School of Economics and Business Administration
  • University of Lapland
  • University of Oulu


The cost of living in Finland generally is estimated to cost about 600 Euros a month, although this depends on the spending habits of a student. Costs and expenses a student will take care off include paying rent in the student hostel which is about 300 Euros a month, having lunch at the canteen which costs between 2.30-4.30 Euros for undergraduate students and 4.25-6.20 for postgraduate students.


All applications for admission are done through the university admission and Finland’s UAF service. This service costs nothing and all a student needs to do is set up an account with them and begin applying for admission.

All students applying for undergraduate admission are expected to write an entrance examination when they get to Finland. Entrance examinations are the major way of gaining admission to undergraduate programs at universities in Finland. This policy is not only for foreign students as it also applies to students from Finland.

It is important to note that this entrance examination is a written subject-related test with one or many books to read. The least required points are stated by the university admissions board.


The duration for application for undergraduate programs in Finland is most times between March and April. It should be noted that undergraduate programs are taught in Swedish or Finish languages.

The duration for postgraduate programs starts in November and ends on January 31 at 16.00 GMT. It should be noted that degree programs have different deadlines so students should endeavor to check university deadlines through their webpage to know when to apply.


As stated earlier, tuition is free in Finland. This applies to international degree students as well as students visiting.


One important aspect of study or research in Finland is considering how to finance your studies. As an international student, you are usually required to independently cover your everyday living expenses like food, accommodation, travel, insurance, etc. If you’re a non-EU student, you usually also need to take into account the non-EU tuition fees in English-taught Bachelor’s and Master’s programs.


For your everyday living expenses, we recommend that you reserve at least 700-900 euros per month.

If you are a non-EU/EEA student applying for English-taught Bachelor’s or Master’s programs, you are also likely to be subject to tuition fees. The annual tuition fee depends on the degree course, varying from approximately 4.000 to 18.000 euros. The universities have non-EU scholarship options available for these fee-charging degree courses.

Part-time work is allowed for students of all nationalities, but part-time work may not be easy to find especially if you do not know Finnish or Swedish. That’s why you should not base your financial plans solely on the option of finding part-time employment. Also, keep in mind that earnings from possible part-time work may not in themselves be sufficient to cover all your expenses.


The Finnish universities and UAS’s offer scholarships for gifted non-EU/EEA students admitted to fee-charging Bachelor’s or Master’s programs.

For EU/EEA students, Bachelor’s and Master’s level scholarships are relatively rare, as EU/EEA students do not need to pay any tuition fees. But you can check with the university/UAS of your choice if they offer any scholarship options that would also be applicable to EU/EEA students.

Master’s level scholarships are however available both for EU and non-EU students admitted into Erasmus Mundus Master’s programs.

You might wish to check if you would be eligible to apply for some study abroad scholarships in your home country, and from international organizations and foundations. For information on these, please turn to the educational advisers and authorities in your home country. Additionally, if full degree studies are not an option for you, you could check if there are some student exchange options that you could apply for.


National scholarship schemes (EDUFI scholarships) exist for students planning to come to Finland for Doctoral level studies. Please refer to the left-hand margin menu for information on these and other scholarship options.

To apply for the EDUFI Doctoral level scholarships, you must first establish contact with a hosting Finnish university.


The governmental EDUFI scholarships are not applicable to post-Doctoral studies but in the section Other sources of funding you can find general research funding links, for example, the Academy of Finland website. Also, your hosting Finnish university can inform you of the possible post-doc funding organizations and foundations in Finland.

Top Finland scholarships for International Students

1.Finland Government Scholarships Pool Program for International Students

The Finland Government scholarships are offered for a period of 3-9 months for Doctoral level studies and research at Finnish universities or public research institutes. The Finland Government Scholarship Pool program is open to young researchers from all academic fields. The scholarship cannot be applied for Master’s level studies or post-Doctoral studies/research

2.CIMO Fellowship, An International PhD Fellowship in Finland

The CIMO Fellowships program is open to young Doctoral level students and researchers from all countries and from all academic fields who wish to pursue their Doctorate (or Double Doctorate) at a Finnish university

3. University of Tampere International Scholarships, Finland

The University of Tampere is glad to offer a number of International Scholarships for the 2022 academic years. Those scholarships are open to non-EU/EEA citizens who are pursuing an international master’s degree program at the university. A varied amount of the awards will be given to the winning candidates

4. Aalto University International\ Master Scholarships in Finland 

Aalto University specializes in science, art, technology, and business. The university has improved markedly in rankings specific to these fields and places high on the ranking lists. There are between 17 000 and 22 000 universities in the world, about 1 000 in Europe, about 70 in the Nordic Countries, and 14 in Finland

EMARO+ Masters Scholarships for non-EU and EU Students

EMARO and EMARO+ have been designed and accepted in the framework of the European Union ERASMUS-MUNDUS program. The Erasmus Mundus program is a cooperation and mobility program of the European Union in the field of higher education which promotes the European Union as a center of excellence in learning around the world.

finland universities 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 Program: 9,000 EUR ($11,000)

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)

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.

top universities in finland

Top ranked universities in Finland

UniversityQS Ranking 2022THE Ranking 2022ARWU Ranking 2021
University of Helsinki10410182
Aalto University112201301
University of Turku295351301
University of Jyväskylä358351701
University of Oulu377251401
Lappeenranta University of Technology414251
Tampere University414251501
University of Eastern Finland521501601
Åbo Akademi University601601
University of Vaasa401

Explained: How do the university rankings work?

The QS World University Rankings are among the most important, most-referenced rankings. The QS ranking relies heavily on its academic survey, asking thousands of academics worldwide about the reputation of universities.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings (or the THE Rankings for short) compile a wide range of statistics. Equal weight is put on teaching quality, research excellence, and research impact through citations (meaning how often a university’s research is referenced elsewhere).

The Academic Ranking of World Universities by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (often just Shanghai Ranking, or ARWU) focuses on research output and quality, for example measured by the number of published and cited scientific papers and the number of staff or alumni winning the Nobel Prize or Fields Medal.

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