Finnish universities are publicly financed through the Ministry of Education, but they have autonomy in their internal affairs. Finnish universities do not collect tuition fees from doctoral students, so the cost of studying is relatively low but on the other hand, the university does not provide scholarships for students. Student Unions charge small membership fees from graduate students. For postgraduate students, membership in the Student Union is optional.
As of 1 August 2005 the two-tier degree system was adopted in Finland. The Bachelor's degree is taken before the Master's degree, the Bachelor's degree being calculated to take 3 years and the Master's thereafter 2 years.
The Master’s degree includes advanced studies in the major subject. A large part of advanced studies consists of the research work for the Master’s thesis. The Master’s degree gives eligibility for postgraduate studies.
In general, it must be stated that it is rather difficult for a foreign student to obtain a scholarship from Finnish sources.
Supervised by the Finnish Parliament, Kela is an independent social security institution with its own administration and finances.
Financial aid for foreign students:
If you are not a Finnish citizen and have come to Finland for study purposes, the general rule is that you cannot get financial aid from Finland.
However, you may qualify for financial aid if
Please see the web pages of Kela for more information.
The Finnish National Agency for Education offers a number of scholarship programmes for Doctoral level studies and research at Finnish universities. The extent of the scholarship programmes varies from three (3) months to an academic year.
Please see the web pages on CIMO scholarships
There are two types of permit for entry into Finland: the visa and the residence permit. A visa is granted for a stay lasting a maximum of three months. Persons staying for more than three months must obtain a residence permit before arrival in Finland.
If you intend to stay in Finland for longer than 90 days you will need a residence permit.
With a student residence permit you will have the right to work if such work is part of a traineeship required for a degree or is on a research paper required for the studies. You may perform other kinds of work for 25 hours a week on average during the academic term. The number of working hours is not restricted on a weekly level, which means that you can work periodically during the academic term according to your situation, so that you work for 25 hours a week on average.
More information on arrival in Finland:
The granting of a residence permit requires that the student's income is secure. The objective of the income requirement is that foreigners living in Finland are able to support themselves economically by their own means. When applying for a residence permit, a financial statement showing that the applicant has at least 560 euro for a month or 6720 euro for a year (academic year 2016-2017) at his/ her disposal will be required. Learn more.
For residence permit the student will need private insurance to cover medical and pharmaceutical expenses. Learn more.
For postgraduate students, membership of the Student Union is optional. The Student Union membership fee is 49 euro for postgraduate students for academic year 2016-2017.
The cost of living in Finland is comparable to the rest of Europe on average. For basic monthly expenses (food, rent, transportation), approximately 700 euro is minimum. Depending on one's personal spending habits, a supplement of 100 -300 euro per month should be planned for.
Tampere District Student Housing Foundation (TOAS) organizes inexpensive student housing and accommodation in Tampere.
Unipoli Tampere offers leisure time activities for the international students and staff of the three universities in the Tampere region. Learn more.