Why do Chinese students choose to study in the Helsinki Region?

Students wish to experience new ways of thinking

students The recruitment of Chinese students was one of the main topics discussed at the Helsinki Education and Research Area (HERA) seminar on Monday, 18 August. The seminar was held at the University of Helsinki.

As a part of the seminar programme Mr Yongming Hou presented a survey made among Chinese studying in the Helsinki region, university students and high school students in China, alltogether about 1000 persons. “Two thirds of the students studying in Helsinki wish to acquire a Master’s degree. The most popular subjects are Business and Management, Communication Technology, Bio Science and Computer Science”, Yongming Hou explained.

The main reason for Chinese students to study in Helsinki is a strong wish to experience new ways of thinking and the opportunity to develop one’s personality. The primary criteria for choosing the destination country are affordability of the cost of living and tuition fees. Factors such as prestige, the quality of the institutions, and suitable programmes also play a vital role in determining the destination country.

Insufficient financial resources of the students, visa difficulties and lack of language proficiency often prove to be obstacles. Finland is chosen because of its reputation as a clean, modern country offering free education. Only a small proportion of the students mentioned a future career and immigration prospects. Finnish brands like Nokia and UPM are well known among Chinese students.

The average ceiling of tuition fees is 3500 euros for university students. The availability of scholarships is considered an important factor in choosing the university, since parents are often the main source of financing university studies abroad.

The Helsinki Education and Research Area (HERA) is a cooperative project between the higher education institutions in the Helsinki Metropolitan Region, participating in regional development.

Text: Karin Hannukainen
Photo: Veikko Somerpuro

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