Term fees may be introduced for foreign students

Working group suggests scholarship system for students with limited means.

Term fees may be introduced for foreign students The Ministry of Education working group has proposed the introduction of term fees for foreign university and polytechnic students. If the proposal is implemented, students from outside the EU and EEA would have to pay 3,500–12,000 euros for an academic year.

The purpose of this fee would be to encourage universities and polytechnics to increase their intake of foreign students. The proposal is also based on the government objective of doubling the number of foreign students by 2010.

The fees would be introduced as of 1 August 2007, and charged to foreign students who begin their studies in Finland during the academic year 2007–2008 and thereafter.

Universities and polytechnics may decide independently on the amount of the fees, and they would be entitled to keep them for their own use. The working group estimates that the average fee would be about 7,000 euros per year. Those studying towards a doctorate would be exempt from the fee.

The working group also proposed that a scholarship system be established, allocating grants to talented foreign students of limited means, for a total value of seven million euros per year. The scholarship programme would be administered by the Centre for International Mobility (CIMO).

A separate grant system would also be created for students from developing countries. This five-year programme would be funded through the development co-operation budget.

Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Education, stressed that the proposal does not undermine the principle of free education in Finland. Finns and those living permanently in an EU or EEA member state will still be able to take degrees for free.

The working group pointed out that for Finland to be increasingly attractive to foreign students, the universities and polytechnics, together with CIMO, should adopt more professional and efficient methods of disseminating information about study opportunities in Finland. Russia, India, and China would be particularly interesting target countries for student recruitment efforts.

More info: www.helsinki.fi/admissions/expenses.

Text: Mirja Mäenpää
Photo: European Union

Translation: Valtasana Oy

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