The University of Helsinki received 1,614 applications for its international Master's programmes, 30% less than the previous year. Of the applications, 57% came from outside the EU and the EEA, when the corresponding percentage a year ago was 73.
The total numbers of applications are not directly comparable, as the University of Helsinki has reformed all of its international Master’s programmes, which will be launched in autumn 2017. Many of them are shared by different disciplines. At the same time, the number of degree programmes decreased from 48 to 28. The application procedure and period have also changed from the previous year, so comparisons are indicative at best.
In the future, tuition will be charged from all students from outside the EU and the EEA who begin their studies in autumn 2017 or later. This is thought to have caused the drop in applications. The decrease in the number of applications was still less dramatic than that experienced in comparable universities in Sweden when adopting tuition fees.
“The internationalisation work at the University of Helsinki must be systematic and long term. The drop in international applicants is unfortunate, but we knew to expect it," says Markus Laitinen, head of development of international affairs at the University of Helsinki.
The percentage of applications from Russia, the United States and Nigeria decreased the most. The drop may have also been partially caused by the fact that the application deadline was 12 January, when previously it was at the end of January.
Applicants from more countries
The marketing of the new degree programmes began in late 2016, with some success. This can be seen in the clear increase in the visitor numbers for the University’s website. The visitors came from more parts of the world, and applicants also hailed from a wider variety of countries.
“This is a very positive development, and supports our goal to foster a truly multicultural student community. The University of Helsinki would rather have a degree programme with 30 students from 30 countries than 40 students from a single country,” says Markus Laitinen.
The University of Helsinki will continue enhanced promotion of itself and its degree programmes during the coming years. This is expected to significantly increase the number of applications.
Much interest in grants
Approximately three-fourths of the applicants from outside the EU and the EEA applied for a grant in conjunction with applying for a Master’s programme.
The University of Helsinki provides grants to applicants based on academic criteria. The grant will cover between 50% and 100% of tuition. In addition to the grant to cover tuition, students may apply for an additional grant to help them cover the cost of living in Finland. Other services to help students acclimatise to Finnish society are also available.
The University of Helsinki’s tuition fees will be between €13,000 and €18,000, depending on the programme. This price range is on par with the tuition fees of other international universities. The fees will not be applied to students who begin their studies before autumn 2017.
Read the previous article on the topic
NB! The figures are essentially correct, but some specifications may have to be made as more data is accrued.