4,700 applications to the international master’s programmes of the University of Helsinki

The number of applicants grew by over 20% from the previous year. The Master’s Programme in Data Science and the Master’s Programme in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability share the honour of being the most popular programme.

In the master’s programme application round that ended on 10 January 2020, a total of 4,704 applications were submitted – an increase of 21% from the previous year. The number of applicants has been growing for three consecutive years, now three-fold compared to the number of applicants in 2017, the year when the international master’s programmes were reformed.

The Master’s Programme in Data Science and the Master’s Programme in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability are tied for the most popular programme, with 355 applications each. Among the most popular programmes, the third place was taken by the Master’s Programme in Computer Science with 269 applications. The fourth most popular programme was a new one, the Master’s Programme in Changing Education, with 263 applications.

Applications were received from 128 countries (127 in 2019). After Finland, the most applications were submitted from Nigeria, China and India. The number of applications from China grew by a staggering 65% from the previous year. Finnish applicants accounted for 24% (26% in 2019).

The percentage of applicants subject to a tuition fee, or non-EU and non-EEA applicants, was 62% (59% in 2019). Before the adoption of the tuition fees in 2017, roughly three quarters of all applications came from outside the EU and EEA. From among the applicants subject to a tuition fee, 81% also applied for a grant.

Applicant numbers doubled for the first international bachelor’s programme of the University of Helsinki

During the same round, applications were also accepted for the Bachelor’s Programme in Science, the first international bachelor’s programme at the University of Helsinki. Additional applications for this programme will be received at a later date, as part of the applicants will be applying during an application round coinciding with the national joint application procedure. During this round, the programme received 148 applications, a more than two-fold increase from the previous year, when the programme was launched.

 “Although it is the second year of existence of the programme, interest in it has been growing rapidly around the world. Current students of the programme are spontaneously contacted by potential applicants to find out more about the programme. The Finnish education system is very attractive to the international community. Hence, it is very important to inform potential applicants about the opportunity to study the four major subjects of natural sciences within a Finnish bachelor’s programme in English,” says Professor Flyura Djurabekova, director of the Bachelor’s Programme in Science.

Aiming at a multicultural group of talented students

Sini Saarenheimo, head of Admissions Services at the University of Helsinki, is pleased by the increasing interest among prospective students in the University’s programmes. As the goal is to admit the best possible and most motivated students to its degree programmes, the University is continuously looking for ways to enhance the quality of applications.

“Of course, a large group of applicants to choose from makes it possible to assemble the kind of multicultural group of talented students we wish to admit, with the potential to contribute to solutions of global challenges,” Saarenheimo states.

Decisions on admissions and grants will be made in March–April, after which the admitted applicants will announce whether they accept the offered student place. Their studies will begin in autumn 2020.

More detailed information about applicant figures will be published during the week of 13 January.

Read more about studying at the University of Helsinki

Further information:

Sini Saarenheimo, head of services, Admission Services sini.saarenheimo@helsinki.fi, phone +358 50 448 0840