The student admissions reform causes changes in examination dates and locations

This applies only to Finnish and Swedish languaged bachelor's programmes. The introduction of certificate-based admissions changes both student admissions and examination schedules in spring 2020. Due to a tightening of the schedule, the entrance examinations for the University of Helsinki will primarily be held in the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre.

Certificate-based admissions, to be comprehensively introduced next spring, will change the process of applying to the bachelor’s programmes included in the joint application procedure. To most of the programmes, at least 51% of new students will be admitted on the basis of their matriculation examination certificate. This percentage varies by degree programme, with related details available (in Finnish and Swedish only) on the Studyinfo website.

Admissions decisions will be made after the results of the spring matriculation examination are available. Applicants who are not admitted on the basis of their certificate have the right to take an entrance examination.

The aim is to publish the results of certificate-based admissions on the Studyinfo website before the entrance examination of each degree programme, no later than on 27 May 2020.

“The schedule is tight, but the goal is to provide applicants with the information before their entrance examination. However, applicants must be prepared to attend the entrance examination, since the results of certificate-based admissions will become available at such a late stage,” says Sini Saarenheimo, head of Admissions Services at the University of Helsinki.

Entrance examinations has been redesigned to reduce the importance of preliminary preparation. Among other changes, supplied-reference examinations are used where the relevant material is distributed only at the examination session. At the same time, the duration of most examinations will be cut to three or four hours. Still, certain examinations will continue to require studying in advance.

Applicants placed on the reserve list can be admitted on the basis of their certificate even after entrance examinations have been held.

Examination locations changed due to tighter schedules and renovations

Due to the certificate-based admissions, certain entrance examinations will be held later than in previous years. The majority of the entrance examinations for the University of Helsinki will be held at the Messukeskus Expo and Convention Centre on 18–29 May 2020.

However, some examinations will be held on University premises. Similarly, most examinations for those requiring special arrangements will be held at the University. Detailed information on locations and dates can be found under each degree programme on the Studyinfo website.

The entrance examinations will be held in the expo centre due to the renovation of the Main Building of the University and Info Centre Korona in Viikki. Previously, the period for holding entrance examinations has also been considerably longer, in addition to which the number of applicants for popular degree programmes, such as those in the Faculties of Law and Medicine, has increased in recent years. In terms of these programmes, certificate-based admissions will not significantly reduce the number of applicants taking the entrance examinations.

The Messukeskus centre is easily reachable from anywhere in Finland, and the facilities are well suited to entrance examinations. For the examination period, the premises are reserved exclusively for the University of Helsinki, preventing any outsiders from entering the facilities.

“Entrance examinations are an extremely important event for prospective students, and we wish to ensure that everything goes smoothly,” Saarenheimo states.

Saarenheimo notes that attempts will be made to make the application process as applicant-friendly as possible. The schedule is extremely tight, defined above all by the date of publication of the matriculation examination results. Due to circumstances out of the University’s sphere of influence, there is very little latitude.

Admission results will be published by 8 July 2020. Applicants based on the reserve list can be admitted up to 31 July.

The decisions on carrying out the student admission reform and introducing certificate-based admissions have been made by the Ministry of Education and Culture.