University admissions to change: certificates to provide more opportunities, other routes developed

Student admission based on upper-secondary school certificates and matriculation examinations is becoming one route to university. The system is currently under development with the help of a tool created for scoring matriculation examination grades.

Finnish universities are preparing to admit students based on their prior academic records, by 2020. To help with the reform of the student admission procedure, a tool has been created to help each field of education develop a suitable system for scoring the grades of matriculation examinations. The goal is for field-specific score ranges to be announced by August 2018.  

The tool for scoring the grades of matriculation examinations was presented at a seminar organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture together with the admission reform projects on 7 November 2017.

University of Helsinki Vice-Rector Sari Lindblom, chair of the steering group for the student admissions reform project, finds the new system a positive, if challenging, development.

 “It would be excellent if the scoring of matriculation examination grades would be uniform in each field in every Finnish university. This is the goal, but we need far more cooperation between universities. The more unified a field seems, the clearer it will appear to applicants,” says Lindblom.

Emphasis on native language and mathematics skills

The scoring tool will enable universities to assign points for applicants’ matriculation examination results according to the needs of each field of education. A field may choose to emphasise a single subject in the matriculation examination, or languages, or the natural sciences in general.

Native language studies and mathematics will have particular weight in the tool, to encourage pupils to study them.

Admissions developed from the applicant’s perspective

The goal of the reform is to increase cooperation and develop other admission routes alongside admission based on certificates. The applicant’s perspective figures prominently.

The project also involves research on student admissions.

The admission reform is a key project of the Ministry of Education and Culture, and is being funded until the end of 2019. 

Further information
Project website (in Finnish)
Chair of the steering group, Vice-Rector Sari Lindblom,, tel. +358 2941 20628
Project Manager Ulla Sarajärvi,, tel. +358 2941 40335