The University of Helsinki attracted 32,000 applicants – More than 2,000 applicants to master’s programmes for the first time

The Open University route clearly increased in popularity.

A total of 31,929 individuals (32,541 in 2020) applied to the University of Helsinki in the joint application procedure of Finnish higher education institutions, which closed today, 31 March 2021. Of the applicants, 29,919 applied to bachelor’s programmes (31,192 in 2020) and 2,083 to master’s programmes (1,825 in 2020). The blended-learning programme in early childhood education, which was opened for application for the first time, had 447 applicants.

The biggest increase in applicant numbers to bachelor’s programmes was recorded in veterinary medicine, which nearly doubled the number of applicants to 1,613 in 2021 (822 applicants in 2020). The increase is explained by the fact that applicants were able, for the first time, to apply simultaneously to veterinary medicine and medicine or to veterinary medicine and dentistry. Interest in the field of education was also considerable: the number of applicants to craft teacher education grew by 40% to 195 applicants in 2021 (139 applicants in 2020).   The number of applicants to early childhood teacher education increased by more than one-fifth to 810 applicants in 2021 (664 applicants in 2020). As for the smaller degree programmes, the Study Track in Italian offered by the Bachelor’s Programme in Languages provided a pleasant surprise by doubling its applicant numbers.

Record number of applicants to master’s programmes

The master’s programmes offered by the University of Helsinki attracted more interest than in previous years. The Master’s Programme in Psychology had the highest number of applicants: 293. Of the other major programmes (i.e., programmes with more than 100 applicants), the Master’s Programme in Law increased in popularity the most: it had 155 applicants, up more than 37% from the previous year. In the smaller master’s programmes, the Master’s Programme in Translation and Interpreting, the Master’s Programme in Languages and the Master’s Programme in Finnish and Finno-Ugrian Languages and Cultures doubled in popularity. Each of these had approximately 40–50 applicants.

The number of individuals applying through the Open University route, which is not included in the joint application procedure, increased by 33% from the previous year. The Bachelor’s Programme in Computer Science accounted for most of this increase, receiving a total of 161 applications (98 in 2020). In total, 414 applications were received through the Open University route.

A new blended-learning programme in early childhood education will be launched in autumn 2021 to provide those working in the field with the qualifications required of early childhood education teachers. The Finnish-language option available for application received 411 applications, and the Swedish-language option, 46 applications.

Applicant numbers and available places by degree programme will be published on the University website tomorrow, Thursday, 1 April 2021. More detailed statistics on gender and language distribution, the number of first-time applicants and applicants with the University as their first choice, as well as other factors, will be compiled for each degree programme next week, followed by their publication on the same website.

The application period for the spring 2021 joint application procedure closed on 31 March.

Statistics about admissions

Further information:

Anna-Liisa Kuusela, project manager,, phone +358 50 448 6084