Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin held discussions to cement bilateral relations on the sidelines of the former’s visit to Europe last week as part of the India-Nordic Summit. These included partnerships in trade and investment and steps to boost cultural ties. The two countries also highlighted fields such as science and education, digitalization and sustainability as key pillars of their partnership.
The Finland government has also announced recent initiatives to attract more foreign students to its universities. Renowned for their world-class facilities and modern learning environment, Finnish universities host more than 20,000 international students, who are enrolled in different programs at the undergraduate, postgraduate or doctoral levels. Finland has 13 universities and 22 applied sciences institutions. These include the University of Helsinki; Aalto University and Tampere University of Technology.
Most higher education institutions and applied sciences universities in Finland offer impressive scholarships to international students, making them an attractive option among students.
- At more than 23,400, a record number of international students had participated in the January 2022 joint application to higher education at Finnish institutions.
- Out of these, nearly 19,400 applied to the English-taught study programmes at Finnish universities and 14,500 applicants were of non-Finnish nationality with a majority of these, 12500 applicants, coming from outside the EU/EEA area.
- In 2021-22, the popular fields opted by students were information and communication technologies, arts and culture, administration and law, and business.
Finland’s Welcoming Rules For International Students
The Finland government is taking many steps to invite more applications from international students. The government has introduced a new law, according to which, students and their family members arriving in the country from overseas will get a permit to reside for the entire duration of their studies. It also aims to help students apply for jobs after graduation.
International students’ work hours during their studies will be increased from the average of 25 hours to 30 hours a week. The work permit for university students will alter from temporary (B) category to continuous (A), making it easier for them to get a PR permit. This will also apply for family members of the student.
However, students will be supposed to give proof of a secure means of livelihood for one year and be responsible for it as long as they live in the country. This will be checked by the authorities. Students will still have to pay tuition fees.
Indian Students in Finland
There were 1,051 Indian students as of July 2021 in Finland and over 500 as of March 2022.
The Finish Finnish higher education system is renowned for its world-class facilities and modern learning environment. Keeping in mind the need for virtual learning during a pandemic, its virtual learning classrooms and free libraries offer one of the best learning experiences to students.
Recent surveys say that international students enjoy the campus environment and their institutions’ eco-friendly attitude. Also, the design and the quality of the campus buildings, and the surroundings outside the campus inspire international students in their everyday life.
Student unions and associations look after students’ interests and organise free-time activities, like sports and cultural events. Joining student activities is a good way of getting to know other students and be a part of the Finnish student life.
“Our government plans to allow more foreign students to stay in Finland by easing some rules. The new law is a step in that direction which will help students to look for work, thus making it a more attractive destination,” said Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Employment, Finland government.