Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Finland

05/16/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/16/2024 03:54

Government proposes changes to tuition fees for non EU and non EEA students

Government proposes changes to tuition fees for non-EU and non-EEA students

Ministry of Education and Culture
Publication date 16.5.202412.53
Press release

The Government proposes amendments to the Universities Act and the Universities of Applied Sciences Act concerning tuition fees for non-EU and non-EEA students, and the introduction of an application fee for such students. The Government also proposes specifications to the provisions on commissioned education.

The amendments would apply to university students coming to Finland from non-EU and non-EEA countries to attend degree programmes where instruction is given in a language other than Finnish or Swedish. The Government proposes that the tuition fees collected from such students should cover the cost of providing the education and training. The amendments would implement the objective outlined in the Programme of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo's Government to make progress towards charging fees for tuition at full cost for non-EU and non-EEA students.

"Charging fees for tuition at full cost aims to improve the finances of higher education institutions and to encourage foreigners studying in Finland to stay in the country," says Minister of Science and Culture Sari Multala.

According to the proposal, persons who have entered Finland based on a residence permit for studies would remain liable to pay tuition fees even if they change the basis of their residence permit, for example from studies to work. The Government would add an exception to the Universities Act and the Universities of Applied Sciences Act according to which beneficiaries of temporary protection would not be liable to pay tuition fees.

The Government further proposes to introduce an application fee for citizens of non-EU and non-EEA countries. The purpose of this is to reduce the number of injudicious and low-quality applications, which have caused extra work for higher education institutions.

"These changes will ease the administrative burden of higher education institutions. At the moment, higher education institutions receive a large number of applications from applicants who do have the educational qualifications required in Finland to apply to study in such institutions, for example. Every single application must be processed and this uses up resources in higher education institutions," Multala says.

The Government also proposes specifications to the provisions on commissioned education. Higher education institutions must make sure that all contracts and agreements on commissioned education specify the rights and obligations of those participating in commissioned education and that those participating in commissioned education are aware of them. A higher education institution would not be allowed to provide commissioned education if the client intends to run a profit-making business offering students places in degree programmes in Finland.

"Evidence of misuse has been discovered in commissioned education whereby students have ended up having to cover the costs due to negligence on the part of those who have commissioned the education. This has left the students in an inadmissible situation. We will make the legislation more specific so that this type of action is no longer possible."

The proposed acts are scheduled to enter into force on 1 October 2024. However, the provisions on application fees and commissioned education would enter into force on 1 August 2025 and the provisions on the amount of tuition fees on 1 August 2026.

Inquiries:

  • Henna Närhi, Senior Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 330 006
  • Emmi Venäläinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Science and Culture, tel. +358 50 453 2773