21 Tuition Free Universities in Finland for International Students

Posted on Saturday, October 26, 2013

Tuition Free Universities in Finland

Of the Nordic countries, Scandinavia -Denmark, Norway, and Sweden- has always been a favorite of international students for high quality study. Over the years, Finland has also offered top quality education and has been one of the countries with tuition-free schools in Europe for both native and international students. Want to know current situation of tuition free schools in Finland? Read on.

For the international student, Finland offers many opportunities. You can go to Finland as an exchange student, a trainee or to study for a whole academic degree. One important aspect of study or research in Finland is considering how to finance your study or research period. You will need to be able to cover your everyday living expences, travel, insurance, etc. Bachelor's and Doctoral level programmes -as well as many Master's level programmes- do not charge any tuition fees, regardless of your nationality. However, some Master’s programmes may charge tuition fees from non-EU/EEA students.

Remember that even when tuition is provided free of charge, you will need to independently cover the costs of your everyday life in Finland, including travel costs. In Finland, the general cost of living is relatively high, but still approximately the same as in other EU countries.
According to the official Finnish website, www.studyinfinland.fi: "The average monthly living expenses for a student in Finland are approximately 700-900€." This may vary a bit, depending on your personal habits and study location in Finland – for example, accommodation and other living costs may be higher in the Helsinki metropolitan area and other larger cities.

Study & Scholarships has compiled a comprehensive list of institutions in Finland to which international students can apply to. Bear in mind that all Bachelor's and Doctoral level programmes -as well as many Master's level programmes- do not charge any tuition fees. Finnish higher education consists of two complementary sectors: universities and polytechnics (also known as universities of applied sciences, UAS). Universities promote research and provide academic higher education based on research, whereas polytechnics/UAS's provide professional or ‘vocational’ higher education. Additionally, post-Master’s level degrees can only be awarded by the universities.

List of Tuition Free Institutions in Finland

Related News Updates
A. Universities
  1. Aalto University
  2. Hanken School of Ecomomics
  3. Lappeenranta University of Technology
  4. National Defence University
  5. Tampere University of Technology
  6. University of the Arts Helsinki
  7. University of Eastern Finland
    • Joensuu campus
    • Kuopio campus

  8. University of Helsinki
  9. University of Jyväskylä
  10. University of Lapland
  11. University of Oulu
  12. University of Tampere
  13. University of Turku
  14. University of Vaasa
  15. Åbo Akademi University
B. Polytechnics (UAS)
  1. Arcada University of Applied Sciences
  2. Centria University of Applied Sciences
  3. Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
  4. HAAGA-HELIA University of Applied Sciences
  5. HAMK University of Applied Sciences
  6. Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
  7. JAMK University of Applied Sciences
  8. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences
  9. Karelia University of Applied Sciences
  10. Kemi-Tornio University of Applied Sciences
  11. Kymenlaakso University of Applied Sciences
  12. Lahti University of Applied Sciences
  13. Laurea University of Applied Sciences
  14. Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences
  15. Novia University of Applied Sciences
  16. Oulu University of Applied Sciences
  17. Rovaniemi University of Applied Sciences
  18. Saimaa University of Applied Sciences
  19. Satakunta University of Applied Sciences
  20. Savonia University of Applied Sciences
  21. Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
  22. Tampere University of Applied Sciences
  23. Turku University of Applied Sciences
  24. Vaasa University of Applied Sciences
Most Finnish higher education institutions use an on-line electronic admissions system for their Bachelor’s and Master’s level student intake. You will also need to send in copies of your earlier educational certificates and other required documents. Additionally, depending on the programme, applicants may need to successfully pass an entrance examination.

How you should apply depends on whether you're applying to a university or a polytechnic (UAS), and also on your entry level. Note also that it's very important that you check all the detailed application information (entry requirements, etc.) on the web pages of the Finnish university or polytechnic (UAS) you're applying to (see links to schools above). For detailed information on how to apply, click here.

If you already have a Master’s degree (i.e. applying for a doctoral), and wish to apply to a Finnish university, then you should contact the university of your choice (see links above). You can either contact the International Office, or the faculty/department of your interest directly. For detailed information, see Doctoral admissions.

There are two annual application periods for the polytechnics’ Bachelor’s level programmes, one in January/February and the other in September. Please check the exact dates, requirements and other details on the www.admissions.fi website.

The application times for the universities’ programmes may vary depending on the institution/programme you are applying to. Please refer to the individual universities' admissions pages (see links to schools above) for info on how and when to apply.

Some universities may accept doctoral study applications at all times, while others may have specific application periods. Note also that student selection for post-Master's level studies and research is usually decided on at faculty level, so Doctoral level application times and policies may vary even within a single university. There is no national joint admissions system in Finland for Doctoral level studies and research, so please check the application times with the Finnish university of your choice.

Please note:
No tuition fees are charged in Bachelor’s level degree programmes in Finland. The same is true of several Master’s programmes. The cost of this education is covered by the Finnish government, therefore, there are usually no scholarships available.

However, in those Master's level programmes that charge a tuition fee from non-EU/EEA students, institutional scholarships for non-EU/EEA students are available. These institutional scholarships are always applied for directly from the university in question. However, remember that first of all, you need to apply for a study placement.

Scholarships in Finland are mainly available for Doctoral level studies and research only.

Scholarships that you can apply from Finland include:
  • CIMO scholarship programmes for Doctoral level studies and research at Finnish universities.
  • Institutional scholarships offered by the higher education institutions themselves, especially for those enrolled in Master’s programmes that carry a tuition fee for non-EU/EEA nationals.
When applying for student residence permit, international students (non-EU/EEA students) need to show that they have at least 500€ per month (6000€ per year) at their disposal. [NB: regarding student residence permit applications submitted on or after 1st March 2013, the required amount of funding will be 6720€ per year / 560€ per month.]

Related: Scholarships in Finland for International Students

Article first written and published on Study & Scholarships 23rd February, 2009.
Content updated and republished 19th March, 2013.

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written as a general guide/information only. Please visit the school(s) of your interest via the links provided above for current details and more specific enquiries.

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  1. My name is Opakunle Abdulrafiu Abdulrahman, I have HND in Civil Engineer. So I need assistance to do My Post Graduate Programme in University of Helsinki. This is my email address: abdulrafiua@yahoo.com.
    Phone No: +2348035037376

    The International Student Services Office
    P.O. Box 3 (Fabianinkatu 33)
    FI-00014 University of Helsinki
    Tel. +358 9 191 22604
    Fax. +358 9 191 22176
    E-mail admissions(at)helsinki.fi

  2. Annonymous

    Contact the school directly either by email or post or phone call, so that you can get information on the most current funding policy.

    School addresses are as above

  3. My name is Taluta,I want to apply for school in norway with free tuition fee and I will like u to update me with their application procees.This is my email adebayotaluta@yahoo.com

    1. Hello @Taluta, most governments that previously offered tuition-free education has either revised or discarded their policies.

      Most now require foreign students to pay partial or full tuition, while others have simply resorted to offering scholarships to international students INSTEAD of the tuition-free study that hitherto existed.

      Please see the 'Important Updates' that have since been added to the article above! Very sorry for the late reply. Cheers!

  4. My name is folorunso tope martins, I,m an undergraduate of obafemi awolowo university,studying electronics and electrical engineering. So I need assistance/help to further my studies at University of Helsinki. This is my email address:folorunsom@yahoo.com.
    Phone No: +2348162399001

    1. Apply to the school(s) you are interested in through the links above. Goodluck!

  5. my names are OYEOLA FRANCIS TAYO.. i have national diploma in accountancy.. i had about free tuition fees that was given to international student in Finland, i will love to be one of the opportune candidate that benefit from it.please i need more detail about the processing.here is my E-mail address: francaizy@yahoo.com, or francaizy007@yahoo.com. thanks

  6. My name is thankgod Ii am undergraduate of ond and o'level waec I have pass in english language can I apply for finland university of applied science please I need a quick reply

    1. Hello Nsikan,

      Whether you can apply to Finnish schools depends on whether you're applying to a university or a polytechnic (UAS), and also on your entry level.
      In this case, you're interested in a university, and you're coming in at OND level.

      It's very important that you check all the detailed application information (entry requirements, etc.) on the web pages of the school of your interest i.e. Finland University of Applied Sciences.

      My advise: Visit this school's website via the link above for specific details.

  7. am a holder of Bsc. degree, pls could u inform if universities offerin free tuition fee in norway and other countries allow student to work. thanks

    1. Hello DotCom to access this information, you need to contact the schools. Limks to their websites have been provided for you above. Regards

  8. Please send me an email on how to make or process the free education to Finland

    1. Hello, simply contact the schools - visit their official website via links we provided above. Regards

    2. my name is Pardwin Ateawung. i have my bachelors degree and masters 1 in the faculty of law university of Yaoumde 2 Cameroon. Please i wish to continue with my masters in law in any tuition free university in Finland.i will be glad if you keep me updated.
      my email ateawungperdwin@yahoo.com

  9. hey , my name is Amare Eshetu . I have my Bsc in civil engineering and i want you to update me regarding tution free scholrship programme in any of the Nordic countries unversties . Thanks .
    my email adress is amex16@yahoo.com

  10. agbobuare kashetuAugust 27, 2014 4:38 PM

    my name is Agbobuare Kashetu am {HND} holder, i want to do my post graduate in university of lapland. Please update me on how to go about it.Thank you.

  11. Hi,my name is Ammad Akbar.I have done Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery(M.B.B.S).Is there any program to do Master's(Post graduation)on scholarship?

  12. Hello, my name is Fasola Tobi i i have done Bachelor of biology in education and now i want to know if there is any masters program i can run in your school.
    My email is tfts46@yahoo.com and my phone number is +2348067739822.

  13. hi am bismark okwan i have applied for ingineer programme in any university in finland with free scholarship and i need you to help me. i hold wassce certificate with all my document inclusive i need you to help me the processing with my undergraduate programme of petroleum ingineering .my email address is antie.bismark@yahoo.com. and my number is +233572106006

  14. I am Abel and a Nigerian of 31years. I finished my tertiary with a HND from FEDPONEK, I finished my NYSC by June 2014.In addition, I have no Toefl or ielts. I need a free tuition scholarship or free education program.Please I need directions. My email is eleng76@yahoo.com or +234-7038008906. Thanks

  15. i want to get admission in MBBS in finland but i have many questions to ask?