Tuesday, 17 October, 2017

Tuition fees reduce non-EU students' in Finland

06 Oct 2017, 23:29 ( 10 days ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
International Students in Rovaniemi. Photo source: International Office of the University of Lapland.

The first-ever tuition fees for non EU/ETA students to pay the Finnish universities and polytechnics have created a much smaller revenue than envisaged.

A survey carried out by a Finnish language daily Helsingin Sanomat indicated on Friday that the enrollment has declined. The number of study-based residence permit applications reflect the situation.

By the end of September, 4,355 non-EU/ETA students had filed for a residence permit, a quarter fewer than in the same period in 2016. The decline has been the sharpest from Vietnam.

Most new students have been from China and Russia. Finland has remained a popular choice also in Pakistan, Nepal, Nigeria, Cameroon, India and Morocco, the newspaper reported.

Until last year, university and polytechnic education was free to all students. From this year on, non-EU/ETA students must pay a tuition fee of on average 10,000 euros per year.

Those EU/ETA citizens that have a permanent residence permit in Finland need not pay. If a foreign student can attend classes given in Finnish and Swedish, there are no charges.

Birgitta Vuorinen, a senior official at the Ministry of Education, told Helsingin Sanomat that the tuition fees are expected to create such an income to the universities and polytechnics that "can then be used to develop their courses".

Helsingin Sanomat also reported that some nine percent of residence permit applications submitted by students have been rejected by the Finnish Immigration Service. In most cases, the reason has been uncertainty about meeting the living costs. A student must have at least 6,720 euros in his or her possession upon entering Finland.

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