Frequently asked questions - FAQ
1 . I will graduate in May 2016. Can I apply to degree programmes conducted in English during the application period between 8 January and 27 February 2016?
Answer: Those applying with a qualification completed elsewhere than in Finland and who are not citizens of an EU/EEA -country or Switzerland must have completed their education before the application period closes. Applicants completing their examinations in Finland in the spring of 2016 or applicant who are citizens of an EU/EEA -country or Switzerland can apply during the application period.
2. What is an online application?
A: The online application is filled in and submitted online. The online application process opens on 8 January and closes on 27 February 2016 at 3.00 pm Finnish time.
3. Is it advisable to use a fee-charging agency to help with my application process?
A: Making an application to a Finnish polytechnic/UAS is always free of charge. The use of fee-charging agencies is not recommended. It is highly recommended that applicant submits online application his/herself. Also, the applicant should always use his/her own postal and e-mail address to ensure that he/she will receive all necessary information directly from the polytechnics/UAS.
4. What documents do I need to send in with my application?
A: Applicants applying with non-Finnish qualifications have to send copies of relevant educational certificates and authorised translations of the certificates (stamped and signed by the translator) into English, Finnish or Swedish to the polytechnic/ university of applied sciences of the applicant's first choice. The copies must arrive at the polytechnic/UAS by post or delivery by 10 February 2016 at 3.00 pm Finnish time (GMT+2 hrs), scanned or faxed copies are not accepted. Applicants who are applying with a qualification completed elsewhere than in Finland and who are not citizens of an EU/EEA -country or Switzerland must provide a proof of his/her language skills. Please read 'Application Practicalities* for more detailed information about the accepted language certificates. Applicants applying with Finnish certificates do not have to send a copy of the certificate unless they completed their Finnish Matriculation examination in 1989 or earlier. Applicants who completed their Finnish Matriculation examination in 1989 or earlier or applicants applying with a specialist vocational or further vocational qualification have to send a copy of their certificate to the admissions office of the polytechnic/UAS of their first choice by 10 February 2016 at 3.00 pm.
5. Where do I send the certificate copies?
A: You have to send the copies by post to the admissions office of the polytechnic/UAS that you have chosen as your first choice in your application. The correct address is included in your confirmation e-mail.
6. How will I know where the entrance examination will take place and what will I need to bring with me?
A: All eligible applicants will receive an invitation letter to the entrance examination. The letter will inform you of the date and location of the exam. You will also need to bring your passport/ ID you used to apply, writing equipment and, in some cases, a calculator, etc.
7. When are the results announced?
A: The results are posted to the applicant before 2 July 2016 for education beginning in autumn 2016.
8. My entrance examination did not go as well as I expected due to personal circumstances. Can I appeal?
A: Personal circumstances such as illness, death in the family etc. are not considered to be valid reasons for a successful appeal.
9. I have already accepted a study place in a polytechnic for this academic term. Can I accept another study place in a university or a polytechnic during the same academic term included in joint applications?
A: No, you can only accept one new study place included in joint applications during the same academic term(1 August - 31 December or 1 January- 31 July). Acceptance of a study place is always binding and it cannot be altered or cancelled.
10. How much does it cost to study in a polytechnic/UAS?
A: At the moment there are no tuition fees for higher education in Finland. Students are expected to pay for their living costs, travel costs, study materials, etc. Polytechnics'/UAS' students need to pay an annual membership fee to the student organisation SAMOK to get a student card. The student card grants students certain benefits and discounts e.g. on travel, etc. Finnish students are entitled to student financial aid from KELA. Non-Finnish students are entitled to student financial aid only if they have a valid residence permit and have lived in Finland permanently for two years for a purpose other than studies. A non-EU student must prove that he/she is able to cover his or her living costs in Finland during his/her studies. The required minimum sum is 500 Euros per month or 6000 Euros per year. Also non-EU students who are studying in Finland in a fulltime degree programme for a minimum of two years also need health insurance that covers the cost of medicine.
11. Do I need a visa or a residence permit?
A: Students from EU countries do not need a visa to study in Finland. Students from non-EU countries need a visa for a stay of less than three months in Finland. EU citizens and the citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland do not need a residence permit to study in Finland. For a stay of more than three months, students from EU countries need to register their right to reside in Finland at the local police department. The criteria for the right to reside in Finland are as follows: the main purpose for residence in Finland is full-time studies at a Finnish higher education institution, the student must be able to cover his or her living costs in Finland, the student must also have valid health insurance. Students from Sweden, Norway, Denmark or Iceland do not need to provide financial proof. Non-EU citizens need a residence permit if they have been admitted to a higher education institution and their studies will last longer than three months. The residence permit is granted for one year at a time. If the studies take longer than one year, the extension of the residence permit needs to be applied for every year until the student has finished the study programme. For renewal of the residence permit the student must meet the following criteria: the student must be a full-time student, the student must be registered at a higher education institution, the student must have completed the courses required in the higher education institution study programme. In addition, a student from a non-EU country must have valid health insurance issued by a reliable company or institution. Non-EU students who are studying in Finland in a full-time degree programme for a minimum of two years also need health insurance that covers the cost of medicine. Also, non-EU students must provide proof that they can cover their living costs in Finland.
12. Where can I find accommodation?
A: Student accommodation is available, for example, through VVO and SOA (Finland's Student Housing Ltd.) in Finland, and HOAS (The Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region). Applications should be sent directly to the student accommodation foundations. The accommodation system varies among different polytechnics/UAS. Some have student campuses and accommodation, while others encourage students to apply for accommodation from the municipal authorities of the town/city they are studying in. More detailed information is available on each polytechnics'/UAS' website. Student accommodation in Finland is of a high standard. The apartments and rooms are in very good condition, and includecentral heating, a refrigerator, cooking and washing facilities, and Internet access. Both furnished and unfurnished rooms are available. Prices vary depending on the location and the size of the room or apartment.
13. I have a non-Finnish vocational qualification of three years in duration. Am I eligible for applying?
A: According to the Polytechnic Act 351/2003 applicant with a foreign qualification must have eligibility to study in higher education in his/her country of origin in order to be eligible for studying in a Finnish polytechnic/UAS.