Tuesday. 28.03.2023

Do I have to pay tuition fees to study in Finland?

The country offers magnificent systems of university education and professional training, with very attractive programmes taught in English

Student man black door

Finland is a country well known for the excellence of its educational system, which as a general rule is public and free of charge. Education in Finland is a country commitment. A huge bet that until now has allowed this small northern European nation to have among its best assets a highly educated and qualified workforce. A population well formed and trained who act as the engine of one of the most innovative and thriving economies in the world.

Finland’s good reputation on educational issues is a reality that applies above all to primary education, a segment in which the country occupies leadership positions in all reputed rankings. But the country also offers magnificent systems of university education and professional training, with very attractive programmes taught in English.

Therefore, Finland has been a magnet for students and professionals from all over the world seeking to be trained in an international environment and to keep updated of the latest developments in their fields.

However, after a long debate on the issue the Finnish Government has recently introduced legal changes that oblige universities to charge tuition fees for the programmes taught in English to the students from outside the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. As a result, those who do not have a permanent residence status in these areas are liable to pay tuition fees if they want to study at any of the Finnish 10 universities or 23 universities of Applied Sciences.


Even so, this should not discourage any student or professional eager to train in Finland. The country knows how to value talent when it is detected and some exceptions might be applicable to the general rule: there are scholarships and grants form public and private institutions that may help you to finance your studies. So, check the fees applicable to your case, which are usually described on the programmes of each university, and do not forget the scholarships.

It is important to point that fees are only for the programmes taught in English. Students enrolled in programmes taught in Finnish or Swedish are not required to pay the fees, regardless of their nationality. Some universities also waive the tuition fees from asylum seekers living in Finland who have been admitted to a programme taught in English.

Tuition costs

The minimum tuition fee stated for a degree taught in English is 1,500 euros per academic year. But that is just the minimum, so be prepared to deal with higher amounts of money. The reality is that most educational institutions charge much higher fees, usually starting form 6.000 or 8,000 EUR per academic year.

For instance, at the University of Helsinki the fees for Master’s Programmes are 13,000, 15,000 or 18,000 EUR per academic year, as it is explained on its webpage. In joint programmes the fees may vary from those.

If you want to find the specific fee for a concrete programme in Helsinki, just click to access to the degree finder HERE

The individual student’s fee cost remains the same until the programme is completed.

In parallel with the tuition fees, the Finnish universities offer also scholarship programmes that may provide support from partial to full scholarships. Those are intended for excellent students from outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland. To apply for one of those grants you must first apply for one of the university’s Master’s programs. The application deadline for both programmes and scholarships is the same.

If you want more information about the Scholarship programme of the University of Helsinki you can get it HERE

Other Finnish universities

If you need more information regarding studies programmes, tuition fees and scholarships in the other Finnish multidisciplinary universities, you can get it by clicking on the following links:

University of Tampere

University of Turku

Åbo Akademi University

University of Jyväskylä

University of Oulu

University of Vaasa

University of Lapland

University of Eastern Finland

Aalto University

Other specialised institutions of higher education that have full university status:

Hanken School of Economics

Tampere University of Technology

University of the Arts Helsinki

Lappeenranta University of Technology

All students coming to Finland must take also into account that besides the studying costs they will have to face also the living costs. And Finland is not a cheap country: the average living costs can be 800-1300 EUR per month, depending on the case and the city. Living in Helsinki can be even more expensive.

Do I have to pay tuition fees to study in Finland?