Friday. 02.12.2022

One in four doctorates completed in Finland by a foreigner

Women completed the majority of university degrees (nearly 60%) in 2019.

Foreigners are a small percentage of students within Finnish universities, but significant in terms of academic achievement. Especially in the highest level of higher education.

According to Statistics Finland figures, in 2019 around 2,600 foreign students started university studies. This was around 9.6% of the total number of students starting in colleges.

In the same year, foreign students completed around 8% of the total number of university degrees. However, in the case of doctorates, the figure rises to 25%.

Around 1,700 students completed doctorate degrees (70 less than in the previous year) in Finland, of which about 425 were foreigners.

"One in four of the doctorate degrees were completed by a foreign citizen," Statistics Finland remarks.

Among all those who were doctorate holders, the most common contents of education were health and welfare (one in four) and technology (nearly one in five).

Number of degrees grow again

Last year, the total number of completed university degrees started to grow after three successive years of decline.

In 2019, around 31,700 university degrees were completed in Finland, which is around 900 more than one year earlier. The rise in the number of degrees focused on higher university degrees, whose number (good 16,000) went up by good one thousand.

The number of completed lower university degrees was good 13,500, which is slightly lower than one year earlier.

Women completed the majority of university degrees, nearly 60%. The share was on level with the previous year.

Helsinki, Tampere and Turku

Most degrees, good 6,100, were completed at the University of Helsinki. Over 3,500 degrees were also attained at the University of Tampere, Aalto University and the University of Turku.

The smallest universities based on the number of degrees were the National Defence University (around 350 degrees) and the University of the Arts Helsinki (UniArts) (about 550 degrees).

The most common content for completed degrees was trade, administration and law, in which field around 18% of students graduated.

Higher number of new students

Around 27,000 new students began their university studies in 2019. The number is nearly 800 students higher than one year earlier. In particular, the number of doctorate students rose clearly.

The number of students starting doctorate studies was good 2,100, which was around 400 more than in 2018, Statistics Finland detailed.

The number of new foreign students remained almost on level with 2018, at around 2,600 persons. For them, those having started studies leading to a higher university degree fell, but the number of those studying for a doctorate degree went up correspondingly.

Favourite studies, by gender

The total number of students attending university education leading to a degree was close on 154,000 in 2019.

There were around 77,000 students studying for a lower university degree and about 58,000 persons studying for a higher university degree. Some 18,000 were studying for a doctor's degree. Women made up 54% of all students.

The highest numbers of university students were studying in the fields of business, administration and law, and humanities and arts, around 17% of all. Around 15 % studied in the field of technology.

Women studied clearly more often than men in the fields of education (eight out of ten were women), arts and humanities, health and welfare, and social sciences, journalism and information (seven out of ten were women).

Men, in turn, studied more often than women in the fields of information and communication technologies (eight out of ten were men), services and engineering, manufacturing and construction (seven out of ten were men).

In 2019, the University of Helsinki had clearly the highest number of students, around 31,600. The next biggest universities by the number of students were the University of Tampere (close on 21,000 students) and Aalto University (close on 18,000 students).

One in four doctorates completed in Finland by a foreigner