Finland Stops Offering Free Education to Foreign Students
A proposal put forth by Finlands National Coalition Party NCP, led by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, is garnering attention as it suggests a significant policy shift regarding international students from outside the European Union EU and European Economic Area EEA. The core of this proposition is that these students should bear the full cost of their education, a move aimed at conserving government funds for the education of Finnish nationals. The motivation behind this decision arises from data indicating that nearly half of international students choose not to remain in Finland upon completing their studies. The reasons cited for their departure include the challenging job market, limited career prospects, and difficulties in assimilating into Finnish society. The viewers can get the detailed information that Finland Stops Offering Free Education to Foreign Students.
Despite these potential changes, Finland continues to be a preferred destination for immigrants. The Finnish Immigration Service recorded a marked increase in residence applications related to work, family reunification, and education. In particular, 2023 witnessed a substantial rise in applications for work residence permits, largely attributable to new laws that grant students a residence permit for the entire duration of their degree program while permitting them to work.
Delving into the statistics, it becomes evident that the majority of applicants in the first half of the year H1, approximately 90%, were pursuing educational opportunities in Finland. Notably, these students predominantly hailed from China, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. In comparison to 2022, there was a remarkable 48% surge in applications in 2023.
However, its crucial to note that approval is not guaranteed for all applicants. While 95% of foreign student applications are typically accepted, those facing rejection often lack substantial financial documentation. The Immigration Service underscores the importance of students having adequate funds to cover their living expenses in Finland, along with potential medical costs. Additionally, non-EU students are ineligible for student financial aid and often contend with higher tuition fees. On a more favorable note, their residence permits may still extend for the duration of their studies in Finland. As Finland contemplates these changes, the delicate balance between welcoming international talent and managing fiscal priorities comes into sharp focus.