Sunday October 01, 2023

Govt moves to increase tuition fees for non-EU, non-EEA students

Published : 23 Aug 2023, 01:00

Updated : 23 Aug 2023, 01:05

  DF Report
Foreign Students in Finland. DF File Photo.

The Kansallinen Kokoomus (National Coalition Party-NCP) led centre-right four-party alliance government has stated an initiative to increase the tuition fees for non-European Union and non- European Economic Area (EEA) university students.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has appointed a working group to prepare an increase in tuition fees for non-EU and non-EEA students, said the ministry in a press release on Tuesday.

The working group is also expected to propose legislation to prevent the circumvention of tuition fees and to re-introduce university application processing fees.

The work is based on the entry in Prime Minister Petteri Orpo's Government Programme “The Government is making progress towards implementing full costing of tuition fees for non-EU and non-EEA students,” said the press release

The working group is tasked with drawing up a government proposal containing proposals for amendments to the Universities Act and the Universities of Applied Sciences Act that would raise tuition fees towards full costing and reduce the possibilities of circumventing the obligation to pay fees.

In addition, the amendments would reinstate university application processing fees for applicants who have completed education outside the EU/EEA that provides them with eligibility to apply for tertiary education in Finland.

When tuition fees were introduced, the Universities Act and the Universities of Applied Sciences Act were amended to abolish the administrative application processing fee which had been used for a short period.

Tuition fees are not proposed for students studying in Finnish or Swedish or to Finnish or EU/EEA citizens.

The working group examining the reform of the guidance and financing model for higher education institutions will also take into account these amendments.

The need for creating a national scholarship system, along with a model for such a system, and ways of increasing incentives to remain in Finland after graduation will be assessed as part of the implementation of the Government Programme.

In accordance with the Government Programme, the working group will look into establishing a compensation plan similar to student loan compensation for people who arrive from a non-EU/EEA country, have graduated from a Finnish higher education institution or another Finnish educational institution, and have paid tuition fees and worked in Finland for a specific period.

Headed by Director of the Ministry of Education and Culture Jonna Korhonen, Ministerial Adviser Maija Innola was made the vice-chair of the group where members were included from ministries, public authorities, universities and student organisations.

The working group will work from 1 September 2023 to 30 June 2024.

Here are two topics on introducing tuition fees and dropping ranking.