More than 61,000 applications were submitted in the country’s joint application round, which is held nationwide each year, taking the number to over 32,000 in 2022.
Foreign students made up around 53,000 joint applications, where students can apply for up to six study programs with one application.
Janni Jokela, the agency’s chief adviser, said this was due to “active student recruitment and branding work” carried out jointly by institutes across Finland.
“In the spring of 2022, the reform of student residence permits also took place. These steps explain the huge increase in the number of applicants,” Jokela said.
While student residence permit legislation was changed last year to simplify the application process, hundreds of students still reported delays and problems with visas. Colleges of applied sciences, in particular, suffered due to consular deficiencies in identification.
This may be particularly important to address with the largest nationalities applying to Finland according to the latest data, which are Nigerian and Bangladeshi students.
A staggering 86% of applicants in the joint application process were from outside Finland – and the numbers specifically doubled from the previous year.
The number of Finnish domestic students using the common application process appears to have stagnated, with numbers remaining largely the same as in 2022.
Jokela also said that the digital entrance exam, International UAS, means that participants are streamlined and all only need to take one test – which was introduced last year and is already having the desired effect.
“The digital entrance exam makes it even easier for international students to apply to the program in the common application in the spring. That explains it too [the increase]Jokela said.
Despite the visa processing problems that caused a bit of a problem in Finland last year, the agency is confident that there will be a place for every eight applicants – the services saw the toughest competition for a place, with about 31 applicants getting a place.
“In Finland, attractiveness is traditionally measured by the number of applications for a study place,” said Sandra Slotte, Senior Internationalization Advisor at Arcada University of Applied Sciences. PIE News.
“That only tells us about the quantity, not the quality. It would therefore be interesting to learn more about the quality of these applications and whether they will eventually be offered a place to study, accept it and go through immigration to the university in the autumn,” she noted.
“Therefore, it would be interesting to learn more about the quality of these applications”
Health and social care was also seen as a more competitive area with 19 applicants per post. Humanities and educational fields had the fewest, with the aforementioned eight candidates for admission.
The data also showed that there were 1,000 more places available compared to 2022, with 7,400 study places available in 369 programmes, showing that as applications continue to increase, Finland’s competitiveness is starting to rise.
What the data does not show is the number of applications outside the common application scheme. Not all English-taught programs are part of the program, and many are still open for entry until September 2023, which could mean thousands more highly competitive applications and more paperwork for admissions teams across the country.
“The admissions process is very resource-intensive and it’s important to look at the admissions pathway to see what the actual enrollment rate is so you can determine the cost of processing each application,” Slotte added.