Studying in tuition-free Universities in Finland helps to cut down expenses of education. Sadly, much of the information online about free education in Finland is outdated.
The higher education system in Finland is divided into private and public universities. The public universities are categorized into regular and universities of applied sciences, all tuition-free for domestic students, students from Switzerland, and students from the European Union and European Economic Area.
Any program taught in Finnish or Swedish languages is also accessible for international students, while programs in English are not.
Aside from these exceptions, you can’t escape tuition fees as a student from Non-EU/EEA country looking to study in Italy for an English program.
Still, some universities make it more feasible to get free higher education, and we’ve reviewed them in this article.
Top Free Finnish Universities to Attend
The truth is that it is enough bad news for international students looking to study in Finland for free as there are currently no universities in the country that extends its tuition-free policy to international students.
The situation was favorable a few years ago. But this does not mean you cannot still study for free in Finland. It is always possible to pursue your dream course in Finland.
The universities that would allow you to study without paying tuition costs place free tuition policies on specific programs or operate certain scholarship/financial aid programs sponsored by the government or private organizations.
Here is our top recommendation:
- Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences
- Novia University of Applied Sciences
- JAMK University of Applied Sciences
- University of Helsinki
- Tampere University
- University of Eastern Finland
- Centria University of Applied Sciences
- University of Vaasa
- Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
- Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology
Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences
- Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences Admission Requirement Page
- Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences Free Tuition Details page
The Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences has a quoted tuition fee of 7,000 EUR for undergraduate programs, while the Master’s program costs 8,000 EUR per academic year. However, it is one of the free universities in Finland due to the scholarship opportunities presented.
The university runs four faculties: The faculty of Health Care and Social Work, the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, the Faculty of Technology, and the Faculty of Business and Culture.
Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences is based in Limaoki and the Seinajoki region of Finland, and most of the programs offered are administered in English.
Novia University of Applied Sciences
- Novia University of Applied Sciences Admission Requirement Page
- Novia University of Applied Sciences Free Tuition Details page
With more than 4,000 students, the Novia University of Applied Sciences is considered one of the best universities in Finland that offers free education.
It has four different locations around different towns in Finland. Although Novia University of Applied Sciences is a relatively young institution, as it has only been operating since 2008, the school is known for training entrepreneurs to have valuable skills through undergraduate and graduate programs.
They offer their educational programs at a tuition fee of 6,000 EUR for undergraduates, while the graduate tuition fee is 11,000 EUR. Still, students are studying in this institution without financial worries over tuition.
Visit the free tuition details of Novia University of Applied Sciences provided above to learn how you can apply for this university without paying for tuition (eligibility involved)
JAMK University of Applied Sciences
- JAMK University of Applied Sciences Admission Requirement Page
- JAMK University of Applied Sciences Free Tuition Details page
The School of Technology, the School of Business, the School of Professional Teacher Education, and the School of Health and Social Studies are the four colleges that are joined together to form the JAMK University of Applied Sciences.
It is one of the free tuition universities in Finland, with six bachelor’s and six master’s programs in various courses in the English language.
The JAMK University of Applied Sciences is home to many international students studying free of charge despite the 8,000 EUR and 9,000 EUR quoted as tuition for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, respectively.
University of Helsinki
It is little surprise that Finland’s oldest and largest university is one of the places where students can study without bothering about tuition.
The University of Helsinki has been operating since 1640 as the Royal Academy of Abò. It has evolved through the years and offers a wide array of disciplines and programs under 11 faculties and 11 research institutes.
The downside of choosing this free university is that the admission process is tricky. The school has been estimated to have a 17 percent accepted rate which means entry is quite competitive, especially for international students.
Another free Finnish University worth considering is Tampere University. It is a public university in Finland that opened its doors a few years ago (precisely in 2019) before the emergence of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
It is a product of the merger between the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology. Tampere university has more than 21,500-degree students, Including Master’s students.
The research university has an acceptance rate of 9 percent but remains one of the popular choices for students on a tight budget but looking to further their education in Finland, hence the competition.
University of Eastern Finland
- University of Eastern Finland Admission Requirement Page
- University of Eastern Finland Free Tuition Details page
The highest fee student would pay as tuition at the University of Eastern Finland is 10,000 EUR. It is another free university in the Finnish world that was birthed by the merger of two other institutions in 2010.
Here, students from EU or EEA countries can pursue either their Master’s or doctorate without tuition fees through the university’s faculties, such as the Faculty of Health Science, Faculty of Science and Forestry, and Faculty of Social Science, among many others.
The University of Eastern Finland has campuses in two of Finland’s largest cities: Kuopio and Joensuu.
Centria University of Applied Sciences
- Centria University of Applied Sciences Admission Requirement Page
- Centria University of Applied Sciences Free Tuition Details page
According to information on its website, the Centria University of Applied Sciences intends to attract more international students. The university presently has over 3,000 students undergoing either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, with branches in three towns across Finland
Students can study for any of the three bachelor’s degrees in the English language, namely Engineering, Health Care, and Business Administration. It also offers one postgraduate degree.
The tuition fee for undergraduates at Centria University of Applied Sciences is between 7,000 EUR to 8,500 EUR.
University of Vaasa
This is ideal for students who want to study for free in Finland, especially with a career focus on business. The University of Vaasa opened its doors as a school of economics in 1968 and evolved through the years to comprise four business-oriented schools.
Here, students are offered courses in finance, energy and sustainable development, research in management and chance, and economic decision-making.
The University of Vaasa has an acceptance rate of 10 percent.
Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
- Diaconia University of Applied Sciences Admission Requirement Page
- Diaconia University of Applied Sciences Free Tuition Details page
The tuition fee for undergraduate programs at Diaconia University of Applied Sciences is between 4,000 EUR and 5,000 EUR, while for postgraduate programs is 6,000 EUR. Still, the university is sponsored by different bodies such as foundations, individuals, and church organizations that allow students to study without tuition once eligible.
The school offers health care, social work, and diaconal work courses. Abbreviated as DIAK, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences has an affiliation with the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, but students of other faith can attend this school without pressured influence.
Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology
- Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology Admission Requirement Page
- Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology Free Tuition Details page
This is another public research university in Finland where students can study without worrying about tuition settlement. The Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology (LUT University) has been running since 1969 and has over six thousand students.
With an acceptance rate of 15 percent, Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology offers free education to eligible students in academic and research fields of engineering, technology, and business.
The average cost of tuition for a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Finnish Universities is 1500 EUR per year, but some institutions charge higher than this.
The chances of getting free education in Finland are more feasible in public universities. But non-EU/EEA students should expect to pay between 5,000 and 15,000 EUR per year as tuition expenses.
When applying for any of these universities, with the preparation that you won’t be paying tuition fees, you also need to consider having funds to cater to your living expenses as a student in Finland.
This is partly why many international students in Finland, especially citizens of nations that do not belong to the EU or EEA, engage in part-time work to earn extra income for miscellaneous bills. A student’s cost of living in Finland ranges from as low as 700 EUR to 1,300 EUR monthly, depending on lifestyle.