Finnish university invites students fleeing Ukraine war to complete their studies

Finnish university invites students fleeing Ukraine war to complete their studies
2 min read
13 March, 2022
All students, regardless of nationality, can apply to attend classes for free until next fall. These would count towards the completion of their degree in Ukraine.
The University of Helsinki, a public university located in the Finnish capital, has extended its invitation to all students fleeing Ukraine. [Universal Images Group via Getty]

The University of Helsinki has invited students forced to abandon their studies in Ukraine to continue them at the Finnish institution for free.

"University of Helsinki grants the right to complete non-degree studies to persons who have arrived in Finland and whose degree studies have been suspended at the Ukrainian higher education institution due to war," the university announced on its website.

Non-degree studies "means that you get [university] credits, but they are not binded to any degree, so you can transfer them to any degree where they fit, for example to the degree that you were working on in Ukraine," Minna Huotilainen, a professor of educational sciences at the University of Helsinki, told The New Arab. "This way, [students] don't waste any time in their studies, which is a crucial aspect for many."

The university extended this invitation to all students forced to interrupt their higher studies in Ukraine - regardless of their nationality

Although its main teaching languages are Finnish and Swedish, the university also offers English-language Masters degree programs. 

Over 10,000 Arab nationals were enrolled in Ukrainian universities before Russia's invasion, attracted by the relatively low cost of education and life in the country.

The initiative could bring immense relief to them and to other foreign students - especially if it is replicated by other institutions. 

"I think many universities are right now in the process of offering something to students escaping from Ukraine," Huotilainen added.

Foreign students wishing to study in Finland would however remain subjected to Finland's normal visa and immigration requirement.

Applications will be processed until the end of 2022 without application deadlines and no fees will be charged for non-degree studies, at least until the fall of 2023.