When you think about university studies, you probably think partying, exam week stress, negative bank balance and late nights spent working to meet essay deadlines. However, not all university experiences are created equal. In Finland, for example, when you compare to countries like the United Kingdom, there are many perks that make the whole affair less stressful and more an experience of a lifetime.
1. You’re free to do what you want
Finland is big on academic freedom. In practice this means that Finnish universities give students the responsibility to decide when to do different modules, unlike in the UK, where the study schedule is predetermined.
What’s more, there’s a wide variety to choose from too. Students have the chance to pick the most useful or alternatively the quirkiest combos of minor studies to go with their major subject. This means that students graduate with a useful and vast set of skills.
Some modules even offer the possibility of taking an electronic exam and deciding when to take it within a given time frame. No more sitting through those excruciating exam weeks. Instead, you can enjoy the invigorating presence of exam papers whenever you feel like it. This flexibility also means it’s easier to fit a part-time job into your schedule and earn some extra cash. Hurrah!
2. You’re guaranteed a top quality education
Finland is renowned for its high standard education system. This isn’t just the Finnish opinion as 70% of expats say the quality of education is excellent, according to a survey by InterNation. The global average is 21%. What’s more, the World Economic Forum ranked Finland 2nd in higher education and training in the 2017—2018 Global Competitiveness Index. Multiply that by 10 and you get the United Kingdom’s standing.
Another thing that defines Finnish education is the high level of equality. Everyone has equal chances to receive excellent schooling. In universities, this equality is visible through a flat hierarchy between students and professors. Students can actually sit down at the same table and have a conversation with the professors, using their first name without honorifics.
When it comes to gender equality, you only need to leaf through a history book or two to find out Finland was the second country in the world, first in Europe, to give women full political rights. In the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Finland came 3rd place. Probably no need to mention that the United Kingdom was far behind, ranking 15th.
3. You’ll find it easier to focus on study
Although there’s plenty of fun to be had in Finland, Finnish universities have many useful systems to keep your mind focused on learning. The keyword here is functionality. You can take care of most things online wherever you are, like your student apartment letting contract. University cities have trustworthy public transport that’s on time and cheap for students – and it runs even when the ground is covered in snow. That’s a detail about Finland worth mentioning. Unlike in the UK, winter doesn’t stop the country from functioning.
It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t have to worry about personal safety in Finland. In fact, the country was ranked as the safest in the world in the World Economic Forum's The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017, while the United Kingdom was the 78th.
4. You’ll get top notch student accommodation
Not only is the Finnish student accommodation much cheaper than the country’s housing on average but it’s also modern, functional and high quality. Students have the possibility of shared living or to have more personal space in studios or even in family accommodation.
Mould, draft, leaking ceilings and rats are some of the everyday extras that come with the UK student housing. In Finland, you get an endless reserve of hot water rushing through a power shower head, trustworthy and fast housing repair services and central heating that never lets you down, even in the depths of winter.
5. You’ll have a better chance of staying after uni
When Brexit comes into effect in spring 2019, staying in the UK will become much more difficult for non-citizens. In spring 2019, staying in Finland will be just as easy as it is now if not easier. What makes it even smoother is that although Finns use this crazy caveman-sounding language for communication – whenever they do get around to small-talk, that is – they’re also very happy to converse with you in English. Nevertheless, we do suggest learning Finnish to improve your chances of attracting a job.
There you have it, five very compelling reasons why Finnish universities wins big in comparison to those in the UK and beyond. If you need any more info be sure to head on over here. You won’t be disappointed.
Over 65 Master's degree programmes to choose from
Finland University combines the leading research power of its renown member universities: the University of Eastern Finland, Tampere University, the University of Turku, and the Åbo Akademi University. The member universities offer a wide range of Master’s Degree programmes.
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Laura Suihkonen has studied in both in Finland and the UK and is now working on her Master’s at Tampere University. When she’s not immersed in her thesis, she’s busy working wonders with words as a Junior Copywriter at Ink Tank Media.