In the beginning of June, the Finnish government proposed in its supplementary budget proposal to allocate a total of €124 million to additional student places in Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences. By adding student places, the government aims to minimise the challenges caused to citizens by the COVID-19 pandemic, such as youth unemployment and the threat of exclusion.
In early June, Finnish universities jointly announced (article in Finnish only) that they were prepared to increase the number of student places. Furthermore, the universities noted that the place additions would require sufficient resources in order to avoid harming the quality of university education due to expansions related to education.
In its meeting held on 17 June, the Board of the University of Helsinki decided to propose to the Ministry of Education and Culture that a maximum of 450 new student places be added to the degree programmes starting in autumn 2020 or in 2021, provided that the Ministry allocates the required funds. Tentatively, places will be added throughout the University, particularly in the Faculty of Science and the Faculty of Educational Sciences, especially in the field of early childhood education in the case of the latter. The disciplines of logopedics and psychology are also increasing their intake proportionally by a substantial margin.
“When allocating additional student places, the University has taken into consideration, among other things, future workforce needs in the long term, the attractiveness of programmes and, in general, the possibility of increasing the number of places while safeguarding the quality of education on such short notice,” says Director of Development Susanna Niinistö-Sivuranta of the University of Helsinki.
All new additional student places available in autumn 2020 at the University of Helsinki will be added here discipline by discipline on 18 June 2020 after the Ministry of Education and Culture has made a final decision on their funding.
The student places for teacher training in early childhood education have recently been a topic of public discussion. The University of Helsinki is aware that the shortage of early education teachers poses a challenge to both the municipalities and families of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area as well as to the quality of early childhood education. The University wishes to increase – and has in recent years already increased – the number of places available in early childhood teacher education and in studies that provide the relevant qualifications. At the same time, the University needs to guarantee the quality of the education it provides, which is why student places are added according to funding awarded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and in a systematic manner that ensures that a sufficient number of teachers are available for recruitment.
In total, at least 120 additional student places will be offered this and next year at the University of Helsinki in early childhood teacher training, as either conversion training or degree education. Part of the additional student places can be organised with funding separately awarded by the Ministry of Education and Culture to the University of Helsinki for continuous learning.
The increase in the number of student places in different disciplines requires no action from applicants who applied through the joint application procedure. However, applicants should apprise themselves of the information published on the Studyinfo website. Admissions results will be published on the website by 15 July.