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Education export and tuition fees à la Finland

The Finnish Government has recently adopted a resolution on the country’s education export strategy. Finland’s explicit goal is to be “one of the world’s leading economies in terms of education and its quality” and to increase the share of education of its total exports within the next five years.

In line with these objectives Finland is now launching its largest education export programme in Abu Dhabi, interestingly. On 14 June Abu Dhabi Education Council and EduCluster Finland Ltd, owned by the University of Jyväskylä, signed a long-term contract aimed at improving the education system of Abu Dhabi in general and the primary education of children aged 6-10 in particular.  The contract covers a five year period, with Finland agreeing to facilitate the adoption of the Finnish education system’s best practices into the education system in Abu Dhabi.

The education export strategy is not expected to affect Finland’s principle of free education. However, Finland is testing out the application of tuition fees for master’s programmes taught in foreign languages. This pilot project will run for the next five years, covering 130 master’s programmes, and targeting citizens from outside EU/EEA countries. The specific tuition fee amounts will be decided on an institutional basis.

Finnish Ministry for Education and Culture

University of Jyväskylä