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Education made to order in Finland

The Finnish Government submitted its proposal for an amendment to the Universities and Polytechnics Acts at the beginning of October. The amendment is scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2008, and would give universities and polytechnics the right to organise made-to-order degree education for students outside the European Economic Area. According to the proposal such ‘made-to-order’ exported education could be arranged for a group – a company, an association, a state, municipality or the like - but not for individual students. Very importantly, the degree awarding body would be obliged to charge the client at least for the costs incurred from the delivery of the programme. Indeed, the amendment would enable universities to explore the financial opportunities offered by this type of transnational education. The amendment is of special relevance in a country where the current legal framework does not allow institutions to charge tuition fees for degree leading education.

There is clear demand for such made-to-order education services abroad, and many European countries –as well as its main competitors – are already active in this field. Enabling Finnish universities to cater for this demand, too, is seen as crucial for their entry into the international education market, particularly in the Far East and Central Asia. Transnational education activities are also considered an important tool for increased networking with developing universities and other higher education institutions worldwide through a number of partnership arrangements required for the delivery of such made-to-order education. 

Finnish Ministry of Education