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Finland: A) tuition fees for non-EU /EEA students B) New Education Minister

A) Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students  An authoritative working group was set up by the Finnish Ministry of Education earlier this year to explore the possibilities of charging tuition fees to non-EU nationals. The committee's report suggests the introduction of tuition fees for students who are citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA. The fees, between € 3 500 and 12 000 per academic year, would be targeted at Bachelor and Master level students at universities and polytechnics. Foreign citizens who have entered the country for at least two years prior to the study, and whose stay can be considered permanent, would be exempted from tuition fees. Talented and financially needy students would be supported through a new scholarship scheme to be administered by the Centre for International Mobility (CIMO). According to the working group, the new fee policy aims to strengthen the competitiveness of Finnish higher education institutions, as well as improve the quality of instruction and services. The government is due to introduce the bill to the parliament by the end of the year. The tuition fees are to come into use in the academic year 2007/2008. B) New Education Minister The new Finnish Education Minister, Mr Antti Kalliomäki (SDP), was appointed in September. Mr Kalliomäki, originally a teacher of physical education, was the former Minister of Finance (2003-2005), and the Minister of Trade and Industry between 1995 and 1999. He has been a member of the Finnish parliament since 1983.  Finnish Ministry of Education