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Photo: Finnish Press Agency

More Finns doing higher education degrees abroad

The number of Finns doing higher education degrees abroad keeps growing, show the statistics on financial aid for students compiled by the Finnish Social Insurance Institution Kela. In the 2011–2012 academic year, 5,848 Finns were doing their entire degree abroad, an increase of almost 400 students from the previous year. Most of the Finnish students abroad, 93%, are in higher education.

The biggest growth is seen in the numbers of higher education students heading to Britain and Estonia: there were almost 200 more Finnish students in British higher education, while over 100 more students opted for Estonia in 2011–2012 than the year before.

The Kela statistics on financial aid for students gives approximate information of how many Finns are doing their entire degrees abroad. The statistics excludes those students who finance their degrees by other means.

Most Finns study in Europe

Finnish students have long favoured certain countries above others. Britain kept its position as by far the most popular destination: 1,961 Finns were doing their degrees in the UK, followed by Sweden (948), Estonia (650), the United States (371), Germany (271) and the Netherlands (245).

Most of the Finnish students are studying in Europe. Among the 40 countries listed in the Kela statistics, only a dozen or so are outside Europe, with about 600 Finnish students in all.

Also, certain fields are more popular than others. Economics, business and social sciences (36.7%) are especially popular, as are the humanities and various fields of the arts (34.5%) and social services and health (9.9%).

Gaining a degree abroad appears to be more popular among women than men. As many as 67.5% of those doing their degrees abroad and in receipt of Kela’s financial aid for students were women.


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