Statistics show Britain remains favourite of Finnish degree students

In 2010–2011, 5,052 students from Finland were doing their entire higher education degree abroad, assisted by student financial aid from the Finnish government. This aid is paid out by the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, Kela. Also, more than 400 students were studying abroad at other levels of education, mostly (268 students) in vocational education and training. Compared to 2009–2010, there was a rise of almost 500 degree students abroad who were granted student financial aid. Of these, 460 were in higher education.

Most (4,148) of the Finnish students entitled to student financial aid are doing their higher education degree in another EU country. Britain is by far the top destination: 1,727 Finnish students were pursuing a degree in a British institution of higher education in 2010–2011. Next in line were Sweden (with 814 students), Estonia (528), Germany (253), the Netherlands (215) and Denmark (127 Finnish students). Outside Europe, the list was topped by the United States (337) and Australia (126).

Finnish students’ favourite field were the Humanities (with 2,041 students), followed by Business and Economics (953), Social and Behavioural Sciences (733) and advanced studies in the Arts field (516).

The number of Finnish degree students abroad in receipt of student financial aid declined from the early 2000s to the academic year 2006–2007. It has now re-reached the figures of the first years of the millennium.

Britain has remained the Finnish students’ favourite country throughout. A new entry among the top countries is the Netherlands, which has seen a steady increase in the number of Finnish degree students. However, the sharpest growth has taken place in Estonia, where the figures have doubled since 2005.

The Kela statistics on student financial aid give approximate information about the numbers of Finnish degree students abroad. Excluded from these statistics are those students who finance their degrees with other means.

In addition to those doing their entire degrees abroad, thousands of Finnish students also take part in student exchanges. Statistics on them are compiled by CIMO. These statistics show that Finnish institutions of higher education sent 10,123 students on an exchange in 2010. Of the exchange students in 2010–2011, 7,874 were granted student financial aid by Kela.

(2 March 2012 / TL)