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Photo: Tiina Lehmusvaara

FIRST+ programme

The FIRST+ programme (FinnishRussian Student and Teacher Exchange Programme) promotes partnerships and collaboration of higher education institutions in Finland and Russia. The programme supports student and teacher mobility between Finnish and Russian higher education institutions and the organisation of joint intensive courses in Russia.

FIRST+ follows the FIRST programme (2000–2016), which supported high-quality cooperation between higher education institutions in Finland and north-west Russia. FIRST+ covers the whole of Russia and is open to all fields of education.

The programme is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI).

Network collaboration between higher education institutions

The FIRST+ network involves at least one higher education institution in Finland and one in Russia. The network is always coordinated by a Finnish institution, which submits a funding application to EDUFI on behalf of the whole network, assumes responsibility for the use of grants and reports to EDUFI.

The higher education institutions that are part of the programme undertake to offer the participating students tuition fee waivers. It is recommended that the participating Russian institutions prepare a FIRST+ Statement, in which they describe their cooperation with Finnish higher education institutions and the practices for organising the exchanges.