Home to the happiest nation on Earth and considered to be the safest place in the world, where even lost wallets are returned to their owners, Finland is a country in Northern Europe with a population of 5.52 million, making it one of the least populated countries in Europe. Interestingly, despite its small size of population, Finland has one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world at almost US$50,000. Besides, it boasts some of the highest standards of living in the world, an upbeat economy, and an unparalleled safety and security milieu. Today, Finland has 39 classical and applied universities that also offer degree programs in the English language. Of these 39 universities, 7 are ranked among the list of the top 500 universities in the world according to the 2020 QS World University Rankings. Moreover, almost 400 degree programs are offered at these 39 universities. Currently, 300,000 students are studying at undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels in Finland. 20,000 of these 300,000 students are international students.
Finland, like Germany, offers free education at all levels to students from the European Union. However, students from other countries do have to pay tuition, which varies according to the university and the degree program being attended.
If you want to earn a degree instructed in English language in any Finnish University, most probably you will have to take an internationally recognized English proficiency test such as IELTS or TOEFL. Let’s see what some of the best universities in Finland are and what their IELTS band requirement is.
IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in Finland
International English Language Testing System or IELTS is an internationally recognized English proficiency exam that non-native English speakers are required to take to prove their level of proficiency in English. It was established in 1989 and is co-managed by the British Council. IELTS is composed of four parts: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. An IELTS result is denominated in bands from 1 to 9 with an increment of 0.5. Besides, an IELTS report card is valid only for two years. The test is offered up to four times a month, and up to 48 times a year. Today, more than 1200 test centers in more than 140 countries offer IELTS test-taking facilities.
Most universities in Finland offering degree programs in the English language require IELTS test scores, although, the minimum IELTS band requirement varies with each university. Let’s take a look at some of these universities and their IELTS band requirements.
1. University of Helsinki
- IELTS band requirement: minimum score 6.5; with a minimum score of 6.0 in the Writing section.
Founded in 1640, and located in the capital city, the University of Helsinki is one of the most prestigious and oldest universities in Finland. It is also the largest university in Finland with an administrative staff spanning over 10,000 members and student body comprising almost 37000 students. The University of Helsinki has an acceptance rate of just 15%. It was ranked as one of the top 100 universities in the world by the 2016 QS World University Rankings. The university offers multiple degree programs in the English language, particularly at masters and doctoral levels.
2. Aalto University
- IELTS band requirement: overall 6.5, minimum 5.5 in Writing.
Aalto University was an ambitious undertaking by the government of Finland. The university was established in 2010 by merging three prestigious Finnish universities namely, the Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics, and the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Today, it is the second-largest university in Finland with an endowment fund of more than €700 million. Besides, the university’s student body comprises more than 17000 students. The university particularly specializes in three major areas: engineering; business studies; and arts, design, and architecture. To submit your application to this university in Finland, you need at least 6.5 IELTS Band.
3. Lappeenranta University of Technology
- IELTS band requirement: overall 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in Writing.
Lappeenranta University of Technology was founded in 1969. The university envisioned unique degree programs that were created by merging business studies and technology. Since 2015, the university has consistently ranked among the top 600 universities in the world by QS World University Ranking. Today, almost 5000 students are pursuing their degrees at LUT University.
4. Tampere University
- IELTS band requirement: minimum score of 6.5.
Although established in early 2019, Tampere University is one of the premier universities in Finland. The university was a product of the merger of two major universities, namely, Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere. Currently, the university has 20,700 students pursuing degrees at undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate levels. The university offers 34 master’s programs and 2 bachelor’s programs in English. The university has been ranked as one of the top 300 global universities. Besides, Tampere University offers degree programs in social sciences, computer science, business and economics, art and humanities, engineering and technology, and physical and health sciences. This university in Finland requires at least IELTS Band of 6.5
5. University of Eastern Finland
- IELTS band requirement: overall 6.5, minimum 5.5 in Writing.
The University of Eastern Finland was founded in 2010 as a result of the merger of two previously independent universities. Home to 15000 students and 2500 staff members, the University of Eastern Finland is one of the largest Finnish universities. The university offers degrees in more than 100 programs, making it one of the most versatile universities in Finland.
6. University of Jyväskylä
- IELTS band requirement: minimum 6.5 for Master’s programs, 7.0 for Ph.D. programs.
The University of Jyväskylä is a research university in Finland and was established in 1934; although it traces its origins to the much older Teacher Training College (founded in 1863). The university is home to some 15000 students and 1500 academic staff members. It is one of the most famous schools in Finland with an acceptance rate of just 10%.
7. University of Oulu
- IELTS band requirement: minimum score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 per each section.
The University of Oulu is one of the premier universities in Finland, situated in the city of Oulu. Founded in 1958, the university is home to almost 14000 students and 3000 staff members. The university offers master’s degree programs in 21 areas of study. Besides, the university has consistently ranked as one of the top 400 universities in the world.
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