Finland is a country in Northern Europe, bordering Sweden and Norway to the east and north, and Russia to the east. It has a population of 5.5 million, and the official languages are Finnish and Swedish. The capital and largest city in Finland is Helsinki, with a population of 1.5 million.

Finland, like the rest of the Nordic countries, consistently ranks at the top of various metrics such as freedom of the press, quality of life and education, health care, economic performance, and more. Finland is also labeled as “the happiest country in the world”. Due to these high standards, many international students are looking to continue their education in this country, so in this article, we will be giving you cheap universities you can apply for in Finland.

Affordable Schools in Finland for International Students

1. Diaconia University of Applied Sciences

Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, also referred to as DIAK, is the cheapest university in Finland for international students. It is also one of Finland’s largest providers of social work personnel. The university offers instruction in social work, health care, diaconal work, and interpreting. Diak is a privately owned institution, with the main shareholders being various church organizations and foundations. Despite its connections to the Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Finland, students are not required to follow that faith, and students from many faiths, beliefs, and nationalities attend the university.

2. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences

Kajaani University is a university of applied sciences located in the small town of Kajaani, which sits in the heart of Finland. Much like the town that it’s in, the university is also quite small. However, that hasn’t stopped it from achieving tremendous success, and its teaching is considered the best in Finland according to the Ministry of Education and Culture. The student satisfaction rate was also the highest out of any Finnish university in 2019. These accolades will surely increase the university’s popularity, and attract many more students from Finland and beyond.

Kajaani University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Finnish, while there are also four bachelor’s: International Business, Sports and Leisure Management, Tourism, Esports Business, and one master’s degree in International Business Management, which are taught in English.

3. Novia University of Applied Sciences

The Novia University of Applied Sciences has locations in four towns across Western Finland. This cheap university in Finland was founded in 2008 following a merger, and it offers bachelor’s and master’s programs mainly taught in Swedish, but there are also a handful of English programs, mainly related to the fields of Technology and Engineering.

The main aim of Novia is to inspire and educate aspiring entrepreneurs, by teaching them valuable skills that will help them create and realize their ideas. As part of the study programs, Novia also offers its students different internship placements, thanks to the university’s close cooperation with local companies.

4. Centria University of Applied Sciences

Centria University of Applied Sciences is a higher education institution located in 3 towns in the Ostrobothnia region of Finland. Internationalization is one of the key objectives of the university, thus they began offering 3 bachelor’s degrees in English: Business Administration, Engineering, and Health Care, as well as one master’s degree. While the university is still relatively small, it is looking to expand in the upcoming years, and attracting more international students is one of its major priorities to help it achieve that goal.

5. Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences

The Seinajoki University of Applied Sciences is a municipality-owned university located in the towns of Seinajoki and Ilmaoki in South Ostrobothnia, Finland. There are four faculties as part of this affordable university in Finland, and those are the Faculty of Business and Culture, the Faculty of Food and Agriculture, the Faculty of Health Care and Social Work, and the Faculty of Technology. Out of all the faculties, three programs are completely taught in English, those being the degree programs in International Business and Nursing, and the Master’s program in International Business Management.

6. JAMK University of Applied Sciences

Next on our list of cheap universities in Finland for international students is JAMK University, a university of applied sciences located in two different towns in the region of Central Finland. The university offers 6 bachelor’s and 6 master’s degrees in various subjects in English, which are very attractive to international students. The university consists of four schools: the School of Business, the School of Health and Social Studies, the School of Technology, and the School of Professional Teacher Education.

All of the programs are carried out in a very modern and international environment, with students coming from every corner of the world.

7. University of Eastern Finland

The University of Eastern Finland was formed in 2010 after a merger of two universities. It has campuses in Joensuu and Kuopio, two of the largest cities in Eastern Finland. The two campuses are located 130km apart. This cheap university in Finland offers master’s and doctorate programs and consists of four faculties: the Faculty of Philosophy, the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies.

The University is very active when it comes to international collaboration, and has agreements with 70 universities from all over the world.

8. Arcada University of Applied Sciences

The Arcada University of Applied Sciences is based in the capital of Finland – Helsinki and is owned by the Arcada Foundation. Most of the programs are carried out in Swedish, but there are also 3 bachelor’s and 4 master’s programs available in English. Aside from degree programs, there is also a large number of specialized courses for working professionals. Arcada offers programs in various fields, including business, nursing, data analytics, and more. There is a large number of Swedish students at the university, and the English programs are also very popular with international students.

9. Tampere University

Tampere is a very young university, having been founded in 2019, after the merger of two previously distinct universities. The universities in question are the Tampere University, and the Tampere University of Applied Sciences, which work in close collaboration. The university has a tradition of being deeply rooted in the core of the city of Tampere, and its alumni are world leaders in many different fields all over the world.

10. University of Vaasa

We end our list of the cheapest universities in Finland for international students with the University of Vaasa, a business-oriented university based in Vassa, on the west coast of Finland. What started as a school of economics has now evolved into a university that consists of four schools that cover different important subjects: Accounting and Finance, Management, Marketing and Communications, and Technology and Innovations. The university currently has 5,000 students across the different degree programs, making it one of the largest business universities in Finland.

Vassa is the sunniest town in Finland and is a cultural and tourist stronghold in Western Finland, which makes it a hotspot for international students, and those interested in economics and business waste no time in applying to the University of Vassa.

FAQS About Studying in Finland

What Are the General Requirements to Study in Finland?

To apply to a Finnish university, you need to provide them with a copy of your high school diploma, as well as a transcript of your grades. Some universities also require an admission exam and an English language test such as IELTS or TOEFL.

Read also: How to Study in Finland for Free

Do Universities in Finland Offer English-taught Programs?

Yes. While the main languages of instruction in Finland are Finnish and Swedish, there are also a handful of programs available in English. Some examples of this are the three English programs that are available at the Arcada University of Applied Sciences, while the Centria University of Applied Sciences offers a master’s degree in business administration that is taught in English.

Do Universities in Finland Offer Scholarships to International Students?

Yes, there are plenty of scholarships that are available in Finland. In addition, many universities in Finland offer low tuition for international students, so try to take your pick among the universities listed below.

We hope that this article will help you decide on which school to pursue in Finland. If you want to know more about courses in Europe, check out our Available Programs for International Students! Do take time to read articles about Finlan by visiting the Study in Finland page!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

Share this article via

12 Comments

  1. Anonymous November 21, 2023 10:21 pm - Reply

    Hi, upon getting the admission, will I be permitted to come with my family ?

    • Hyun Lee February 3, 2024 11:11 am - Reply

      Yes, student visa in Finland allows you to come with your family.

      • John February 19, 2024 1:33 am - Reply

        I am from Nigeria. I would love to do my master’s degree in Finland. I would love to have a contact person who can enlighten me on what to do.

        • Hyun Lee February 19, 2024 3:12 pm - Reply

          Hello, We do offer consulting service, and if you are interested, please fill out this form.