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Recommendation for admission criteria in university on applied sciences (UAS) Bachelor’s degree programmes 2017

Eligibility for Bachelor’s degree programmes ι Proving eligibility  ι Admissions criteria ι Conversion formula for EB, IB and Reifeprüfung Diplomas ι Applying through discretionary admission ι Evidence of language proficiency as part of admissions ι Work experience ι  Accessible student admission – special arrangements for entrance examinations

Eligibility for Bachelor’s degree programmes

Provisions on eligibility for universities of applied sciences are contained in the Polytechnics Act (932/2014).

You can apply to a Bachelor’s degree programme if you have completed:

  • the Finnish general upper secondary school syllabus and/or the matriculation examination;
  • an International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma;
  • a European Baccalaureate (EB) Diploma;
  • Reifeprüfung (RP) Diploma;
  • a Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification with a scope of 120 credit units or 180 credit points, or a comparable previous Finnish vocational qualification with a minimum scope of 80 credit units;
  • a Finnish post-secondary or higher vocational level diploma;
  • a Finnish  vocational  upper  secondary  qualification  or  a  further  or  specialist  vocational qualification as a competence-based qualification, or a comparable previous qualification; or
  • foreign qualification that provides eligibility for higher education studies in the awarding country

As a basic assumption, the qualification requirements listed in this Recommendation for admissions criteria always refer to a Finnish qualification unless otherwise stated.

A higher education degree does not confer eligibility unless otherwise specified in the admissions criteria of the programme in question. For some programmes, universities of applied sciences may require a specific qualification or other evidence.

Some universities of applied sciences may, at their discretion, consider an applicant to be eligible for a specific programme if the UAS in question deems that he or she possesses sufficient knowledge and skills for UAS studies in that programme.

Proving eligibility

Applicants must have completed the qualification used in the application procedure in time for a copy of the certificate to reach the relevant university of applied sciences by the deadline specified in advance following the publication of admission results (see the Schedule Appendix).

Applicants with a Finnish qualification certificate need not submit copies of their certificates, as only the certificates of those admitted as students will be checked. However, this does not apply to applicants who have taken the Finnish matriculation examination prior to 1990, as they will need to submit copies of their certificates to the admissions offices of the relevant universities of applied sciences by the deadline specified in advance (see the Schedule Appendix).

In order to prove their eligibility, applicants with a non-Finnish qualification certificate must submit a copy of the final certificate used as the basis for application by the deadline specified in advance (see the Schedule Appendix) to the admissions office of the university of applied sciences marked as the first choice on their application form, which will then decide on each applicant’s eligibility for all UAS programmes they have selected. However, this does not apply to EU/EEA citizens graduating during the application period, who will need to submit certificate copies by another deadline specified in advance (see the Schedule Appendix). Only final qualification certificates can be accepted; no provisional or temporary certificates will be accepted.

In addition, each applicant must submit a copy of his or her qualification certificate translated into Finnish, Swedish or English by an official (authorised) translator if the original document is in none of these languages. Such translations must be signed and stamped by the translator. The translations must be submitted by the deadline specified in advance (see the Schedule Appendix)  to the admissions offices of the relevant universities of applied sciences.

If an applicant is a refugee or in a refugee-like situation and is unable to submit documentary evidence of his or her qualification, a university of applied sciences may invite the applicant to sit an entrance examination. The applicant must have an official decision attesting to his or her refugee status (a decision to grant asylum or a residence permit issued on the basis of need for protection). The applicant must submit a copy of this decision to the admissions office of each university of applied sciences to which he or she is applying by the deadline specified in advance (see the Schedule Appendix).

Admissions criteria

Each university of applied sciences will determine which of the following selection methods are to be used for each programme choice and allocate a certain number of places to each selection method. Depending on their educational backgrounds, applicants are included in the selection methods used in their chosen field.

Each university of applied sciences will determine the number of reserve places per programme and include this information in the application instructions.

Scoring tables relating to points awarded for school performance are included in the field-specific recommendations for admissions criteria.

The maximum admission score is as follows:

SELECTION METHOD 1: ENTRANCE EXAMINATION 

Entrance examination                              40/70/100 points

Universities of applied science may reserve some of the intake places allocated to selection method 1 for applicants with a vocational qualification. (The quota includes holders of a vocational upper secondary qualification, a further vocational qualification, a specialist vocational qualification or a post- secondary or higher vocational level diploma). Universities of applied sciences will announce the size of the quota for vocational qualification holders in each programme.

In cases of equal admission scores under selection method 1, applicants will be ranked on the following grounds:

  1. entrance examination points
  2. applicant’s first-choice programme on the application

If these criteria fail to produce a difference between tied applicants, a university of applied sciences may choose to admit all or  none of  the equally ranked applicants, or the applicants may be automatically selected by lots drawn by a computer system.

SELECTION METHOD 2: SCHOOL PERFORMANCE AND ENTRANCE EXAMINATION (only available for those applying with a matriculation examination certificate) 

Alternative  2 A
School performance 30 points (matriculation examination grades)
Entrance examination 70 points
Total 100 points
Alternative  2 B
School performance 60 points (matriculation examination grades)
Entrance examination  40 points
Total  100 points

In cases of equal admission scores under selection method 2, applicants will be ranked on the following grounds:

  1. entrance examination points
  2. points for school performance
  3. applicant’s first-choice programme on the application

If these criteria fail to produce a difference between tied applicants, a university of applied sciences may choose to admit all or  none of  the equally ranked applicants, or the applicants may be automatically selected by lots drawn by a computer system.

SELECTION METHOD 3: SCHOOL PERFORMANCE (only available to those applying with a matriculation examination certificate 

Alternative 3 A
School performance 30 points (matriculation examination grades)
Alternative  3 B
School performance 60 points (matriculation examination grades)

In cases of equal admission scores under selection method 3, applicants will be ranked on the following grounds:

  1. points for school performance
  2. applicant’s first-choice programme on the application

If these criteria fail to produce a difference between tied applicants, a university of applied sciences may choose to admit all or  none of  the equally ranked applicants, or the applicants may be automatically selected by lots drawn by a computer system.

SELECTION METHOD 4: ENTRANCE EXAMINATION AND WORK EXPERIENCE

Entrance examination   70 points
Work experience  30 points
Total  100 points

In cases of equal admission scores, applicants to universities of applied sciences will be ranked on the following grounds:

  1. entrance examination points
  2. points for work experience
  3. applicant’s first-choice programme on the application

If these criteria fail to produce a difference between tied applicants, a university of applied sciences may choose to admit all or  none of  the equally ranked applicants, or the applicants may be automatically selected by lots drawn by a computer system.

The university of applied sciences may cancel admission if an applicant fails to submit qualification certificates/certificates of employment by the specified deadline, or if an applicant has provided false information.

Conversion formula for EB, IB and Reifeprüfung Diplomas

Applicants who have completed an International Baccalaureate (IB), a European Baccalaureate (EB) or a Reifeprüfung (RP) Diploma will convert their diploma grades according to the following conversion table:

Comparability of subjects included in IB, EB and RP Diplomas with subjects in the Finnish matriculation examination

EB Diploma IB Diploma Reifeprüfung Diploma Finnish matriculation examination
Mathematics Other subject-specific test
9.50–10.00 9.00–10.00 7 (Excellent) 13–15 points Laudatur
8.50–9.45 8.00–8.95 6 (Very good) 10–12 points Eximia cum laude approbatur
7.00–8.45 7.00–7.95 5 (Good) 8–9 points Magna cum laude approbatur
6.00–6.95 6.00–6.95 4 (Satisfactory) 7 points Cum laude approbatur
5.00–5.95 5.00–5.95 3 (Mediocre) 5–6 points Lubenter approbatur
4.00–4.95 4.00–4.95 2  (Poor) 4 points Approbatur

Comparability of subjects included in the IB Diploma with subjects in the Finnish matriculation examination 

IB Diploma Finnish matriculation examination
GROUP 1: student’s mother tongue
A language – the language the student knows best, usually mother tongue Mother tongue
GROUP 2: foreign languages
Level B 2nd national language, advanced syllabus
Foreign language, advanced syllabus
Foreign language, basic syllabus
GROUPS 3 and 4: General subjects
Other subject General subjects
*Biology *Biology
*Physics *Physics
*Chemistry *Chemistry
GROUP 5: mathematics
Mathematics High level & Standard level Advanced syllabus in mathematics
Mathematical studies Basic syllabus in mathematics

* Only used in the field of Technology. In other fields, these are included in general subjects.

Comparability of subjects included in the EB Diploma with subjects in the Finnish matriculation examination 

EB Diploma Finnish matriculation examination
1st language (L1) Mother tongue
2nd language (L2) 2nd national language, advanced syllabus
3rd language (L3) Foreign language, advanced syllabus
4th language (L4) Foreign language, basic syllabus
Other subject General subjects
*Biology *Biology
*Physics *Physics
*Chemistry *Chemistry
Mathematics

Standard level (5 classes)

Advanced syllabus in mathematics
Mathematics Elementary level (3 classes) Basic syllabus in mathematics

* Only used in the field of Technology. In other fields, these are included in general subjects.

Comparability and scores of subjects included in the RP Diploma with subjects in the Finnish matriculation examination

The points received for the Reifeprüfung Diploma are converted into comparable matriculation examination points by dividing the score for the section “Prüfungsergebnis in vierfacher Wertung” by four (for example 48/4 = 12 = E) or for the section “Prüfungsergebnis in dreifacher Wertung” by three (for example 27/3 = 9 = M).

RP Diploma Finnish matriculation examination
Muttersprachliches Niveau Mother tongue
Second language Mother tongue
A language Foreign language, advanced syllabus
B1, B2 and B3 language Foreign language, basic syllabus
Other subject General subjects
*Biology *Biology
*Physics *Physics
*Chemistry *Chemistry
Mathematics, advanced syllabus Advanced syllabus in mathematics
Mathematics Basic syllabus in mathematics

* Only used in the field of Technology. In other fields, these are included in general subjects.

Applying through discretionary admission

Each university of applied sciences decides on discretionary admissions by programme. Anyone applying through discretionary admission is required to submit copies of the certificates that he or she wishes to use to the admissions office of each university of applied sciences to which he or she is applying by the deadline specified in advance (see the Schedule Appendix). Discretion only concerns an applicant’s eligibility to apply.

Evidence of language proficiency as part of admissions

Finnish or Swedish language test

A university of applied sciences may organise a Finnish or Swedish language test for applicants whose mother tongue and/or schooling language is different from its language of instruction. A person is considered to have received his or her schooling in the language in which he or she has received an approved grade in Finnish or Swedish studied as the mother tongue on the final certificate awarded for studies referred to in the Basic Education Act (628/1998) or the General Upper Secondary Schools Act (629/1998), or comparable studies. A schooling language may also refer to the language in which a person has passed the mother tongue test in the matriculation examination, or in which the person has received at least the grade magna cum laude approbatur for the Finnish or Swedish as a second language test.

Instead of a language test, it is also possible to accept skills demonstrated in speaking, listening comprehension, writing and reading comprehension at least at skills level 4 of the National Certificate of Language Proficiency test as evidence of Finnish or Swedish language proficiency. Completion of the oral and written skills tests included in the Civil Service Language Proficiency Certificate examination at least at skills level ‘good’ may also be accepted as comparable proof of Finnish or Swedish language proficiency.

English language proficiency in degree programmes provided in English

Excellent skills in English are required for success in degree programmes provided in English. The applicants’ language proficiency is assessed in the entrance examination. For a more detailed description of the examination, see the admissions criteria for specific fields.

When applying to a degree programme provided in English, the applicants need not submit evidence of language proficiency.

Work experience

When calculating the points for work experience, only experience obtained at the age of 18 or over and by no later than 31 July 2017 for the spring application period and by no later than 31 December 2017 for the autumn period will be taken into account. One point is awarded for two months of general work experience (not necessarily in the field of the programme). The maximum score for work experience is 30 points.

Points may only be awarded for work experience when a certificate issued by the employer is produced. The certificates of successful candidates will be checked. An employment certificate must indicate details such as the exact start and end dates of employment, the employer’s contact information, work duties, as well as working hours for part-time work. Certificates of employment need not be submitted during the application period. Instructions for submitting employment certificates are included in the Schedule Appendix. Military or non-military national service, women’s voluntary military service or child-care leave will not be counted towards work experience. Work placements or on-the-job learning will not be regarded as work experience if they are included in a qualification used in the application.

Entrepreneurship will be accepted as work experience if an applicant can produce a certificate attesting that he or she is or has been covered under the statutory YEL or MYEL pension scheme (YEL = statutory pension scheme for entrepreneurs; MYEL = statutory pension scheme for farmers, forest estate owners, fishers and reindeer herders and their family members). Enterprising activities abroad should be substantiated with comparable official documents.

When converting part-time work into its full-time equivalent, 150 hours or 20 working days lasting at least 7 hours per day correspond to one month of work. Work experience does not have to be continuous or obtained with the same employer. The amount of work experience points awarded for simultaneous employment relationships may not exceed the amount awarded for full-time employment. If an original employment certificate is in a language other than Finnish, Swedish or English, the applicant must submit a copy of the certificate translated into Finnish, Swedish or English by an official (authorised) translator, bearing the translator’s name, signature and stamp, along with the      copy of the original certificate to the relevant admissions offices.

For the details of any requirements concerning programme-specific work experience, see the recommendations for admissions criteria of each programme.

Accessible student admission – special arrangements for entrance examinations

An applicant may submit a separate application to request the right to special arrangements for taking an entrance examination. The same application form is used by all higher education institutions, and it can be found on the website of each institution. The application should indicate the types of special arrangements being requested and the grounds for the request. The applicant should enclose copies of the certificates to which he or she makes appeal.

Please note: Documents verifying dyslexia must have been issued within the last 5 (five) years. In addition, documents verifying a permanent disability, illness or learning disability must have been issued within the last 5 (five) years. The period of validity of other documents will be decided case-by-case

In cases where an issue entitling an applicant to special arrangements already exists during the application period, an application for special arrangements for entrance examinations must be submitted by the common deadline decided by the universities of applied sciences (see the Schedule Appendix). The applicant must submit a separate application to each university of applied sciences to which he or she has submitted an application. A university of applied sciences may provide additional instructions, for example related to two-stage admissions. The application should be submitted to the admissions offices of the relevant higher education institutions.

If an issue entitling an applicant to special arrangements emerges or is identified between the end of the application period and the entrance examination date, the applicant must submit an application for special arrangements to the admissions offices of each university of applied sciences arranging the entrance examinations that he or she intends to take without delay. A university of applied sciences may deny an applicant the right to special arrangements if such arrangements are impossible to implement, for example because of schedule-related reasons.

Decisions on special arrangements for entrance examinations are specific to each programme choice and a decision is only valid on a specific examination date. Procedures indicated by good governance must be followed when making the decisions. Any attachments to applications for special arrangements shall be secret.