Skip to content

Recommendation for admission criteria in university on applied sciences (UAS) Bachelor’s degree programmes 2018

Eligibility | Admissions criteria | Conversion formula for EB, IB and Reifeprüfung Diplomas | Applying through discretionary admission | Evidence of language proficiency as part of admissions | Work experience | 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 country in question.

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 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.

In order to prove their eligibility, applicants with a non-Finnish qualification certificate must submit a copy of the certificate used as the basis for application by the deadline specified in advance  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.

A provisional certificate issued by the educational institution on the graduation of the applicant will be accepted as a certificate that demonstrates the applicant’s eligibility to apply if the applicant’s official diploma cannot be delivered in advance within the stated deadline due to an action taken by the authorities or any equivalent reason.

Those applying with an IB, EB or RP Diploma will need to submit certificate copies by a deadline specified in advance.

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 to the admissions offices of the relevant universities of applied sciences. Only final qualification certificates can be accepted; no provisional or temporary certificates will be accepted.

A person with refugee status or an asylum seeker may apply and be accepted to study in education just as any other eligible citizen of Finland or any other country.

It the applicant is a refugee, has status comparable to a refugee or is an asylum seeker, and he or she cannot thus verify his or her previous degree with relevant documentation, the higher education institution may invite the applicant to take an entrance exam or, if necessary, submit the application for academic assessment. The higher education institution of the degree programme will use the report requested from the applicant as basis for making the decision on whether the documentation on the previous degree is sufficient. The expert working group of Finnish universities of applied sciences recommends that UAS accepts also Alien’s passports, which have the note “identity not confirmed” yet UAS can decide otherwise.

The applicant must have a decision by the authorities concerning his or her status (decision on asylum or residence permit on the basis of protection). The applicant must submit a copy of the relevant decision within a previously notified time limit to the admissions services of all the higher education institutions where he or she is applying.

In order to declare his or her status, an asylum seeker who has not yet been granted a decision may verify his or her status by presenting an identity card with his or her photograph granted by Migri and, when required by the degree programme, a fee-based (€20) pending application by Migri that states that the applicant is permitted to legally reside in Finland during the time when his or her case is being processed, i.e. until a lawful decision has been made on the case.

A person with refugee status i.e. asylum

Residence outside of one’s country of origin or country of former habitual residence owing to a justified fear of being persecuted in the country concerned. The reason for persecution must be the person’s origin, religion, nationality, membership in a certain social group, or political opinions. It is also assumed that because of the person’s fear, he or she is unwilling to turn to the country concerned for protection.

A person whose status is comparable to a refugee is a person provided with subsidiary protection

The person faces a risk of being subjected to the death penalty, execution, torture or other inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment in his or her home country or country of former habitual residence. A permit may also be issued if the person is unable to return to his or her home country or country of former habitual residence without being exposed to serious and individual threat as a result of an armed conflict in the country concerned.

Document forgery and misuse may lead to criminal responsibility and belongs to police authority.

Admissions criteria

Universities of applied sciences utilise upper secondary qualifications in their student selection more than at present, and they will give up entrance examinations requiring long preparations. Higher education institutes will increase their cooperation with the organisers of upper secondary education in order to accelerate the move to higher education studies. Admission procedures are developed in field-specific cooperation.

In years to come, universities of applied sciences will also accept those with a vocational upper secondary qualification to study based solely on their qualification certificate. These selections based on school performance will be developed also to select vocational qualification holders to higher education of a suitable field New scoring models for matriculation examination and vocational upper secondary qualification are developed during the year 2017, so that these models can be implemented in the joint application period of 2020.

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.

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.

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 form.
  3. over quota/under quota/drawing of lots

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.

SELECTION METHOD 5: SAT TEST (used only in degree programmes provided in English)

SECTIONS:

  1. Evidence-Based Reading and Writing
  • Reading Test
  • Writing and Language Test
  1. Math

In their application instructions, universities of applied sciences define the SAT sections they will use as an admission criteria in the programme choice in question, and the lowest point limit the applicant must reach in order to be qualified for selection process. Only the new version of SAT test (completed after March 2016) is accepted.

An official SAT score report must be ordered straight from the test organiser. To collect SAT test scores, universities of applied sciences can also use an electronic service from which the score data is available. Those, who have already completed an SAT test, must request a test result from the test organiser to be delivered to universities of applied sciences. The results of the SAT test must be delivered to all those universities of applied sciences that use the admission criteria in question by 13 April 2018. Reports printed or sent by the applicant themselves cannot be accepted.

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 or in an SAT test. For a more detailed description, 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 2018 for the spring application period and by no later than

31 December 2018 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.

Military or non-military national service, women’s voluntary military service or child-care leave will not be counted towards work experience. 

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 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 model 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. As a general rule, the statements should be not more than five (5) years old. The application contains more detailed information about the attachments.

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. 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.

Special arrangements for entrance examinations are specific to each programme choice and valid only on a specific examination date. Procedures indicated by good governance must be followed when making the decisions. The applicant will receive a notification (not a decision) about the special arrangements sufficiently early before the entrance examination. Any attachments to applications for special arrangements shall be secret.