Developing student admissions

A reform of higher education student admissions is taking place between 2018 and 2020.

What will change in student admissions?

In 2017, the Ministry of Education and Culture agreed with the universities and universities of applied sciences on the measures that should be taken by 2020 to develop student admissions.

By 2018, universities and universities of applied sciences had introduced a new student admissions procedure. It now takes less time for applicants to prepare for the admissions. Entrance examinations have been made less strenuous. Higher education institutions have either reduced their exam reading lists or stopped using them altogether. In some disciplines, entrance exams now test the applicants’ knowledge of the general upper secondary school syllabus.

From 2020, more than half of the student places will be filled on the basis of grades. Universities will consider the grades gained in the Finnish matriculation examination grades, while universities of applied sciences will take into account grades gained both in the matriculation examination and in the vocational upper secondary qualification. Admissions will no longer be based on an admission score that combines the points awarded for the entrance examination and for the grades in the final certificate. However, admissions may continue to be based solely on entrance examinations.

In autumn 2019, universities of applied sciences will introduce a joint entrance examination.

The open university route to higher education will also be developed, for example in the Alternative path to university project coordinated by the University of Jyväskylä.

See also:

Frequently asked questions about the higher education institutions’ student admission reform

Contact information

Birgitta Vuorinen, Deputy Director General 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Korkeakoulu- ja tiedepolitiikan sekä lukiokoulutuksen osasto (KTLO), Division for Higher Education Policy 0295330335  


Ilmari Hyvönen, opetusneuvos 
Ministry of Education and Culture, Korkeakoulu- ja tiedepolitiikan sekä lukiokoulutuksen osasto (KTLO), Division for Higher Education Policy 0295330117