Reform of student admissions and cooperation between levels of education

The key project accelerates transition from secondary education to higher education by reforming student admissions and increasing cooperation between secondary education and higher education.

The Ministry of Education and Culture has initiated a process with the higher education institutions to renew admission procedures in order to reduce unnecessary gap years and the average age at which studies in higher education are commenced.

What will change in student admissions?

The development of the student admission processes by 2020 has been agreed with universities and universities of applied sciences in the following way.

By 2018, universities and universities of applied sciences will have introduced a student admission process that does not require long preparations from the applicant.

Universities and universities of applied sciences will increase certificate-based admissions and develop increasingly uniform admission processes to be used in several fields of education to assess students' abilities and capabilities for higher education studies, but not their knowledge of the content of the higher education studies. The admission processes will be such that it will not be possible to train for them.

By 2020:

  • A much larger share of students than at present are admitted to higher education institutions based on the grades in their matriculation examination or vocational upper secondary qualification, via certificate-based admission. The majority of certificate-based admissions will be reserved for those applying for education for the first time.
  • Besides the certificate-based admission, entrance examinations are organised for those who cannot be admitted on the basis of certificates.
  • For those admitted via certificate-based admission or as part of the entrance examination, an aptitude test may be organised if there is research information showing that this is necessary in the field of education concerned.
  • Higher education institutions will provide better opportunities for their present students to change the field of education or university during their studies by the admission of so-called transfer students.
  • Routes will also be developed for those already holding a degree to start new higher education studies.
  • Larger numbers of students than at present will be admitted on the basis of open university studies.

See also:

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

Contact information

Tapio Kosunen, Director General 
OKM, Korkeakoulu- ja tiedepolitiikan osasto (KTPO), Osaston päällikön esikunta 0295330440  


Birgitta Vuorinen, Opetusneuvos, ryhmän päällikkö 
OKM, Korkeakoulu- ja tiedepolitiikan osasto (KTPO), Kärkihankeryhmä (KÄR) 0295330335