Top Universities in Finland for Higher Education

Students choice of selecting a university abroad depends heavily on the employability opportunities. Every year “The Times Higher Education” releases ranking list for universities around the world. The ranking is based on 13 performance indicators which measure the institution’s performance across teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

The list is prepared after compiling answers of several recruiters, chief executives and business managers from top companies in 20 countries.

Let us have a look at the list “Top Universities in Finland for Higher Education for the year 2020”

University of Helsinki


The University of Helsinki is an international academic community with more than 40,000 students and members of staff. It operates on four campuses in Helsinki and in nine other localities in Finland. The university’s 11 faculties are home to many departments. Furthermore, the university accommodates several independent research-oriented institutes and multidisciplinary research networks and campus units. The University of Helsinki enjoys great influence all around Helsinki and in the rest of Finland.

Aalto University


Aalto University is a multidisciplinary university whose main campus is located in Otaniemi in Espoo, Finland. The institution has six schools with around 20,000 students in total and 4,500 staff, 400 of whom are professors.

Courses are offered across schools of arts, design and architecture; chemical technology; business; electrical engineering; engineering; and science.

Around 30 per cent of staff are from abroad.

The university, which offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programmes in all its fields of study, describes itself as committed to “identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an innovative future”.

Aalto University was founded in 2010 from the merger of Helsinki University of Technology, the Helsinki School of Economics and the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Beyond its main campus, other campuses are located in Töölö and Arabia in Helsinki.

The aim of the institution’s foundaiton was to create a new innovative university combining science and technology, business and economics, design and art.

The name of the institution is a tribute to the life and work of Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. The core of the Otaniemi site is a park campus, designed by him.

The campus and its surrounds are the location for the headquarters of Finland’s largest companies’ headquarters, as well as smaller enterprises. Otaniemi is also home to over two thousand students.

The institution is a foundation-based university. The capital of the foundation was formed by donations from the government alongside those from Finnish industries and other financiers.

University of Oulu


University of Oulu is a multidisciplinary research university which offers 20 Master’s programmes taught in English in engineering, ICT, architecture, business and economics, education, mining, health sciences and natural sciences.

There are no tuition fees for EU/EEA students. Tuition fees for non-EU/EEA students vary according to master’s programmes.  The University of Oulu provides scholarships for academically talented international students. The scholarship is aimed at students studying for a two-year Master’s degree in the University of Oulu. The scholarships will be granted in the form of a tuition fee waiver covering 75% of the full tuition fee.

PhD student positions are offered within Health and Biosciences Doctoral Programme, Human Sciences Doctoral Programme, Information Technology and Electrical Engineering Doctoral Programme and Technology and Natural Sciences Doctoral Programme.

Founded in 1958, University of Oulu is one of the largest universities in Finland and one of the northernmost universities in the world, with 8 faculties, 13,500 students, and nearly 3000 employees. We are ranked in the top two per cent of all the 17,000 universities of the world. We build a more sustainable, healthier, and more intelligent world with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. Our compact combination of science, technology and business provides an excellent basis for influential research.

We educate competent graduates capable of creating successful, lifelong careers in the dynamic work market. Our degree programmes are inspiring and student-centered, and they encourage each student to achieve their full academic potential. This has created a culture where anything is possible. As a fact, many innovations that have changed the world have their roots here in Oulu. For example, 2.6 billion people around the world use daily telecom technology developed in Oulu, and several generations of mobile phone technology have been created here. The Oulu region is recognized as a world-class R&D hub with R&D input per capita among the highest globally.

We take on science with an Arctic attitude. It means perseverance, ingenuity, and cooperation. With this attitude, the University of Oulu has become an expert in technology, health, culture, environment, and Arctic conditions.

Tampere University

Tampere University is the second largest university in Finland, established in the beginning of 2019 through the merger of Tampere University of Technology and the University of Tampere. Our new university is the majority shareholder of Tampere University of Applied Sciences and together the two institutions form a higher education community of 30,000 students, 330 professors and 4,400 other staff.

We are situated in the vibrant city of Tampere, Finland’s most sought-after city to live and study in, and a region renowned for four beautiful seasons, pristine nature and thousands of lakes.

Reach your potential at Tampere University

Tampere University offers the broadest range of educational opportunities in Finland. Almost all internationally recognized fields of study are represented at our university. In addition to degree programs taught in Finnish, we offer 34 master’s degree programs and two bachelor’s degree programs in English ranging from Game Studies to Photonics and Public and Global Health to Innovative Governance and Public Management – a wide variety of possibilities to fill your educational dreams! We are known for the quality of education and are constantly developing our tuition and learning environments. Our educational programs have been audited by Finnish Education Evaluation Center.

Check out our degree programmes on our admissions site and take you pick!

Unique innovation environment

Tampere University has competitive edges in technology, health and society. Our strength is the strong interplay between different research fields and our ability to apply and test our research results in real life situations; in cities, companies and societal services. Our excellent research environment and infrastructure enable us to carry out world-class research, collaborate globally and bring benefits for people locally and ultimately globally.

Our world needs not only bold collaboration that transcends disciplinary boundaries but also a belief in humanity and in our ability to create a better future for us all. We believe that human potential is unlimited and that you and us together, we can make a difference.

Finland as a destination

Did you know that in international country comparisons Finland ranks as the top country in the world in, among others, happiness, safety, stability and freedom, and that our educational system is ranked as one of the best in OECD countries? In Finland you can study and live in a safe and well-functioning environment. You can find more information on our studying in Finland page.

University of Turku


Founded in 1920, the University of Turku (UTU) is located in southwest Finland in the city of the same name. By student enrolment numbers, it is the second largest university in the country after the University of Helsinki.

Today, there are close to 20,000 students at UTU, which includes 2,000 postgraduate students are over 1,000 from overseas. It offers study and research opportunities in seven faculties and seven independent units, with subject strengths in humanities, economics, medicine and social sciences.

The university has a presence in several areas of Finland, from Lappland to the Finnish Archipelago Sea, although its main operations are in Turku, Pori and Rauma.

The main campus at Turku is complete with a cathedral, railway station, restaurants, libraries, bars, cafés, shops and more. Due to existence of other higher education institutes in the city, the total student population in Turku is around 40,000. The University Hill is at the heart of the campus. The main building, central square and surrounding buildings were designed by architect Aarne Ervi who was an important Finnish designer in the post-World War II period.

The campus at Pori houses the Faculty of Humanities and offers programmes in Cultural Production and Landscape Studies. It also features the School of Economics where postgraduates can complete master’s programmes.

The main building is an old cotton factory by the Kokemäki river and very near the city centre. While the old exterior of the factory remains, the inside has undergone a complete makeover and modernisation.

At the Rauma campus, students focus on teaching and learning through the Department of Teacher Education, where the focus is on primary and pre-primary education.

To commemorate the 22,040 donors whose funds first helped to establish the university, UTU produces its own alcoholic drink called ‘22040’, which is made from cloudberry, rowan and sea buckthorn.

University of Eastern Finland


At the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), interdisciplinarity is not something we do, it’s who we are. We offer first-class education that is bound to make a difference.

We are one of the largest universities in Finland, and home to approximately 15,000 students and 2,500 members of staff.

Our campuses are located in Joensuu and Kuopio

UEF is a multidisciplinary university, which offers teaching in more than 100 major subjects. We have four faculties: the Philosophical Faculty, the Faculty of Science and Forestry, the Faculty of Health Sciences, and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies.

The global challenges our university seeks to solve through its research and education are:

Ageing, lifestyles and health
Learning in a digitised society
Cultural encounters, mobilities and borders
Environmental change and sufficiency of natural resources

In addition to a high standard of teaching, we offer our students a modern study environment, which is under constant development. Student well-being is among our primary concerns. Together with our networks, we support the well-being and positive development of eastern Finland.

University of Jyväskylä


The second-largest Finnish university, the University of Jyväskylä was originally founded in 1863 as the first Finnish-language teacher training college. It was not until 1967, when the university began to include scientific studies in its research and teaching, that it became the University of Jyväskylä.

Today there are three campuses around the city of Jyväskylä in central Finland. The oldest and largest is the Seminaarinmaki campus in the city centre, while the Mattilanniemi and Ylistonrinne campuses which are located on opposite shores of Lake Jyväsjärvi, are just a short walk away.

The university also has two student accommodation complexes in the city suburbs which have a combined capacity for around 5,800 students.

Jyväskylä is a small, closely connected city with a large student population and the University of Jyväskylä attracts a huge number of applicants each year. In 2015 the acceptance rate was 10 per cent, making it one of the most popular universities in Finland.

The university is home to the following seven faculties: Humanities, Information Technology, Education, Business and Economics, Sport and Health Sciences, Mathematics and Science, and Social Sciences. The university’s roots in teacher education have not been forgotten, and this subject remains an area of expertise at the University of Jyväskylä.

The University of Jyväskylä is aiming to become an international leader in fields of teaching and learning, as well as increasing its status as a multidisciplinary research university.

Among the notable alumni of the University of Jyväskylä are prime minister of Tanzania, Majliwa Kassim Majaliwa and award-winning author Sofi Oksanen.

Lappeenranta – Lahti University of Technology LUT


Lappeenranta University of Technology is a higher learning institution founded in 1969 near the southeastern Finnish lake of Saimaa, in the city from which it derives its name. The university is based in a single consolidated campus ensuring a genuine university feel, and lower rents in Lappeenranta than in larger Finnish cities such as Helsinki ensure a fun social atmosphere where students can afford to regularly socialise and explore local culture.

Bachelors programmes are available in business studies and across eight areas of technology. Students who complete their undergraduate degree at Lappeenranta will immediately be extended the option of further study and the completion of a Master of Science degree, although from 2017 tuition fees are charged at all universities in Finland for non-EU citizens at Bachelors and Masters level. Those wishing to obtain their doctoral sword at Lappeenranta can do so through its PhD programmes in Philosophy, Business and Technology. All overseas students who apply to study a bachelor’s in the fields of technology will need to attain a language test certificate proving that they can speak proficient Finnish.

As a part of its Trailblazer campaign the university is the only WWF certified environmentally friendly ‘green office’ in Finland. There is also an established School of Energy system on campus, which contains the Voima research unit, and the school as a whole is quality accredited by the EUR-ACE and ASIIN organizations.

The biennial Viipuri prize is held at Lappeenranta and honours achievement in strategic management and business economics. In 2003 the inaugural recipient of the award was New Zealander and organisational theorist David Teece.

Åbo Akademi University


Abo Akademi University is Finland’s third university having been founded in 1918. It has been defined ever since by its unique character as the only Swedish-language institution of higher education outside Sweden, serving Finland’s largest linguistic minority.

The main campus is based in the centre of Turku, Finland’s sixth largest city, known in Swedish at Abo, with the faculty of education and welfare studies located in Vaasa. Both are noted academic cities, Turku billing itself as the “City of Students” and it is believed that a quarter of the population, which is a little below 200,000, either teach or study at the university, while one fifth of Vaasa’s inhabitants are students.

The university had 5,500 students in 2019, including 780 postgraduates, spread across faculties of arts, psychology and theology, education and welfare, science and engineering and social science, business and economics. Around a thousand came from overseas, while a further 8,500 were enrolled in courses offered by the Centre for Lifelong Learning.

It describes itself as having “a unique role as the bridge between the university community in Finland and the other Nordic countries” and is the lead Finnish institution in the Baltic Universities Programme network linking 225 institutions in 14 countries.

Its special focus areas of expertise are minorities research, drug development and diagnostics, molecular processes and the sea. Researchers have, in the last year, devised fuels based on biomass with the same qualities as fossil fuels and a method of prescribing medicine via edible QR codes. Ironically, given the emphasis of the institution, some of its research has brought into question the cognitive benefits of being bilingual.

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