Finns query fee legality

October 8, 1999

Tuition fees imposed on overseas students at the Helsinki Technical University may conflict with Finnish law, according to education ministry officials.

With the exception of the Open University and certain professional study programmes, Finnish university education is free to all, except for foreign nationals studying at the Helsinki Technical University, which now charges some of its foreign students an annual fee of ¤840 (Pounds 550).

Degree students on exchange programmes and those having gained entry through the regular entry examination escape the charges.

A university spokesman defended the decision to impose fees, arguing that the rule applies to guest students only. However, problems can arise if these guest students progress to degree studies.

Juhani Saarivuo of the ministry of education said that students who began a study programme leading to a degree should not have to pay tuition fees, whether they were once guest students or not. So far, no other establishment in Finland is known to have imposed fees.

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