Finland is tightening up on the standards of mushrooming professional postgraduate courses.
There are up to 500 specialist university and polytechnic programmes with close to 150,000 students but until now there have been no quality checks to evaluate content and accredit courses.
A special assessment board is organising questionnaires and follow-up visits by subject specialists and by Anne Vahapassi, board pedagogical adviser and secretary.
Ms Vahapassi said that only about a dozen establishments have so far applied for approved status. However, the number of applicants is expected to rise.
Institutions are charged ¤843 (Pounds 560) for the assessment, irrespective of the outcome. Accreditation is valid for four years and prospective students can check on the internet which courses have been approved and which are being assessed.