Finland is tightening the standards of mushrooming professional postgraduate courses.
There are up to 500 specialist university and polytechnic programmes with nearly 150,000 students, but until now there have been no quality checks to accredit courses.
A special assessment board is organising questionnaires and follow-up visits by subject specialists. Anne Vahapassi, a board adviser, said that only about a dozen establishments have so far applied for approved status, though the number is expected to rise.
Institutions are charged E843 (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.