There are two types of universities in Finland, foundation universities and public universities. The two foundation universities are Aalto and Tampere University of Technology, out of a total of 15 universities in Finland. There are statutory differences between the public universities and foundation universities. This profile considers primarily the framework applying to public universities. Several university mergers have been implemented since 2010, leading to the creation of the University of Aalto, the University of Eastern Finland and the University of the Arts.
- New timeframe for university funding projections and targets in line with Government planning period
- Introduction of tuition fees for international students on Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes taught in English from January 2016
- Changes to ownership of university buildings underway with a move to greater university control of their buildings
- Cuts in public funding and subsequent university job losses
Organisational autonomy: high
The selection of the executive head is an internal matter of the university, as is its dismissal. The law nevertheless prescribes that the candidate must hold a doctorate and that their term of office is five years at most. Universities must have external members on their board/council but they control their appointment.
Financial autonomy: medium high
Restrictions concern ownership of buildings, which is done through specific companies. Universities may borrow money and keep surpluses. They cannot charge tuition fees for national/EU students but are now free to set tuition fee levels for non-EU students enrolled in English-taught programmes above a minimum level set by the government.
Academic autonomy: high
Student numbers are negotiated with an external authority. Universities may freely introduce programmes but only within the scope of their ‘educational responsibilities’, i.e. determined study fields. The termination of programmes must be agreed with an external authority. Universities may freely develop programmes in languages other than the national ones and are responsible for reviewing the quality of their activities.
Staffing autonomy: high
Universities can decide on recruitment, promotions and dismissals of senior academic and administrative staff. The only restriction concerns salaries, which are negotiated with other parties.
Organisational weighted 93% unweighted 91%
100% Selection procedure for the executive head
The selection of the executive head is not validated by an external authority
75% Selection criteria for the executive head
The law states that the executive head must hold a doctoral degree
This applies to one other country: Lithuania
100% Dismissal of the executive head
The procedure for the dismissal of the executive head is not stated in the law
60% Term of office of the executive head
The maximum or range of length is stated in the law
100% External members in university governing bodies
Universities cannot decide as they must include external members
This applies to 23 other countries: Austria, Croatia, Denmark, Flanders, France, Wallonia, Hesse, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, North Rhine-Westphalia, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland