Education and Research
Financial hardship on students from developing countries means that Finland stops recruiting students from there
Thursday, 29 March 2012
Several Finnish higher education institutions have decided to no longer
stage entrance exams in developing nations. They say many students
recruited from such areas face financial difficulties in Finland.
A quarter of Nepal's population lives below the poverty line, and this
is why people like Sandip Ranjit leave for greener pastures. Today
Ranjit studies property management at Laurea polytechnic in Espoo,
For years Finnish polyechnics have arranged entrance exams in the
developing world to attract students. But exams have been suspended
this spring in Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya.
Like many others, Ranjit's school, Laurea polytechnic, says it is no
longer organising entrance exams in Nepal following a recommendation by
Finnish officials. Finland's Immigration Service says students arriving
from developing countries cannot afford to live in Finland.
The government requires that non-EU students show assets of 6,000 euros
before moving to Finland as they are not eligible for state-sponsored
financial aid. Officials say foreigners abuse the clause by circulating
money into each other's bank accounts.
"If students don't have the money there's a risk they'll be abused
working for their own countrymen," says Pentti Sorsa, a senior advisor
at the Finnish Immigration Service.
Ranjit hands out free newspapers every morning at Helsinki's Vuosaari metro station. The work earns him 525 euros a month.
"Accommodation is quite expensive and so is food. What I earn goes toward my living," he says.
Though living in Helsinki is expensive, Shishir Mani Pant, a Nepalese
biotechnology student at Helsinki University, says Finland has one big
advantage over other countries' university systems.
"It's quite expensive, but I would say if I don't have to pay tuition fees then it's manageable."
News source Yle
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