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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Higher education


7.Higher education

Last update: 16 June 2022
In Finland the higher education system consists of universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS).
The legislation gives autonomy for higher education institutions so that they can make independent decisions on their administration, education and research. In the performance negotiations between the higher education institutions and the Ministry of Education and Culture the decisions are made concerning field-specific educational responsibilities. They also determine performance targets and quantitative targets for degrees.
Targets for the development of higher education are based on the Government programme. The objectives of Finland’s higher education policy are for example:
•    to promote Finnish competitiveness, well-being, education and learning as well as sustainable development
•    to anticipate and help regenerate society, culture and working life and make sure the required highly educated workforce is available
•    develop higher education institutions as an internationally competitive entities where each institution also responds to regional needs
In Finland the academic year starts 1 August and ends 31 July. Higher education institutions are autonomous in organising their academic year into semesters. Usually there are two semesters: autumn and spring-semesters, but a third semester at summertime is also used in some institutions.