Finland will create more than 10,000 additional study places in higher education institutions between 2020 and 2022, to respond to the shortage of professionals in various fields and regions, as well as to offset the economic damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, said the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture in a press release on Thursday.
The ministry said that it has agreed with the higher education institutions on the orientation of additional study places for 2020. For the courses starting this autumn, universities will receive a total of 2,048 additional study places, and polytechnics will receive 2,200 more students.
Money for increased study places has been allocated in the government’s fourth supplementary budget.
In addition, between 2021 and 2022, approximately 4,300 additional study places will be added for universities, while 1,700 will be allocated to polytechnics.
By increasing the number of students in higher education institutions, the goal of the government program to raise the level of education to respond to the shortage of professionals in various fields and regions will be implemented, said the ministry.
Furthermore, the increase in university places is also aiming to offset the economic impact caused by the pandemic by investing in skills and access to education for young people.
“This has been a historic decision in such an exceptional situation,” said Hanna Kosonen, minister of science and culture, adding that a study place is important for a young person and also for society as a whole.
Increasing university places will prevent unemployment and meet the future skill needs of working life, emphasized Kosonen.
Based on projected labor needs, most added study places have been targeted at technology, economy and business, computer science, as well as social and health care.
The government has decided to increase funding for universities for 2020-2022. The long-term goal is to increase the number of higher education graduates of 25-34 year-olds to 50 percent by 2030.