Open University and Open UAS
In addition to the regular degree programmes, most of the Finnish universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS) also offer so-called Open Studies. The Open Studies are part of the Finnish adult education system. Open University and Open UAS courses are individual, fee-charging courses - they are not full degree programmes, even though they are in many cases based on the undergraduate curricula of the Finnish higher education institutions.
Finnish universities may also offer MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) that you can complete online for free, at your own pace. MOOCs are not full degree courses either, but you can complement your skills with them. Check out the MOOC links on the right-hand margin, or the universities' own websites!
The Open Studies are in principle available for all, regardless of age, citizenship or educational background. However, they are mainly targeted for those already living in Finland. This is because Open University or Open UAS studies are not full-time studies and do not lead to a degree or professional qualification - it is therefore not usually possible to get a long-term student residence permit to Finland based on Open University or Open UAS courses. But it may well be possible for you to partake in Open Studies courses, if you do not need a residence permit to enter Finland (EU students for example) or if you'd be visiting Finland on a temporary short-term visa.
Because Open Studies are not full-time studies, participating in Open Studies courses does not usually make you eligible to apply for student housing, financial aid, or other social benefits for students.
What and how can you study?
Open Studies are available in a wide variety of subjects. Most of the course options are available only in Finnish or Swedish, but some can also be completed in English. Open Studies often entail a lot of independent distance studies and web-learning, including essay writing. Depending on the course, studies may also include a varying degree of classroom or small group studies. Lectures and other contact meetings are often arranged in the evening or during weekends.
The Open Studies or MOOC courses are not included in the database you can find on this Study in Finland website. For information on Open Studies, we recommend you visit the universities' own websites. In addition to that, there are some specific sites that contain links to MOOCs offered by higher education institutions. Check the links in the right-hand margin for example.
Registration and course fees
If you wish to register for an Open Studies course, you will need to contact the University or UAS that organises the course module in question. Open University and Open UAS courses are arranged and coordinated independently by each higher education institution.
Detailed information on registration procedures, registration times and fees is available from the Open University or Open UAS you are applying to.
MOOCs are usually free for all, so you can just participate and learn online.
Open Studies and entry to degree studies
Completed open studies may be included in your degree studies, if you successfully apply for degree student status. In this case, however, you still usually need to apply for admission through the regular degree student admissions route.
Some university departments may offer a so-called 'Open University Admission Route' through which they may accept a small quota of students who have completed a certain prefixed amount of Open University studies with excellent marks. This route, however, is usually very selective and competitive, and not all university/UAS departments offer this option.