The Univer­sities of applied sciences entrance exami­nation will be organised as a one-step in-person test between 31 May and 9 June.

Univer­sities of applied sciences (UAS) will select students for education starting next autumn in excep­tional circum­stances. Student admis­sions for the joint appli­cation process starting in March will be imple­mented through a certificate-based admission and an UAS entrance exami­nation, which will be organised in excep­tional circum­stances due to the covid-19 pandemic. The exam will be arranged between 31 May and 9 June 2021 as a one-step in-person test in facil­ities desig­nated by univer­sities of applied sciences. The number of exam days has been increased to eight.

Univer­sities of applied sciences have begun to prepare carefully for student admis­sions in spring 2021. The aim is to make choices that ensure equal treatment of appli­cants and the organ­i­sation of the entrance exami­na­tions in a safe manner for health. Entrance exami­na­tions are organised throughout Finland in several locations, following the instruc­tions and recom­men­da­tions issued by the author­ities (Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare).

-Prepa­ration for student admis­sions in spring 2021 is completely different from last year. We have had time to assess the imple­men­tation and problems of the two-stage entrance exami­nation for univer­sities of applied sciences organised in May and June 2020, says Executive Director Petri Lempinen from Arene, the Rectors’ Conference of Finnish Univer­sities of Applied Sciences.

Last March, due to the spread of the coron­avirus, Finland moved to emergency condi­tions at the same time as the joint appli­cation process began. Changes to student admis­sions had to be made quickly. At that time, decisions on a two-stage remote and in-person exami­nation were made in a situation where the author­ities had closed the facil­ities of educa­tional insti­tu­tions from teaching, and there were plenty of restric­tions in force in the country, for example, the shutting down of the Uusimaa district. 

During the covid-19 period, all activ­ities taking place on the campuses of univer­sities of applied sciences have been guided by instruc­tions and recom­men­da­tions issued by the author­ities (Ministry of Education and Culture, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare). The teaching has an estab­lished hybrid model in which necessary contact teaching is arranged on campuses, taking into account safety distances and hygiene. Otherwise, e-learning is used.

The UAS entrance exami­nation was also organised twice last year in excep­tional circum­stances. Around 36,000 appli­cants partic­i­pated in the in-person exami­na­tions held in June and October. There is no infor­mation that the entrance exami­na­tions would have launched trans­mission chains.

-By organ­ising a one-step commuter test, univer­sities of applied sciences want to remove the suspi­cions of the possi­bil­ities of fraud that were discussed in connection with remote tests of higher education insti­tu­tions in 2020. Because of the equal treatment of appli­cants, it is important to eliminate the possi­bility of abuses during the exam perfor­mance, Lempinen explains the background to decision-making.

University of Applied Sciences entrance exami­nation in excep­tional circumstances

During the appli­cation period for joint appli­ca­tions, appli­cants register for the UAS entrance exami­nation in the service. Entrance exami­na­tions are organised throughout Finland in several locations.

Appli­cants have the possi­bility to choose the place and time of the exam from the available options. The applicant may also choose an entrance exami­nation location in a university of applied sciences for which they have not applied, but which is located near their own place of residence. This reduces travel related to partic­i­pation in entrance examinations.

Univer­sities of applied sciences can organise entrance exami­na­tions on eight different days, which divides the number of appli­cants into smaller groups than usual. This enables compliance with health and safety guide­lines. Univer­sities of applied sciences decide on the number of entrance exami­na­tions they use.

The joint entrance exami­nation is used in 22 univer­sities of applied sciences to select students for studies leading to a bachelor’s degree. The same exam can be used to apply to different univer­sities of applied sciences and education in different fields. Univer­sities of applied sciences have separate admission proce­dures for studies leading to a master’s degree.

Joint appli­cation period in March 2021

Appli­ca­tions for Finnish-language and Swedish-language training for univer­sities of applied sciences starting in autumn 2021 will be submitted in the joint appli­cation period from 17 March to 31 March 2021. In the joint appli­cation process, appli­cants apply for studies leading to a bachelor’s degree (Polytechnic) and a master’s degree. 22 univer­sities of applied sciences are involved in the joint appli­cation process. The Police College of Finland and Högskolan på Åland organise separate appli­cation periods.

In March, the applicant may apply for a maximum of six training programmes. Approx­i­mately half of the starting places of the university of applied sciences quali­fi­ca­tions are filled with a certificate-based admission and the rest with an UAS entrance exami­nation. Univer­sities of applied sciences decide for each study programmes how many starting places are reserved for students with certificate-based admission. The certificate-based admission has separate starting places for appli­cants with a matric­u­lation exami­nation (Finnish or inter­na­tional) and for those with a vocational upper secondary qualification.

All univer­sities of applied sciences use the same scoring models for matric­u­lation exami­nation and vocational upper secondary quali­fi­ca­tions completed after 1 August 2015. Those who have completed a double degree partic­ipate in the certificate-based admission based on both the matric­u­lation exami­nation and the vocational upper secondary quali­fi­cation. In addition, inter­na­tional EB, IB and RP/DIA degrees are taken into account in the scoring models.

As a rule, all appli­cants may take the UAS entrance exami­nation from 31 May to 9 June. If the applicant has been selected through a certificate-based admission, they do not need to take the entrance exami­nation. However, in the entrance exami­nation, one can aim to be admitted in a possible place to study that they placed higher in the order of preference.

After the certificate-based admission and the entrance exami­nation, the applicant is offered one study place. They can confirm only one study place in education that begins in the same academic term.