Tuition fees: Experiences in Finland

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1 Tuition fees: Experiences in Finland Riitta Pyykkö Professor, Chair University of Turku, Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council Göteborg, November the 18th, 2010

2 Background documents Government Programme 2007: A trial will be carried out in which universities and other higher education institutions can apply for authorisation for individual Master s programmes to collect tuition fees from students who come from outside the EU/EEA area. The trial will include a scholarship programme for low-income foreign students. The results of the trial will be evaluated before changes are made in the system. Education and research : Development plan: Criteria will be prepared for the tuition fee pilot project in order to evaluate its success and to decide whether the collection of tuition fees should be continued or stopped. Internationalisation strategy for higher education Finnish education export strategy

3 Why a pilot project? Forms together with contract education a part of the national internationalisation strategy for higher education ( expansion of education export globally; fees collected in most countries) Tries to strengthen internationalisation of higher education institutions develop export of competence give new flexible possibilities for action in international environment During the pilot project the influences will be evaluated possible decisions on changes in the system in 2014 (or earlier?) 3

4 Who has to pay? Trial period In selected English-language 2nd cycle degree programmes starting 2010, 2011 or 2012 Tuition fees may be charged from non-eu/eea nationals Institutions have to provide scholarship options for non-eu/eea students enrolled in these programmes Institutions decide independently whether they collect tuition fees and determine the size of fees e.g. Aalto university: 8000 e, University of Eastern Finland: e 4

5 To be or not to be? Reasons for Financial benefit (in the future) the future of government funding for HE uncertain More resources to develop programmes In education, fees can be seen as an indicator of the quality of the institution (education worth paying for) An incentive for students to graduate in a timely fashion If fees in all programmes, creates equality between non-eea students, all foreign language programmes in the same boat If only in some selected programmes, gives an opportunity to develop flagship programmes that could then spread best practice 5

6 To be or not to be? Reasons against Equal access to higher education a Nordic human right Decreases applications (the central competitive advantage of Finnish education is that it is free of charge) Creates two-tier system between Finnish/Swedish and English education Discourages people from certain ( non-profitable / low employment) fields Needs lot of work to get programmes ready for this (brand failure if programmes not ready) If in some selected programmes, inequality between non- EEA students (some pay, some don t), competitive situation between programmes If the pilot ends? 6

7 Implementation of fees Ministry of Education and Culture decree (February 2010): 113 university Master s programmes e.g. Aalto 46, UEF 20, University of Helsinki 3, UTU 1 21 Master s programmes in universities of applied sciences Autumn 2010: 20 new proposals from universities Inclusion of a particular Master s in the list of selected Master s programmes does not necessarily mean that the programme will carry a fee: Aalto university: 15/46 programmes in the list will really start to collect fees, University of Jyväskylä: 2/9 etc. 7

8 Follow-up and evaluation: organisation Evaluation and follow-up group appointed by the MinEdu (for ) Representatives from the Ministry, HEIs, student organisations and the national quality assurance body Tasks: prepare the criteria for evaluation and follow-up ( ) evaluate the results of the trial report regularly (=annually) to the Ministry prepare a final report on the consequences of the trial on internationalisation of HEIs (April 2014) 8

9 Progress of the evaluation Annually questioning to the HEIs participating in the trial (every November) seminars/workshops/hearings in February/March report to the Ministry in April Student surveys in 2012 and 2013 Survey on international experience 2013 (esp. Denmark & Sweden) Final report spring 2014 (where utilised also the results of the thematic overall evaluation of international degree programmes in Finland, conducted by FINHEEC in 2012) 9

10 Evaluation and follow-up targets 1 (3) Participation in the trial reasons for participation share of programmes participating from the total amount of programmes in English programmes that really start collecting fees / programmes in the list Marketing methods, content, brand-building target countries/groups resources used Applicants numbers, nationalities entrance criteria, organisation of entrance exams 10

11 Evaluation and follow-up targets 2 (3) Students approved/started progress of studies, graduation, drop-out rate Tuition fee size of the fee, who decides? income, use of financial profit (+ who decides?) ways of collecting (all in the beginning/annually/every term) share of those paying Scholarships funding of scholarships (Erasmus Mundus + others) grounds for (socio-economic/succeed in studies) size (Aalto: ) share of those getting a scholarship 11

12 Evaluation and follow-up targets 3 (3) Programme planning influence of fees on starting a programme, recruitment of teachers, training of teachers quality assurance Support services + differences compared to non-paying students Intergation of students support for integration in the university community and the Finnish society as a whole student experience and feedback on studies and support services 12

13 Other actions All evaluation of HE in Finland based on an enhancement-led principle Annually seminar for HEI leadership session at the national seminar on internationalisation of higher education workshop for programme managers (concrete problems, sharing experiences and best practices) communication with student unions 13

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