January 13th, 2013
Tsemppi, the organization for international and internationally-minded students and researchers at the University of Helsinki, is unilaterally opposed to the introduction of tuition fees for students from outside the EU/EEA. The matter, which currently being proposed by a group of Finnish Members of Parliament, goes against the traditional values of equality in Finnish education and society, and contradicts ongoing internationalization efforts being taken by institutions such as the University of Helsinki.
Cansu Aksoy, chairperson of Tsemppi, says ‘International students come to Finland attracted by the quality of the education system. Moving to a different country is no easy task, and many wish to stay and work here even after completing their degrees.’
A strong and vibrant international student population is not only vital to a healthy academic environment, it is also a requirement for sustaining Finnish universities’ international reputations and rankings. As has been already pointed out by student unions SYL and SAMOK, high tuition fees will result only in fewer international students coming to Finland. Recognizing the excellence of Finnish higher education institutions lies in keeping their doors open to the world, not closing them.
Tsemppi agrees that efforts would be best placed in successfully integrating international students into the Finnish society and the local labour force, rather than turning them away with the expensive tuition. Indeed, international students come to Finland for high quality education but over the course of their studies, they also live their lives in this country. They develop valuable social networks, get to know Finnish culture and many desire to stay in Finland to begin their professional lives. Investing in the education of international students is an ideal way to respond to the deep need for a diverse and strong labour force in Finland.
Tsemppi Board Members
Cansu Aksoy, President of Tsemppi
+358 46 524 8651