Good Reputation of Turku Universities Attracts International Students

​In the survey conducted by the Institute of Migration, international students were particularly pleased with the University of Turku's study environment, friendly atmosphere and staff, who were characterised as dedicated, passionate and caring.

Of the University's fields of study, humanities, education, business and futures studies received a 100-percent recommendation rate. Medicine, IT, and mathematics and natural sciences also received over 90 percent recommendation rates.

– According to the over 300 international degree students who responded to the survey, most of them had picked Turku as their place of study because of the good reputation of the higher education institutions in Turku or because of a particular degree programme. The international reputation of the Finnish education system was also a factor that had an effect on many students' decisions, reveals Researcher Tytti-Maaria Laine.

Most Students Have Gained Work Experience

International students felt at homequite well in Turku.  However, they wished for more help in getting internships. Students also wished for more career guidance and opportunities to study Finnish.

– Internships have been beneficial to students as they have gained work experience and contacts as well as improved their language skills. Through the internships, the students also very often received paid work. Only 14 percent were about to graduate without any work experience gained in Turku, says Laine.

Doctoral candidates were most successful in finding work that corresponds to their level of education and nearly all of them were employed in their own field.
Nearly half of the respondents would like to stay in Turku after their graduation if work is available. About a fourth are planning to leave the country.

– Turku and Finland is an attractive place to work for many students. However, the current employment situation is a challenge. The survey also highlighted students' interest towards founding their own business. This is in line with the fact that people with immigrant background are more likely to start a business than members of the native population, says Research Director Elli Heikkilä from the Institute of Migration.

The most significant reason for international degree students to leave the country is the difficulties in finding a job. The second most significant reason is problems with the language. Some thought that they would have to learn Finnish nearly perfectly before they could enter the job market. For some, the reason for leaving is family or studying in another country.

A small number of the respondents did not feel at home in Finland and some had experienced racism which made them want to leave the country. The refugee situation from last autumn has already had a negative impact on some of the attitudes that the international degree students have faced.

Altogether over 1,900 international degree students study in Turku. 

>> International Degree Students: A survey of studying, working and living in Turku

Text: Erja Hyytiäinen
Photos: Hanna Oksanen
Translation: Mari Ratia

Published date 3/17/2016 8:55 AM ,  Modified date 3/17/2016 9:02 AM

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