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Foreign diploma or degree in Finland

If you have completed a foreign degree, you might benefit from having the degree compared to a Finnish degree, having your professional qualification recognised, acquiring a right to practice your profession or completing a competence-based qualification.

Equivalence and recognition of degrees

Recognition of a degree is a decision about which qualifications a degree completed in a foreign country gives you to work or apply for a student position in Finland. Recognition of a degree is subject to a charge and is requested from the Finnish National Board of Education. When you are applying for a student position, recognition of a degree is not necessarily needed.

Professional recognition and the right to practise a profession

Persons applying for positions in the public sector (the state and municipalities) often need to meet certain educational qualification requirements. When a person who has completed his or her studies abroad applies for such position, he or she usually needs a decision issued by the Finnish National Board of Education stating that his or her degree qualifies for the position.

The applicants of a position in a regulated profession must hold a certain degree stipulated in legislation or certain studies. Regulated professions include some public sector jobs and positions that require a right to practise that profession. The right to practise a profession is required for example in health care and seafaring positions.

If you have a foreign degree in a profession that is regulated in Finland, you need to get an equivalence decision from a competent authority before you can practise your profession in Finland. The Finnish National Board of Education website contains a list of regulated professions and competent authorities for each of them.

Private sector employers evaluate independently whether they will accept an employee’s foreign degree. Recognition decisions are not required in the private sector, but they may be useful when applying for a position.

The Finnish National Board of Education also issues expert statements on foreign vocational degrees. These statements, however, do not grant eligibility for civil service posts. They may, nevertheless, be helpful when looking for a job or a place to study, as they describe the content and level of education received abroad.

Academic recognition

If you wish to continue your studies in Finland, the studies you have completed abroad may be taken into consideration through academic recognition.

Academic recognition of degrees entails

  • seeking a place of study on the basis of foreign education
  • Recognition of studies completed abroad towards a degree to be completed in Finland.

Educational institutions make independent decisions on their student selections and also on whether or not they accept studies completed abroad as a part of a Finnish degree. Ask for more information directly from the institution you would like to study at.

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Recognition of a degreeFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiMinistry of Economic Affairs and Employment:
Recognition of degreesFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Regulated professionsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiFinnish National Board of Education:
Statements on foreign vocational qualificationsFinnish | Swedish | English