Finland’s demographic challenges and opportunities

Finland is a society that is facing drastic demographic changes due to the constantly growing number of the elderly and the extremely low fertility rate. The pension and the healthcare systems have to deal with a large inflow of senior citizens and all this is spurred on by the gradual increase in the life expectancy.

Finland’s demographic challenges and opportunities

 

 

Finland is a society that is facing drastic demographic changes due to the constantly growing number of the elderly and the extremely low fertility rate (Figure 1). 

The pension and the healthcare systems have to deal with a large inflow of senior citizens and all this is spurred on by the gradual increase in the life expectancy.

Immigration and foreign labor, despite being relatively low compared to many other European wealthy nations, is among the strategies by which the Finnish government is trying to maintain its productive labor force (Figure 2). Recently, Finland’s ministry of Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment together with the Ministry of Education and Culture commissioned the economics research institution PTT to conduct a thorough analysis of the changes the Finnish economy and society will be facing in the decades to come [2].

 

Figure 1. Number of persons aged 70 or over in Finland in 1970 to 2019 [1].

The report emphasizes that there is no substitution to the growing need for foreign professionals coming to work in Finland. This will be mostly needed in the service sector, healthcare and manual work as well as highly technological and scientific fields. Many professions require at least some basic knowledge of

Finnish and that is why we encourage anyone who considers relocating to Finland to do so through obtaining an officially recognized degree. This allows the students to learn the language alongside the studies of their chosen profession and gives the students confidence and understanding of the Finnish labor market and its requirements and codes of practice. 

Figure 2. Change in the population by native language in 1981 to 2019 [1].

 

Of course, this does not necessarily means that working in Finland requires one to learn Finnish, but it does open up many avenues for professional development and networking.

We also encourage anyone interested in sustainable and environmental development to consider Finland as one of the most attractive destinations due to the country’s long history in implementing sustainability solutions as well as the general EU approach for each member state to reach outcomes that allow us to decrease our pollution and carbon emission levels. Finland is constantly increasing its share of renewable energy in electricity and energy [3] production but environment-oriented solutions are also being developed in the manufacturing and service sectors.

 

For example, even the fashion industry is now looking for solutions that keep the environmental load to a minimum and Finnish businesses put much effort into continuing their research and investment to create a better and cleaner world for all of us [4].

We, at TwoNorths, will take care of the formalities of the application process and provide our expertise to help you stay motivated, so that you can focus on the essential – getting your education and building your career in a country that welcomes talented and hard-working people.

Sources:

[1] http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/vaerak/2019/vaerak_2019_2020-03-24_tie_001_en.html

[2] Olli-Pekka Ruuskanen, Heini Lehtosalo, Kimmo Mäkilä, Juuso Heinämäki, Juha Honkatukia, 2021 PTT

raportteja 269. Millaista osaamista Suomi tarvitsee vuonna 2040? https://www.ptt.fi/julkaisut-ja-

hankkeet/kaikki-julkaisut/millaista-osaamista-suomi-tarvitsee-vuonna-2040.html

[3] https://ourworldindata.org/electricity-mix

[4] https://www.reuters.com/article/innovation-textiles-finland-idUSL8N2KS121

International student experience in Finland-2

I came to Finland from Italy to attend my doctoral studies in philosophy in 2016. My research focuses on political and social philosophy as well as the study of critical sociology. My road to my PhD research in Finland started with me meeting my supervisor at a conference/work shop in Italy. That’s how I found out that there is huge academic activity here in Finland regarding the topic I was interested in and I also learned that getting funded here was easier for that specific philosophical field. After meeting Arto (Corrado’s supervisor), I tried to find more information regarding the Finnish university system and the Finnish funding system.

 

After living in Finland nearly 5 years, I’ve learned that the academic life here gives your good opportunities at every level.

Corrado Piroddi

 I found out that the hybrid system, in which you have not only the funding provided by the university as a job position but also funding provided by private foundations, seems more efficient than the Italian system that is based, on the contrary, on university funding. The distribution of research funding is more favorable here if we consider that not only STEM research gets the lion’s share of the money available but research in humanities also gets proper attention and it is well-funded, at least compared to Italy.

I have been here for four years and I have realized that, in my opinion, the social and public sphere is still well functioning according to some social democratic principles. I would say that the system of benefits and public support to citizens as well as foreign students and workers is more efficient and effective compared to my home country. While living here, I have noticed that a person with my type of academic and professional profile still has a large set of opportunities in terms of academic work after their doctoral studies. I think that here in Finland, it is still possible to build up an academic career, e.g. post-doc research. Since staying in the academia was my original plan, I had been thinking of continuing my academic career elsewhere but I have come to realize that it is possible to do it here. After living in Finland nearly 5 years, I’ve learned that the academic life here gives your good opportunities at every level.


I recommend other foreign students get plentiful information regarding bureaucratic issues and functioning of the Finnish welfare and academic systems in terms of student or unemployment benefits and the funding within the academic system. I would also emphasize that the academic system here is less formal; it is less “traditional”. Here, teaching remotely and the use of technology in order to support your education is very common and efficient, so the students have to be ready that the teaching style could be very different from where they come from. Here, it is goal-oriented and more pragmatic.

Reasons to study in Finland

What makes Finland the ideal destination for pursuing education? Finland has one of the most successful education systems in the world, and Finnish universities are ranked among the best, which are ideal for anyone seeking high-quality education abroad. Whether it is the seaside capital area of Helsinki, the medieval university city of Turku or the popular inland city of Tampere, you can find the best Finnish study destination for you.

 

If you want to receive a world-class education, immerse yourself in the Nordic lifestyle, and study in one of the happiest places on earth (although it can be cold!) then perhaps Finland has been on your list of destinations! Read on to learn more about what makes Finland one of the best places to study in abroad. 

1. World-class education system

 

With one of the most successful education systems in the world, it is no wonder that more than 14,000 international students have chosen Finland to study abroad.

 Finland continues to surpass the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand in mathematics, science and reading performance. As of 2019, Finnish universities are ranked in the top three globally.

 

From early childhood, Finnish schools have been committed to providing students with real-world preparation and providing them with meaningful tools in life. Through interdisciplinary teaching methods, the combination of self-study, problem-solving and self-development capabilities provide students with a comprehensive learning experience from preschool to university.

 

2. Affordable tuition

 

Finnish and citizens of other EU member states can receive tuition fees for Finnish universities for free, while tuition fees for international students range from 6,000 Euros to 16,000 Euros per year, depending on the university and the degree program.

 However, many universities provide scholarships to international students mainly based on academic merits. Some universities may provide full scholarships, but more common are scholarships that deduct tuition fees as a percentage.

 

3. Equality and freedom

 

Equality and freedom are the cornerstones of the Finnish education system. In Finland, all students have equal opportunities to receive high-quality education, and due to the uniform hierarchy of Finnish universities, students usually have the same name as the professor.

 Academic freedom is also a core value of Finnish universities. Unlike other education systems, Finnish students can freely decide which modules to study as elective studies to ensure that each student has multiple skills and knowledge when they graduate.

 

4. High standard of living

 

Finland provides a very comfortable standard of living for students and families across the country. Not only is Finland’s education and healthcare system first-rate, but most students’ living expenses are manageable, especially because of the large student discounts on food and transportation nationwide, and the possibilities of part-time work for students.

 Work-life balance is also an important part of Finnish society. Work, study and vacation are given equal priority, so employees and students are welcome to enjoy the results of their work, chill and relax with family and friends during off-duty hours. Sauna perhaps, anyone?

 

5. Otherworldly travel destinations

 

Finland has many attractions, sights and natural wonders that can satisfy your wanderlust in any season.

 If you dream of experiencing the beauty of Finnish nature, you can venture to Lake Saimaa or Archipelago*** Park, and depending on the time of the year, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights or the midnight sun.

 Finland also has open-air museums such as Seurasaari, Luostarinmöki and Suomenlinna fortresses for history lovers to admire, while others prefer to visit the Moomin Museum in Tampere, which specializes in these beloved literary figures.

 You can even meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in Rovaniemi and enjoy the festive atmosphere!

 

6. Job opportunities for students

 

This is good news for career-conscious students-Several Finnish universities provide career services for international students. Whether you are looking for a job as a student or a full-time position after graduation, they can help during your job search.

 Part-time work and study are not uncommon in Finland-according to a survey by Statistics Finland, 55% of university students report that they have signed an employment contract while studying.

 

If you are interested in working part-time while working abroad, your student residency permit will allow you to work up to 25 hours a week.