Finnish Universities of Applied Sciences will organise their entrance examinations online

The universities of applied sciences have, in view of the pandemic situation, decided that the second joint AMK entrance examinations this spring will be organised online. There were 92 000 applicants to the universities of applied sciences by the end of the application period on 1 April. 75 000 of those sought admission in the joint application examinations.

The decision to organise the examinations online was taken in order to protect the health of applicants, staff and their families. There are no projections for the progress of the Corona pandemic and we are therefore unable to predict a safe future date for the entrance exam.

The entrance examinations will be organised sometime in early June, at a date to be announced later.

The universities of applied sciences have cooperated in developing the student selection process for several years and also have the know-how to organise the examinations online.

They feel it is important that, in addition to selection based on school performance, there are other ways for applicants to be selected for degree programmes.

About half the intake of the universities of applied sciences will be filled based on the applicants’ school performance. School performance will determine between 20 and 80 per cent of selections, depending on the university. Expanding the selection by school performance would not have guaranteed the equal treatment of applicants.  

There were 33 000 people among the applicants, whose certificates could not be graded the way the matriculation certificates and AMK vocational certificates (after 1.8.2015) are graded. This group includes people with older vocational qualifications, Bachelor’s degrees, post-secondary qualifications, specialist vocational qualifications, foreign degrees and a completed general upper secondary school syllabus without a matriculation certificate.

Changing the form of examination will not change the date of the academic schedule and therefore will not impact a student’s right to financial aid.

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Student admissions at universities of applied sciences: questions and answers

1 How have the universities of applied sciences decided to carry out student admissions in the spring of 2020?

Universities of applied sciences will carry out student admissions as previously announced: by selection based on school certificate and entrance exams.

The entrance examination for the second joint application system for universities of applied sciences will be arranged as a remote exam due to the current emergency conditions. The reason for this decision is to avoid endangering the health of applicants and staff and their family members.

2 What does the exam require of the applicant?

The applicant must have a working computer with Internet connection. The exam software supports up-to-date versions of the following browsers:

  • Chrome
  • Edge
  • Firefox
  • Internet Explorer 11
  • Safari

Other modern browsers may work, as well.

You must have JavaScript and cookies enabled in your browser.

The software has been thoroughly tested with the following operating systems:

  • Windows 10
  • macOS 10.14
  • Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS

Before the entrance examination, check the information on the ammattikorkeakouluun.fi website (in Finnish or Swedish).

3 Why was the entrance examination not postponed?

It is impossible to predict when the epidemic will end, and the situation may vary in different parts of the country. Therefore, it is impossible to also predict what would be a safe time for arranging the postponed entrance examination.

Postponing the exam would have affected the schedule of student admissions and thus the beginning of the autumn term. This would have made it harder for new students to move to their place of study and find apartments and possibly affected their student financial aid in early autumn.

4 Why are universities of applied sciences not carrying out student selection based on school certificate

Universities of applied sciences consider it important that applicants have also other routes to the degree programme besides selection based on school certificate.

Universities of applied sciences select approximately half of the students by selection based on school certificate. Depending on the study programme, 20–80 % of the available student places will be filled by selection based on school certificate

The number of applicants whose certificates cannot be scored in the same way as certificates for matriculation examination or vocational upper secondary qualifications completed after 1 August 2015 is 33,000. This group includes persons with an older vocational upper secondary qualification, a secondary level qualification, a further vocational qualification, a specialist vocational qualification, a degree completed abroad or a completed upper secondary school syllabus without a matriculation examination.

Extending the selection based on school certificate would not have ensured equal treatment of applicants. 

5 Why was the decision to change entrance exams made only now? Why was the remote online exam not announced before the end of the joint application process?

Information available on coronavirus and the epidemic is constantly increasing and changing.

Universities of applied sciences have been cooperating on the matter with universities, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education. During the preparation process, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has been providing information on the epidemic. The decision on exam arrangements has been made as soon as it has been possible to do so. 

6 Is the solution now equal and legal for all applicants?

The decision to carry out entrance exams remotely gives all applicants the opportunity to try to get a student place. Issues of equality and legality are examined very carefully at all stages of the decision making process.

7 What should an applicant do now?

The changes do not require any action from the applicants at this stage.

By 30 April, applicants will be informed of the date of the entrance examination and the prerequisites for participating in it.

The changes are communicated on Studyinfo, the Ammattikorkeakouluun.fi website and the website of the universities of applied sciences. In addition, applicants are asked to follow the email address given in Studyinfo.