Open Universities form part of the Finnish adult education system. A total of 15 Finnish universities provide Open University education to promote educational and regional equality.
Open University education caters for adult students who pay a course fee. Universities recover the organisational costs they incur in providing educational services for students at the Open University. Other insitutions that organise Open University studies may charge fees on different basis. The education is founded on research and complies with Finnish universities’ undergraduate curricula.
Open University education is open to all regardless of age or educational background. Students may have different goals: to improve general knowledge, to upgrade their basic education or to work toward self-development. Studying at the Open University also provides an idea of what studying at university is like and helps one to prepare for academic degree studies. The language of instruction is usually Finnish or Swedish.
Open University education is arranged in cooperation with university departments. Its objectives and requirements correspond to those of regular degree studies. Open Universities cannot award degrees, but credits are transferable and can be incorporated into a university degree.
Each Open University provides teaching on its own and in cooperation with such educational institutions as adult education centres, folk high schools and summer universities. Open University education is available in 120 localities throughout Finland. Lectures take place in the evening and on weekends. Open University education is also offered online, which enables many working adults to pursue studies.
Because Open University studies are part-time and general in nature, students are not entitled to financial aid or other social benefits for students.
Comprehensive information about Open University courses
The course database of the Avoinyliopisto.fi website includes information about the courses available at Finnish Open Universities: thousands of study modules and study units in hundreds of subjects in 18 fields. Finnish Open Universities provide and update the information included in this database.
Most of the courses are basic-level studies taught in Finnish, but students can also progress further in several subjects. The most popular fields of study are education, the humanities and the social sciences. Every year over 70,000 people studies at Finnish Open Universities.