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No National Framework of Qualifications (Finland)

The National National Qualifications Framework (NQF) has not been adopted yet in Finland. The issue concerns all students in higher education nationally but particularly students with a degree from a university of applied sciences.

The non-implementation of the NQF makes it harder for students to move between the two sectors (universities of applied sciences and universities) of the dual system. This affects mostly the students in Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS). It is also more difficult to get employed with a UAS degree as some employers do not recognize the UAS degree to be on the same level or of the same value as a bachelor degree from Finnish universities.

The transition from a UAS with a first cycle degree to a master’s level degree at an university is difficult as the NQF cannot be used to verify the compatibility of the degree from the UASes. As a result, few applicants are accepted into universities with a first cycle degree from an UAS in Finland, and are in most cases required to complete additional studies (up to 60 ECTS or one year’s studies) in order to qualify for the master’s.

Additionally, it is nearly impossible to get into the doctoral studies in the universities with a second cycle degree from an UAS as it is not part of our national qualifications framework.

The apparent solution is to have the Parliament approve the framework which is linked to the goal of adopting an NQF by 2010 as agreed on in 2005 in Bergen. It has been on the agenda of the Education and Culture Committee of Finnish Parliament since 2010.