Tuition fees bring changes to practical processes and student status

New students enrolling in Aalto University's degree programmes taught in English will be required to pay tuition fees.

New students enrolling in Aalto University's degree programmes taught in English will be required to pay tuition fees. These students are those from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland citizens who will begin their studies in the autumn term of 2017.

Where Finland is concerned, this is an historic change that will also change things at Aalto. 

‘The tuition fees will most likely result in a decline in applicants from outside the EU/EEA, much like what happened in Sweden a few years ago,' explains Eero Eloranta, Vice President of Education.

However, Eloranta does not believe that this decline will be permanent.

'In future, we have to compete with high-quality, attractive programmes, not free education. It's difficult to predict what will happen, but we absolutely do everything we can to bring in top students, even those from outside Europe,' adds Eloranta.

A scholarship programme will also be established along with the introduction of tuition fees. Aalto scholarships will be granted in the form of a tuition fee waiver The top applicants can receive a 100% or 50% compensation on their tuition fees.

Benefits for all the students

Tuition fees are also changing the relations between the students and the university. By paying a tuition fee, the student becomes a customer, who wants value for their money and who is justified in having certain expectations when it comes to the level of instruction and services.

'Even here, it is important to give attention to the promises made and level of service - we must absolutely be able to keep our promises,' stresses Eija Zitting, Head of Learning Services at Aalto.

'Tuition forces us to reassess our processes and services as well as make changes to them for example in scheduling the studies. Ideally, this will increase quality in all of our operations, thus benefitting all students,' adds Zitting. 

Working group preparing for the introduction of tuition fees

The tuition fees will not only affect the status of students, it will also bring changes to practical processes.  The changes will also create new tasks for Learning Services. Formed in the autumn of 2015, the working group has prepared practical processes ranging from application processes, scholarship grants, financial and resourcing matters to student services and international co-operation.

'A large amount of work done by a large number of people at Aalto has gone into preparing decisions and planning things.  But, some of the details are still in the works. We're now entering the implementation phase and we'll be holding orientation events at the schools in November and December. Learning Services in each school will play a key role in implementing the change, but the change affects us all,' explains head of the tuition project manager, Mervi Rantanen.

Matters concerning the tuition fees will also be compiled in a handbook, which will be made available to all in Inside by the end of this year.  

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