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Polytechnics in Finland

Higher education is provided by universities and polytechnics (ammattikorkeakoulu, AMK). The Finnish polytechnic system was built during the 1990’s to create a non-university sector of higher education. Polytechnic education emphasises close contacts with business, industry and services, especially at the regional level. The degrees are designed to meet the changing requirements and development needs of the world of work, having a pronounced occupational emphasis, and qualifying graduates for various expert duties. Polytechnics undertake research and development with an applied and practical emphasis.

There are presently 31 polytechnics in Finland, most of which are multi-field and operate in several units. Polytechnics offer Bachelor-level higher education degrees equivalent to Bachelor of Arts (Hon) or Bachelor of Science (Hon) Degrees in the UK and the US, the French Licence, the German Diplom Fachhochschule and the Dutch HBO Diploma.

Studies are organised into Degree Programmes, which are confirmed by the Ministry of Education, the curricula are independently decided by the polytechnics. Each Degree Programme consists of 140 credits (210 ECTS) and takes 3.5-4.5 years to complete. For some fields of study the number of credits is 160 (240 ECTS), such as studies in Natural Resources, Culture and Media and Public Health Nursing. Each credit is equivalent of 40 hours of work. The polytechnic degrees combine theory, practice and individual experience and qualify the graduates for planning, expert and managerial posts as well as for other professional tasks requiring a high standard of expertise.

The international activity of the polytechnics focuses in particular on international studies at foreign universities and polytechnics based on mutual agreements. Work placement forms an important part of international activity. To these ends, the polytechnics interact closely with corresponding foreign institutes and business organisations. The polytechnics also engage in world-wide training, development and research co-operation. The polytechnics play an activerole in international EU co-operation programmes involving business life and institutes

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Finnish Polytechnics

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