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Higher education preparatory program for immigrants, Business Administration and Engineering

Spring 2021

Select years, semesters and periods (when only one year is selected) by clicking buttons below. (S = Spring, A = Autumn)
Year of study 1
Search for study unit: ECTS 1 1S 1 2 3
Introduction to Preparatory Program and Higher Education Studies 5
Field-specific studies 25          
Business and Engineering
(Select 25 ECTS)
Higher education studies and Finnish as a second language (B1) 5
Higher education studies and Finnish as a second language 2, Engineering (B1) 5
Higher education studies end Finnish as a second language 2, Business B1) 5
Higher education studies and Finnish as a Second Language 3 (B2) 5
Introduction to Mathematics 5
English for Higher Education Studies 5
ECTS credits per period / semester / academic year 35 35 10 15 10

Due to the timing of optional and elective courses, credit accumulation per semester / academic year may vary.

Business Administration and Engineering

Programme description

The preparatory program is targeted to persons with an immigrant background who aim at applying to higher education studies at universities or universities of applied sciences in Finland. The prerequisites for taking part in the program are proficiency in Finnish language (minimum CEFR level B1 and the qualification for higher education studies.

Applicants are qualified for higher education studies if they have
- a Finnish matriculation examination certificate,
- a Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification,
- a foreign certificate that qualifies for higher education studies in the country in question or,
- a foreign academic degree.

If the applicants cannot prove their qualification with a certificate, they must be granted a refugee status (a decision on refuge or a residence permit based on international protection).

The duration of a 30-ECTS program is six months. The program consists of one common study unit for all the students and separate study modules that focus on different professional fields or other academic fields of study.

The contents of the program emphasize the Finnish language studies and professional or multidisciplinary preparatory studies for higher education. In addition, the program includes studies in English language and communication and mathematics. All the contents also aim at developing academic study skills, digital skills and knowledge of Finnish higher education.

Competence objectives

The objective of the program is to offer the students the skills needed to enter and succeed in higher education studies. The main emphasis is on developing the skills that are needed in entrance exams and studies at universities and universities of applied sciences. The aim related to the Finnish language skills is developing the Finnish language proficiency from CEFR level B1 to CEFR level B2.

The general objectives include:
- understanding the Finnish higher education system and its practices
- developing social and teamwork skills
- developing self-management skills and taking responsibility in the learning process
- reflecting on learning topics and the learning process
- expressing opinions and critique
- searching for information and critical literacy
- developing different reading techniques and multiliteracy
- mastering basic mathematical operations
- understanding and using English materials as well as being able to communicate in English both orally and in writing

The main objectives related to the Finnish language skills include:
- mastering the vocabulary and concepts needed in higher education studies
- knowing the differences between written and spoken language
- developing oral communication skills
- recognizing different text types and styles
- being able to write different texts
- being able to construct sentences: sentence types, sentence analysis, non-finite clauses, punctuation
- having command of language structures: case government, cases, tenses and expressions of time, nominal forms, transitive and intransitive verbs, conjunctions

Pedagogic approaches

The program can be completed by studying either online or on-site. In both implementations, the students’ activity and responsibility for their own learning is of great importance.

Teaching can be tailored according to the students’ knowledge and needs, for example, by means of ability groups and different pedagogical approaches. The Finnish language studies are strongly integrated with other subjects.

The pedagogical approaches of the program are based on social interaction, working life orientation as well as learning and teaching methods that activate students. In addition, the students of the preparatory program are supported to become integrated with the higher education community, for example by creating opportunities to become acquainted with degree program studies.

Student guidance as well as monitoring and supporting the learning process of the students are of central importance in the program. In addition, the students are supported to apply to further higher education studies and they are provided with advice related to the student admissions procedure. The student guidance in the program also includes utilizing the experience of tutor students concerning studying in higher education.


Learning is assessed with different methods and criteria. The development-oriented assessment supports learning and does not take place only at the end of the study units or modules.

Learning is assessed from different points of view by the teacher, peers and the students themselves. Assessment is part of student guidance and helps the students recognize and evaluate their own learning and become aware of how they learn.

Most study units in the preparatory program are graded numerically. The pass/fail grading scale can also be used in the final grading in those study units where common learning goals cannot be set because of students’ heterogeneous skill levels.