China and India are targeted by drive to recruit more than 100,000 extra students from outside EU to Finland.
Five Finnish universities are working with the start-up company Edunation to bring a further 150,000 international students to the country by 2020.
This has been initiated after Finland’s immigration service revealed that the number of students from outside Europe applying for residence permits to study in the country has fallen by 23 percent since last year, according to a report from Yle Uutiset.
Edunation, an education export company, is developing an app that will inform potential students about university applications the day after they submit them.
Just one of the institutions involved, the Lappeenranta University of Technology, has so far been named.
“The current Finnish application process is extremely complex and clunky, and one of the main challenges is international recruitment,” said Janne Hokkanen, the university’s international affairs manager.
LUT hopes to double the number of students enrolling from outside Europe, with an intense focus on students from China and India.
Besides signing up with the Edunation scheme, LUT has taken action to make the application process for international students more accessible. The university has begun accepting certain applications from prospective students almost all year round, with successful applicants hearing back within one month.
“Receiving word of acceptance as soon as possible makes life much easier for students,” Mr Hokkanen said.
In 2016 the Finnish government began charging international students tuition fees. As of late September, 4,300 international students had applied for residence permits to study higher education, which is a drop of 23 percent since last year.