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FSD1269 Foreign Students in Finland's Higher Education Institutions 2002

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Authors

  • Kinnunen, Taina (Student Research Foundation (Otus))

Keywords

cultural integration, employment, foreign students, higher education institutions, immigration, social adjustment, social integration, social interaction, tertiary education

Abstract

The survey charted foreign students' experiences when studying in higher education institutions in Finland and their integration into Finnish society. Respondents were asked whether they had visited Finland before starting their studies and the reason for choosing Finland and their university/polytechnic. Satisfaction with the teaching, guidance, services, progression of their studies and housing were canvassed. Respondents were asked to name the most positive and negative things in their institution and in Finnish society. Some questions focused on credits earned, degree aimed at and future study plans. Respondents were also asked whether they would prefer to study in some other country and would they continue their studies in Finland if tuition fees were introduced.

Funding of the studies was examined. Working respondents were asked whether the work corresponded with their education and prior work experience, how they had learned about the job, what languages they used at work, and what their employment history in Finland was. Satisfaction with the nature of the job, salary and social atmosphere was charted.

Respondents were asked how long they had been in the country, whether their motivation and plans for studying had changed during their stay and what were the advantages or disadvantages of being a foreigner in Finland. Further questions surveyed in which situations respondents felt conscious of their own cultural background, what they missed most about their home country and how would they advise a friend planning to move to Finland. Future plans about studies and staying in Finland were charted. One theme pertained to students' social life (e.g. satisfaction with it, contacts). Values were studied by asking whether career, high income, children, relationships, religion etc. were important to the respondent.

Background variables included respondents' age, sex, citizenship, marital status, mother tongue, children, length of stay in Finland, study institution, previous degrees and language skills.

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