Proving your English language skills

Recently, someone asked me about English language requirements for international students who want to gain admission for a programme in a Finnish university.  

I did a simple search from the internet and came across some information I would like to share here today.

International Master’s programmes

As I said some time ago, I do not have any figures to show how many foreign students gain admission into Finnish universities. But, I can say that there are quite huge numbers of non-European students wanting to pursue further education in Finland.

On the website of the University of Helsinki is the information that when you apply to their International Master’s programmes in English or to their multilingual Master’s programmes with English as the language of the degree, you must prove your language skills in English (see

According to the website, there are particular ways that are regarded as accepted methods of proving your English language skills.

Statements issued by individual language teachers or universities’ own language test scores are not accepted. This is because the statements cannot be compared with standardised language tests, according to the instructions for the Master’s programme applications for 2022 (which ended in early January this year). 

Accepted methods of proving language skills

According to information on the website there are a number of methods for proving your English language skills.

The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one such method for testing the language skills of a prospective student. The minimum requirement for the IELTS is an overall score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in the writing section.

The other method is the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). In this, the student has to score 92 in the internet-based test (IBT), with a minimum of 22 in the writing section.

There is also the revised Paper-delivered Test of the TOEFL which should have a minimum score of 20 in the listening section, and a minimum of 22 in the writing section. The information says that both the Home Edition and Paper Edition of TOEFL IBT are also accepted.

Other options: Commonwealth countries and English

Some time ago, someone asked me whether an exemption could be given to prospective students coming from the Commonwealth countries where English was the official language or medium of instruction throughout schooling.

The person thought this would be one good option as happened in some places.

In fact, I have no idea what exemptions are there and whether such a consideration can be given to students from Commonwealth countries.

I advise that prospective applicants should find out from the faculties or departments and the programmes that they are interested in studying in Finnish universities. Thank you.

By Perpertual


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