Why study at University of Tampere, Finland?
Finland is known around the globe for its progressive higher education culture that aims to cultivate a humane and globally-minded ‘next generation’. This is emphasis is especially present in the University of Tampere (UTA). UTA prides itself on providing a friendly environment for students to connect with their professors and even the administration, even as undergraduates.
Many undergraduate students praise the fact that their professors are approachable and the classes project-oriented. UTA also encourage students to branch out into other classes in order to experience a more balanced education. Through this practical learning environment, the university bolsters students for life after graduation, giving them the necessary experience and flexibility to hold down a job.
Programs offered at University of Tampere
As part of the Faculty of Management and Business, there are only a small number of economics programs on offer. For undergraduates, those who opt for business studies will study economics topics as part of that course, including core courses in microeconomics, macroeconomics and econometrics and field courses in in public economics, labour and personnel economics, behavioural economics, monetary and financial economics, and regional economics.
Masters students can opt for the master's degree in economics or the double degree program Public Economics and Public Finance. This double degree is taught jointly between the University of Tampere are other Europeans universities: the University of Rennes in France, University of Fribourg in Switzerland, the Università degli Studi del Piamonte Orientale ”Amedeo Avogadro” in Italy, and Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.
Doctoral students can study economics as part of a joint economics program offered by economics units across Finland, in a coruse called the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Economics.
Research at The University of Tampere
The research work in economics at University of Tampere is divided into two main topics: public economics, such as taxation, social services, and environmental policy; and labour economics, including the study of labour market policy and migration. Current major research projects are in work inequality and competition in healthcare.
Other departments at the University of Tampere faculty also engage in interesting research, including alternative care, classical, medieval and early modern history, Russian and Chinese media and even theatre. But most fascinating is their policy of “open science,” meaning an open approach to scientific publications, the allocation of research data, and the research process. They believe this improves the quality of scientific knowledge, increases opportunities for new scientific knowledge to be implemented, encourages researchers around the globe to cooperate with each other, and expands the impact scientific findings have on us. Basically, they encourage globalization not only in the classroom, but even in their faculty’s scientific endeavours.
Tuition fees and cost of living at the University of Tampere
Universities in Finland are, incredibly enough, free to attend if you are an EU citizen or you already reside in Finland. This idea may be shocking to those from countries like the US where higher education is to expensive, but this comes from the Finnish ethos to education.
Even for students who come from outside the EU, the University of Tampere is relatively affordable in terms of fees. Bachelor's and master's student will pay between €8,000 and €12,00 per year, and doctoral students pay no tuition fees at all.
As for living costs, Tampere is not the cheapest place to live in Europe but the costs are manageable. In terms of accommodation, if you make use of student accommodations you are looking between €200 and €900 per month, depending on whether you opt for a shared room, a single room, a small apartment or a family apartment.
Other costs are around €250 a month for food. Up to €80 per month for travel, and a few hundred Euros for personal spending depending on your interests. In total, you can expect to pay between €750 and €1000 per month in living costs.
Student life in Tampere
The city of Tampere was voted the most desirable place to live in Finland for the sixth consecutive year, even above the capital of Helsinki. So it’s no wonder thousands of students flock here for their higher education. 40,000 out of 220,000 of city inhabitants are students and the population is very diverse, with students coming from about 80 different countries.
Undoubtedly the most beautiful aspect of Tampere has to be the nature. With the Tammerkoski channels gushing through the city, the 200 lakes around the outskirts, and the immense greenery, Tampere is the premier destination for a student who not only has their head in the books but their feet in the earth.
One of the many lakes in Tampere, Finland
Not only can you fish in and bike around the lakes, but you can also swim in ice—an eccentric past-time for local Finns. This is what is known as “avantouinti,” or more literally ‘dipping yourself in a frozen lake’. The health benefits are immense, and include anti-ageing, the lowering of blood pressure and improved blood circulation. It also helps to balance the emotions and hormones. Fortunately, due to Tampere’s prestige as the sauna capital of the world (with over 35 public saunas dispersed in and around the city), there are also plenty of places to heat yourself up.
Besides the impressive nature Tampere has to offer, there many other activities for college students that have more to do with modern civilization. The Moomin Museum is dedicated to the books of Tove Jansson, a Finnish author, painter, and illustrator, and creator of the Moomin books. The series of books follow the family of Moomins. The protagonist is Moomintroll, who lives in a Moominhouse with his Moominpappa and Moominmamma, and who goes on different Moominadventures. Okay, I may have made that last word up. But if you’d like to Moomin through the Moominmuseum, even if you’re not already familiar with Moomining, now’s your chance to Moominlearn about Moominmoomins.
If you’re into more conventional museums, however, you might find the Vapriiki Museum to be of interest. Not only does it house a dozen exhibitions every year, its also home to the Doll Museum, the Finnish Ice Hockey Museum, the Finnish Museum of Games, the Natural History Museum, the Postal Museum and more.
There is also the opportunity to revisit your childhood at Särkänniemi, an amusement park that also contains an aquarium and planetarium. With six massive roller coasters and over a million visitors each month, it’s essentially the Disney Land of Finland and has been voted as the best amusement park in the country.
Challenges for international students at University of Tampere
The only downside students at the University of Tampere have complained about is the division between local and international students. International masters’ programs, for instance, are not offered to locals, and because of this students from abroad cannot become as involved in university life. However, a tutor is appointed to every incoming international student, but not just for academic guidance. They are also there to: ensure you are able to contact your faculty; support you with any student housing issues; and even help you open a bank account, if you so need.
Another issue to consider is the weather. Tampere is located far north so the weather can be biting, and the daylight can be extremely limited, or excessive. The shortest day in Tampere is on December 22nd, and is only 5 hours and 20 minutes long. In contrast, the summer’s longest day is 19 hours and 30 minutes. If you already struggle with adhering to a regular sleep schedule, this may not be the place for you.