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Page updated 15.9.2023
Immigrants’ preparatory programme for higher education studies in Social Services and Health Care

Immigrants’ preparatory programme for higher education studies in Social Services and Health Care

The objective of the preparatory programme is to achieve the readiness to proceed to higher education studies. In the programme, the skills required in the entrance examinations to higher education institutions and in university of applied sciences and university studies are developed.

Turku UAS organizes preparatory programmes on a regular basis, approximately every second year.

More specific information on the next education is available in Finnish at Korkeakouluopintoihin valmentava koulutus maahanmuuttajille verkkototeutus

Target group and eligibility to apply

The programme is aimed at immigrants, whose aim is to study at a university of applied sciences or university in Finland.

The applicant shall be eligible to apply and possess at least skill level B1 in the Finnish language.

The evaluation table for language skill level

The applicant is eligible to apply for the preparatory education if they have completed

  • the syllabus of Finnish national upper secondary education (general upper secondary education certificate)
  • a Finnish matriculation examination or an equivalent international baccalaureate diploma ,
  • a Finnish vocational upper secondary qualification or specialist vocational qualification,
  • foreign education, which in the country in question provides the eligibility to apply for higher education studies or
  • a foreign higher education degree.

If the applicant cannot prove the eligibility to apply with a certificate, they must have a decision of an authority on the refugee status (asylum decision or residence permit based on protection).


The extent of the preparatory programme is 30 credits, and the duration is 6 months.


The programme focuses on the Finnish language and professional field specific studies and or general studies which prepare for higher education studies. The education also includes mathematics and English studies.

In all contents, academic skills are emphasized: study and digital skills and knowledge of Finnish higher education studies.

Implementation method

Education is full-time study, about 34 hours per week. Preparatory programme takes place online, so you can study anywhere.

  • The studies include a lot of online meetings, about 5-8 hours a week.
  • We will have online meetings on weekdays from 8 am to 4 pm.

In the e-learning environment, people also study together and in a community. The studies may include visits to e.g., higher education institutions’ degree education or working life visits.
In e-learning, it is important to be active and take responsibility for your own learning.

  • Studying online requires a computer, internet connection, a headset and a webcam.

The programme is arranged in Finnish. The Finnish language teaching is strongly integrated in the other contents to be learned.


Participation in the preparatory programme is free of charge.

The Finnish language studies included in the preparatory programme can also be completed through Open Studies.

For more information on financial aid and e.g., the unemployment benefit to support independent studies, you can contact the TE Office or the local government pilot on employment in your region.

Applying for degree education

The preparatory programme does not grant direct access to degree studies, but application to degree education takes place through joint application or path studies.

The preparatory programme is not a justification for obtaining the residence permit.

Read more about Finnish Language and Guidance Services

For students with a foreign background, we provide services which support the progress to higher education studies, the development of Finnish language skills during the studies and seamless studies in the Finnish higher education community.