SIMHE - Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences offers SIMHE (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland)- services for recognizing prior learning and competence of highly educated immigrants and their guidance. SIMHE- services are funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. SIMHE- services are available also in Karelia and Oulu Universities of Applied Sciences and in the Universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä and Turku.

The aim of the SIMHE is to streamline the recognition of prior learning (RPL) of highly educated immigrants, who reside in Finland with various statuses, and guiding them to higher education both on national and regional level. The SIMHE - institutions seek to establish a model that can be used by other higher education institutes in Finland joining the activities.

The SIMHE aims at ensuring that highly educated immigrants arriving in Finland will have their prior learning, studies and degrees recognized and acknowledged swiftly according to the national practices and that they will be guided to meaningful educational and career paths.

At SIMHE-Metropolia, we guide immigrants, who have a degree or previous studies in higher education, to find the most suitable educational or career path. SIMHE- Metropolia provides services both for recognition of prior learning and competence and guidance. The guidance services are available for all immigrants with higher education background and recognition of prior learning and competence is offered for those who already have a residence permit in Finland.

Guidance Services for Immigrants

Guidance services  include personal guidance and monthly Guidance generalia sessions that inform immigrants about the Finnish education system and how to apply to Finnish higher education as a degree student or to supplement previous studies.

Make yourself familiar with the services for immigrants >>

Services for Recognising Competences and Prior Learning

Services for Recognising Prior Learning and Competence include both personal guidance and also more in-depth evaluation on professional skills and competence. Those immigrants who have a residence permit can have their skills and competence evaluated through demonstration. Participants will receive a document on the test that explains what has been tested and with which methods.

Recognition of competences 

SIMHE-Metropolia services for recognition of competencies and prior learning are available in the field of business and technology.

Recognition of competences consists of two forms in recognising competencies and prior learning

  • Mapping of Competences
  • Demonstrating Competences

Services for recognition of competencies are aimed at immigrants, who

  • have a residence permit in Finland
  • have completed a Bachelor's or Master's degree in the field of technology or business
  • have a degree certificate
  • who are able to participate in the services either in Finnish or in English

Additionally, a customer aims at fast employment to the Finnish labour market.  

Mapping Competencies

Mapping Competencies is carried out through

  • Self-evaluation
  • In-Depth Professional Discussion

These methods enable us to find out, what kind of competencies the customer has and how these competencies can be compared within the similar education in Finland.

After Mapping Competencies, a customer receives a document in which we aim at

  • making the customer’s competence visible
  • survey the possible needs for supplementary education
  • and also explain what kind of additional competencies the customer has that are not included in the curriculum in our degree education.

A customer has a possibility to take part in Demonstrating Competencies after taking part and completing the Mapping of Competencies.

Demonstrating Competencies

In Demonstrating Competencies, a customer takes part in a Metropolia’s work-based project together with Metropolia degree students.

It is possible to make customer’s competences more visible to the employer who has ordered the project from Metropolia and thus help a customer to link with professional life through a work-based project.

After Demonstrating Competencies, a customer receives a document in which his/her competencies are given a more in-depth evaluation and a customer also receives a Metropolia study transcript from the completed work-based project.

Benefits for the employers

According to a research made by Helsingin Seudun Kauppakamari (2016), a foreign employee and a foreign degree often raises questions among the employers.

Our services aim at giving answers to the employers concerning questions about the recognition of competences. By participating in the work-based projects, the company is given an opportunity to get a better insight on the added value that a person with an immigrant background can bring to the company. The participation is also a good recruitment channel for students.

The recognition of competence service also links the immigrants with the Finnish students who are completing their degrees at Metropolia. All this brings multiculturalism into study and working life, which is the current trend in all areas of life in the contemporary world. Read more about the Metropolia's project cooperation with the employers >>


Primary e-mail: simhe-info metropolia fi

Heidi Stenberg, Project Director
heidi.stenberg metropolia fi
+ 358 40 535 3388

Marianne Autero, Project Coordinator
marianne.autero metropolia fi
+358 40 621 6636