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 and Counselling 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 Mapping of Competences

Mapping of Competences is 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 of Competences

Mapping of Competences is carried out through

  • Self-evaluation
  • In-Depth Professional Discussion

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

After Mapping Competences, 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.

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. Mapping of Competences makes a an international candiate more familiar to the Finnish employers as their skills and competences have been referenced by educational experts in the field at Metropolia.

Statistics on SIMHE-Metropolia Services

SIMHE-Metropolia keeps statistics on its services so that we are more able to develop and target our services to various groups. Statistics are updated quarterly.


  1.4.-31.12.2016 1.1.-31.12.2017
Personal Guidance 100 250
Group Guidance 115 208
Recognition of Competences  70 96
TOTAL 285 554

Updated 2.1. 2018


Primary e-mail:

Heidi Stenberg, Project Director
heidi.stenberg metropolia fi
+ 358 (0)40 535 3388

Marianne Autero, Project Coordinator
marianne.autero metropolia fi
+358 (0)40 621 6636

Elisa Manninen, Project Coordinator
elisa.manninen metropolia fi
+358 (0)40 671 3888