Guidance Services and Recognition of Prior Learning and Competence for Immigrants

Guidance and Counselling Services

NOTE!SIMHE Metropolia services will be on summer break from 3 July to 6 August!

Guidance and counselling services offers you different options through which you may plan what kind of study opportunities there are for you to enhance and top-up your competence. Or, you may aim at starting a new study path or find ways to find employment in Finland.

What Is Guidance and Counselling?

Guidance and counselling aim at helping you to find the most suitable study and/or career paths for you. We will not give you any ready-made solutions, but the idea is to help you to acknowledge your own skills and competences. It also helps you to realise what are your strengths and weaknesses and in what areas you may need improvement or more studies to be ready to enter further studies or working-life.

You have various ways to receive guidance and counselling:

Personal Guidance Discussion

You may book a time for a personal guidance discussion in which we go through your previous studies and what kind of hopes and ideas you have for your future education and career. Guidance discussion is aimed at people with an immigrant background and who are eligible to apply for higher education, who have previous studies in higher education or have already completed a degree in higher education.

Book a time for personal guidance discussion by sending e-mail to simhe-info metropolia fi

Consider the following topics before coming to the discussion:

  • What have you studied before and what are your skills and competences?
  • Are you interested in supplementing your previous studies for example by taking courses via open university?
  • Do you plan to start studies in higher education for the first time, or do you wish to enter in a totally new field of study?
  • What are your career plans?
  • How is your life in general in relation to continuing or starting studies?

Guidance Generalia lectures

In Guidance Generalia, you will

  • get familiar with the Finnish education system and in Finnish higher education system in particular
  • obtain information on what and where you can study in Finland as an asylum seeker and as an immigrant
  • obtain information on how to apply for higher education
  • have ideas what you need to take into account when planning studies
  • get extra knowledge on the selected and variable topic that is specific for each lecture. The topic will be informed two weeks prior to each Guidance Generalia session.

Guidance Generalia lectures will be offered in Finnish and English. Other language options will be decided according to the enrolment information.


Mon 21 August 2017 
Language studies offered via Metropolia:
OLS for Refugees - on-line language learning for immigrants
TOEFL language tests - preparatory course and TOEFL test in English language
Enroll by 17 August >> Finnish
Mon 18 September 2017
Finnish education system
Finnish higher education system
Applying for English-conducted Master's programmes 2018
Enrolment starts 15 Aug 2017 Finnish
Mon 16 October 2017
Finnish education system
Finnish higher education system
Applying for English-conducted Bachelor's programmes 2018
Enrolment starts 15 Sept 2017

Mon 20 November 2017

Recognition of competences and self-development

Enrolment starts 15 Oct  2017



Guidance Generalia lectures are organised at Metropolia Bulevardi campus:
Bulevardi 31, 00180 Helsinki

Recognition of Prior Learning and Competence

What is Recognition of Competences and Prior Learning?

Recognition of prior learning and competence aims at mapping what kind of skills and competence you have acquired through your previous studies in higher education and also through possible study-related work experience.

The main goal is to help you to integrate into Finnish society faster through recognising such skills and competence and thus also enhance your possibilities to enter to the labour market.

Competence is all that you have learned during your life. You may have gained it by working or studying, in school, or through hobbies. Competence doesn’t show merely in certificates from school, studies or work. Recognition of competence and prior learning may help you in getting back to studies or to start your own professional career. A variety of different methods,”tools”, are used recognising your competence. Your competence profile starts to build up through this recognition.

Learn more about different tools and methods >>

Recognition of Competences and Prior Learning for Highly Educated Immigrants

We have organised the recognition of competences thrice: in spring 2016 in the field of technology and in autumn 2016 and spring 2017 in the fields of technology and business administration.

The next recognition of competences will be arranged in autumn 2017. We will inform more about the timings and process in August 2017.

Who can participate?

You can take part in recognition of competences and prior learning, if you have

  • Residence permit in Finland
  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in the field of technology (engineering) or business
  • Degree Certificate
  • Sufficient language skills in English or in Finnish

What is included in the recognition of competences?

Recognition of Competence and Prior Learning includes two parts at SIMHE-Metropolia: Mapping Competences and Demonstrating Competences.

You will be invited to an In-Depth Professional Discussion in which you have a conversation with a Metropolia professional from the field. It is also possible to participate in a work-based project at Metropolia to show your skills and competences.

Mapping of Competences

Mapping of Competences comprises of two phases:

  • Orientation (self-evaluation, degree comparison)
  • In-Depth Professional Discussion with an expert in your field of study

After the Mapping of Competences, you will receive a document in which we describe

  • what kind of competences we were able to identify based on your previous studies
  • what kind of additional skills and competences you have
  • what kind of added studies we can recommend to you

Demonstrating of Competences

After Mapping of Competences, you can take part in the second phase, Demonstrating of  Competences. This is carried out by taking part in a work-based project together with Metropolia students.

The extent of the work-based project is 10 ECTS credits. The length of the project varies between the degree programmes, but it usually takes about three to five months to complete the work-based project.

Completing the work-based project can include

  • a lecture once or twice a week
  • self-study
  • team work
  • meetings with the company that has ordered the project from Metropolia
  • meetings with the lecturer supervising the work-based project

Taking part in the work-based project enables you to

  • demonstrate your skills and competences widely in relation to Finnish working life by using your existing skills and competences
  • update your project skills and knowledge also from a theoretical point of view
  • enhance your team-working skills

After completing the Demonstrating Competences through work-based project, you will receive a document in which we assess and evaluate

  • your skills and competences in relation to objectives set for the work-based project
  • general working life skills
  • your general project work skills

Additionally, you will receive an official study transcript from Metropolia University of Applied Sciences which includes the following information

  • the extent of the work-based project in ECTS credits
  • a numerical grade on your performance in the project

How can you benefit from taking part in Recognition of Competences and Prior Learning?

Mapping of Competences and Demonstrating Competences will give you a better understanding on your skills and competences and they also enable you to update your project skills. The documents also help the employers to acknowledge your competences better, when you apply for a job.  

Mapping of Competences and Demonstrating Competences help you to create networks with

  • Metropolia staff
  • students in your own field of expertise
  • a company that ordered the work-based project

You will also obtain an invaluable insight into studies in Finnish higher education and learn project skills that are important in working-life. The documents also make your competences more visible to the employers.

All SIMHE-Metropolia services are free of charge to our customers.

Study Opportunities is maintained by the Finnish Education Board. Finnish educational institutions introduce their offerings and services in the portal. provides easy-to-use, trustworthy and secure services for lifelong learning and planning and implementing individual study paths. contains information on degrees, professions and studying in different educational institutions.

You may find different study paths and apply for studies in the system.

Read more about the >>

Finnish courses has a good search engine for finding Finnish courses in Helsinki region, but also in Turku and Tampere regions.

Find a Finnish course >>

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Preparatory Courses for Immigrants

Metropolia offers preparatory courses for immigrants to introduce what it is like to study in university of applied sciences in Finland in different fields of study. Preparatory courses are conducted in Finnish (skills level B1.1).

Learn more about the content and course offerings >>

Teacher education

Subject Teacher Education Programme STEP conducted in English at University of Helsinki. Read more >>

Metropolia Open University of Applied Sciences

Open University of Applied Sciences (Open UAS) gives you an opportunity to study courses from various degree programmes (Bachelor's or Master's) regardless of your former education, work experience and age.

Learn more about the course offerings >>

Open UAS and university studies in the Helsinki Region

Laurea UAS

Haaga-Helia UAS

Arcada UAS
Studies are offered in Swedish and in English

University of Helsinki

Aalto University
E-mail: avoin aalto fi

Helsinki Summer University

Outside Helsinki region

Lahti UAS
avoinamk lamk fi

TAMK UAS (Tampere)
avoinamk tamk fi

University of Tampere
avoin uta fi

Turku UAS
avoinamk turkuamk fi

University of Turku

Note that each school has its own enrolment and fee policy.

Useful Links

How to make a Curriculum Vitae

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Information for working in Finland

In To Finland
In To Finland is a shared service point of The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) and the Tax Administration that is intended for foreign workers in Finland.

Virka-info is the City of Helsinki's information service that provides information and advice to both residents and visitors.

Infopankki offers information on living in Finland and about different possibilities there are in Finland. Services can be used in 12 different languages and it is maintained by City of Helsinki. 

How to find work in Finland

Te Services

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Support for starting up a company in Finland

To help you to become an entrepreneur in Helsinki region - NewCo Helsinki