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What is SIMHE

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences offers SIMHE services (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education in Finland) for highly educated immigrants to recognise their competences and for guiding them to suitable educational and career paths. SIMHE services are also offered by Karelia UAS, Oulu UAS, Savonia UAS and University of Helsinki, University of Jyväskylä and University of Turku.

Learn more about about SIMHE services at higher education institutions


SIMHE-Metropolia Services

SIMHE-Metropolia’s Guidance and Counselling Services consist of personal and group guidance for immigrants who are eligible to apply for higher education, have completed studies in higher education, or have completed a degree in higher education.

Services for Recognition of Competences aim at recognising the competences of immigrants with a higher education background. Recognition is done through Mapping of Competences.

Mapping of Competences is implemented as a process of about one month. The participant will

  • learn to express his/her competences through self-evaluation and comparing the previously acquired degree against the matching degree in his/her field at Metropolia
  • take part in In-Depth Professional Discussion with a Metropolia expert of the field
  • receive a document for his/her competences based on the In-Depth Professional Discussion.

The service has been provided as part of selected projects. The key idea guiding the service is: “international talents need local references”.

Read more about SIMHE-Metropolia's services for immigrants


SIMHE-Metropolia takes part in projects that are related to education, recognition of competences and guidance for immigrants and international degree students.

SIMHE-Metropolia runs a project Developing Competence Center Functions for the Helsinki Region in collaboration with the local government pilots on employment of Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa-Kerava. The project aims to develop and pilot a service concept for improving employment among foreign-language speaking jobseekers who have a higher education degree. The concept includes guidance services, workshops and education tracks in automation business, business administration, construction and real estate, ICT and nursing. In the nursing track the goal is to obtain the right to practise the profession in Finland. The project runs from 2020 to 2022 and it is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

SIMHE-Metropolia takes part in SIMHEapp II project that is coordinated by Karelia University of Applied Sciences. The aim is to extend and further develop the digital mobile platform that helps to recognise immigrants’ competences and supports their guidance. The application was developed in the SIMHEapp project (2017-2019) and the updated version will also include support for employment paths and non-degree related educational paths. Project takes place in 2019-2021 and it is funded by Ministry of Education and Culture.

SIMHE-Metropolia is a partner in the International talents accelerating growth project. The project develops the employability of international degree students and the attraction and integration of international talents in the Helsinki region. The project is coordinated by the City of Helsinki and the project partners are the cities of Espoo and Vantaa, Aalto University, University of Helsinki, Hanken School of Economics, Haaga-Helia, Laurea and Metropolia universities of applied sciences and Helsinki Region Chamber of Commerce and Helsinki Business Hub. The project is Talent Boost AIKO funded and it takes place in 2019-2021.

In the SIMHE continuation project (2019-2021), SIMHE-Metropolia develops an integrated career guidance and Finnish language-learning model for international degree students. The model will be disseminated to other Finnish higher education institutions as well. The aim of the project is to improve the international students’ employability in Finland. The project also evaluates the SIMHE activities and experiences in Finland. The project runs from 2019 to 2021 and it is funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences coordinates a co-project of four university of applied sciences, SOTE-silta project, the aim of which is to develop a meaningful and cost-efficient process in recognising competences, granting professional practice rights and supporting employment in certain professions in the field of health care. Project is implemented in 2018-2021 and it is funded by European Social Fund (ESF).  

Finished projects

Deploying Competence in Finland project was funded by the Finnish National Agency for Education. The project aimed at creating an ecosystem in Helsinki Capital Region that enables recognition of competences and guidance of highly educated immigrants to enter to the most competence-related educational or career path that also supports integration to the Finnish society. Laurea UAS, Haaga-Helia UAS, University of Helsinki, City of Helsinki, City of Espoo, City of Vantaa and Uusimaa TE Services take part in this Metropolia-coordinated project that runs in 2018-2020. The project ended on 31 December 2020.

SIMHE path was an ESF-funded (European Social Fund) project which aimed to make the highly educated immigrants' competences more visible and to develop a regionally customised (Northern Finland, Eastern Finland and Helsinki Capital Region) educational project to support employment. This model can also be applied and adopted by other institutions of higher education. The project was implemented in 2018-2020 and ended on 31 December 2020.

SIMHE-Metropolia coordinated Getting ready - A higher education preparatory program for Immigrants, which was a co-project among nine universities of applied sciences in Finland. The aim was to develop advanced training in higher education through the harmonisation of the training process and principles of training and by preparing national recommendations for preparatory education. The project was implemented during 2018-2019 and it was funded by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The project ended on 31 December 2019.

Statistics on SIMHE-Metropolia Services

SIMHE-Metropolia collects statistics on its services to be more able to develop and target its services to various groups. Statistics are updated quarterly.

Personal guidance consists of a 1-hour-appointment, preparation based on the information provided by the client in advance, and an email summary sent afterwards, including the key points discussed at the appointment and useful links for the client.

* Also within the projects SIMHE path and SIMHE Continuation

 ** Within the SIMHE path project

Use of services
2020 (1.1.-31.12.) 2019 (1.1.-31.12.) 2018 (1.1.-31.12) 2017 (1.1.-31.12.) 2016 (1.4.-31.12.)
Personal guidance 325 338 330 250 100
Group guidance 602* 73 258 208 115
Guidance Generalia 194 212 256
Recognition of Competences 10** 32** 19 96 70
TOTAL 1131 655 863 554 285


Primary e-mail: simhe-info [at]

Heidi Stenberg
Project Director
heidi.stenberg [at]
Tel. + 358 (0)40 535 3388

Anne Karjalainen
Project Manager (Developing Competence Center Functions in the Helsinki Region)
anne.karjalainen [at]
Tel. +358 (0)50 441 7713

Outi Lemettinen
Project Manager (SIMHE Continuation, SIMHEapp II)
outi.lemettinen [at]
Tel. +358 (0)40 50 370 8120

Elsa Mäki-Reinikka
Business Coordinator
elsa.maki-reinikka [at]
Tel. +358 40 620 7052

Marika Antikainen
Project Manager (International Talents Accelerating Growth)
Project Coordinator
marika.antikainen [at]
Tel. +358(0)40 681 1244

Eevamaija Iso-Heiniemi
Finnish as a Second Language Specialist
eevamaija.iso-heiniemi [at]
Tel. +358(0)50 534 6456

Guidance and counselling services

Emilia Deseille
Career Coach
Contact for guidance and counselling customers only via email: simhe-info [at]
emilia.deseille [at]
Tel. +358 (0)40 671 3888

Nella Hiltunen
Career Coach
Contact for guidance and counselling customers only via email: simhe-info [at]
nella.hiltunen [at]
Tel. +358 (0)50 566 3108

Riia Hoppania
Career Coach
Contact for guidance and counselling customers only via email: simhe-info [at]
riia.hoppania [at]
Tel. +358 (0)50 505 6997

Anu Luoma
Career Coach
Contact for guidance and counselling customers only via email: simhe-info [at]
anu.v.luoma [at]
Tel. +358 (0)40 714 5117

Anu-Helena Pitkänen
Career Coach
Contact for guidance and counselling customers only via email: simhe-info [at]
anu-helena.pitkanen [at]
Tel. +358 (0)50 525 1885

Niina Tapanainen
Career Coach
Contact for guidance and counselling customers only via email: simhe-info [at]
niina.tapanainen [at]
Tel. +358 (0)40 621 6636


Visiting address

Metropolia University of Applied Sciences
Myllypuro campus
Myllypurontie 1, 00920 Helsinki