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My Oulu: Students of Oulu University are on average more satisfied than students at other universities in Europe


A European student survey rates Oulu University very favourably. According to Vivek Manjunatha Swamy, an Indian student, studying at Oulu University is safe, and help has been readily available during the pandemic.

According to the new International Student Barometer (ISB) survey, universities in Finland have succeeded well in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the university’s exchange and degree students, 94 % expressed satisfaction with how the university has handled the pandemic.

Comers have especially been satisfied with how the university has informed and instructed students, the survey found.

Universities globally are competing among themselves for talented students. Finland and Oulu are trying to stay in the competition. They want talented and motivated people who will stay here and find employment after graduation.

A good environment for studying

Vivek Manjunatha Swamy, 28 and a student from India, started his studies at Oulu University in the fall of 2019.

Vivek was able to study in his master’s programme in Environmental Engineering for over six months, until the COVID-19 pandemic changed his life.

“The students were well looked after by Oulu University, once the pandemic and distance learning started. For example, my professor made a private call to me every month checking that everything was fine with me. That little gesture was really important to me,” he says.

Despite the pandemic, Vivek lives very happily in Oulu and is currently working on his thesis.

He finds the course selection and the different leisure activity offerings by the University of Oulu to be very versatile. He also enjoys the university’s relaxed atmosphere, which makes it possible to meet the teachers even in busy everyday life.

Before the pandemic, he also actively visited the university’s library and the canteen.

“My hobbies have kept me sane. I play the piano, I take photographs, and I play badminton. During my spare time I see my friends a lot and also work in the student union,” he says.

Quality of education attracts

When the ISB survey participants were asked why they had come to study in Finland and why to Oulu specifically, the following reasons were revealed:

  • The reputation of Finland and Oulu University is good globally
  • A degree completed at Oulu University has a positive impact on one’s future career
  • The quality of the studies is a factor that attracts students
  • Personal safety, a peaceful society, and stability attract students
  • The costs of the studies are inexpensive or reasonable
  • Living expenses are decent
  • The prospects of earning with your expertise after graduation are good
  • The condition of student housing is of a good standard
  • There are plenty of rental apartments available

All in all, people are more satisfied in Oulu than at other universities in Europe as regards to the support students get for their studies, information and advice they receive, networking possibilities, and assignments.

Oulu was left behind in a couple of matters or did not rate as high compared to other European universities. The language barrier was especially perceived as troublesome.

The most disappointing factor for comers has been the lack of employment opportunities. After graduation, there have not been suitable, education-corresponding jobs available, leading graduates to move away from Finland.

The ISB survey reached over three million students in over thirty countries; the results are internationally comparable. The survey was done in February, and this time the results were compared between Oulu and Europe.

Have you heard about Oulu Talent Hub?

Oulu Talent Hub (OTH) offers activities for international researchers and degree students.
OTH will also help international talents and companies with a labour shortage find each other faster than before.
The project is funded by The European Social Fund, ESF.
For more information, please visit


Mun Oulun tavoite on vahvistaa oululaisuutta ja sen näkyvyyttä lisäten Oulun kaupungin pito- ja vetovoimaa kirjoittamalla paikallisista ja ajankohtaista aiheista, kuten kaupungin päätöksistä, tapahtumista, kolmannesta sektorista, yksittäisistä kaupunkilaisista sekä mielenkiintoisista ilmiöistä. Mun Oulu on osa Oulun kaupungin viestintäorganisaatiota.
Opiskelija pöydän ääressä
Vivek Manjunatha Swamy values that students have been well looked after by their teachers during the pandemic and distance learning. Photo: Annakaisa Vääräniemi

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