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Universities to correct admission errors in spring 2023 joint application process

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Due to an error in transferring first-time status information in the Studyinfo service, some non-first-time applicants have been treated as first-time applicants during the joint application process and have therefore been granted a study place erroneously. The Finnish National Agency for Education released a statement on the matter on 25 May 2023.

Universities will have to cancel any such study places, because they have been granted due to a technical error. The university in charge of the study programme in question will notify all concerned applicants about the corrective measures taken.

According to the Administrative Procedure Act, an authority must rectify any obvious spelling or calculation errors or any other obvious and comparable error in its decision. However, an error shall not be corrected if the outcome of the correction would be unreasonable to a party and the error has not arisen from the party’s own conduct.

Universities will correct incorrect decisions regarding study places as follows: 

  1. Technical errors in decisions that have been made but not yet published are corrected by the universities to reflect the applicants’ actual first-time applicant status. The Ministry of Education and Culture has set the deadline for publishing the results of certificate-based admissions as 29 May 2023.
  2. In degree programmes where certificate-based admissions are meant only for first-time applicants (e.g. medicine, dentistry, law, psychology), a certificate-based decision to admit that has already been made and published will be rectified as a correction of a technical error in accordance with section 51 of the Administrative Procedure Act. In such a situation, the position of the erroneously selected applicant cannot be considered unreasonable, since a non-first-time applicant has no legitimate expectation of being treated as a first-time applicant.
  3. In degree programmes where certificate-based admissions are meant for both first-time and non-first-time applicants and where a decision to admit based on certification has been made and published, any corrections made to the decision will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis while taking the reasonableness assessment into account. In principle, however, the decision will not be corrected as a technical error within the scope of section 51 of the Administrative Procedure Act in the case of an erroneously selected applicant, due to the unreasonable legal implications. In other words, the error will be corrected for all degree programmes in such a way that applicants who, according to the selection criteria, should have been accepted will be selected or placed on a reserve list. Therefore, even though applicants who have been erroneously granted a study place will not have it cancelled, the study place is still offered to applicants who would be entitled to it based on the selection criteria. If a decision to accept applicants who have been erroneously selected is made as a result of the unreasonableness assessment, this must be carried out via a so-called overflow in order to ensure that applicants are treated equally. 

The universities regret the situation that, understandably, causes concern to many applicants. In unclear situations, applicants should contact the admission services of the university in charge of their degree programme.

Further information:

Piia Björn
Chair of the Unifi meeting for vice presidents of education
piia.bjorn@utu.fi
+358 29 450 3301

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