The Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland has selected Karelia University of Applied Sciences as one of the higher education institutes responsible for supporting immigrants in integration. The aim is to give guidance to immigrants to help them find study opportunities in higher education and to produce services for recognising the prior competence of highly educated immigrants in order to facilitate the process of integration.


These services are implemented within the national SIMHE network (Supporting Immigrants in Higher Education). Besides Karelia UAS, SIMHE services are also given by Oulu and Metropolia Universities of Applied Sciences and Helsinki, Turku and Jyväskylä Universities.The aim of the activities is to serve adult immigrants by guiding them towards meaningful educational and career paths. In practice, the aim is to give information on the educational opportunities and on the application process for higher education institutions for those immigrants who are eligible to study in higher education. The aim is also to provide information on the recognition of prior learning (RPL) for highly educated immigrants who reside in Finland with various statuses, and to guide them about the different ways of complementing their higher education studies.
The purpose of these activities is to ensure that highly educated immigrants arriving in Finland can have their prior learning, prior studies and prior degrees recognised and acknowledged swiftly according to national practices, and that they will be guided towards meaningful educational and career paths. The guidance activities will be implemented in close cooperation with other regional higher education institutes and other regional actors involved in the process of supporting the integration and employment of immigrants in Eastern Finland.


SIMHE-Karelia serves the immigrants living in the area of Eastern Finland. The guidance and counselling services of SIMHE-Karelia consist of information distribution on the higher education system in Finland and on the application opportunities and practices. The staff of SIMHE-Karelia also provide personal guidance related to study opportunities for immigrants interested in higher education studies. In addition, support will be provided regarding the practices used in the recognition of prior learning as well as guidance in career planning for those immigrants who have already completed some higher education studies before.
At SIMHE-Karelia guidance and counselling is provided by Project Manager/Cousellor Hannele Niskanen.

You can receive personal guidance by sending her email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. or phone +358505750823
Find more information on our webpages: Guidance services for immigrants
Contact information:
Guidance requests: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Hannele Niskanen)

Hannele Niskanen
Project Manager
Liisa Timonen
Head of International Affairs