Students generally register as present because only those who register as present can participate in education and training, take examinations and complete a degree, in addition to being eligible for student financial aid. Registering as present is also mandatory for any periods spent studying abroad as an exchange student.
According to the Universities Act, all university students who have been admitted to programmes leading to a lower or upper university degree belong to the student union. Student union members pay the student union membership fee when they register as present at the university. Student union members can apply for a student card and are entitled to student benefits. Find out more about the student card and student benefits.
Annual registration – enrolled students
Registration – new students
Changing registration status from present to absent in the middle of the academic year
Registration as present can only be changed to absence during the registration periods (for the whole academic year or the autumn term only, between 3 May – 15 September, or for the spring term only, between 1 December–15 January). Changing the registration status from present to absent cannot be done in the Oili registration service; you must contact the Student and Learning Services by email or by visiting the customer service desk. Any requests for refund for the student union membership fee must be submitted by the end of September (whole academic year or autumn term) or by the end of January (spring term).
See the Student Union ISYY website for a Membership fee refund application among ISYY’s documents (opens in a new tab). Select Forms and then Membership Fee.
Registration as absent is an option for those who do not intend to complete any studies at the university. Students registering as being absent must also register within the registration period. Students registering as being absent cannot take any courses or sit any exams during the semester or academic year in question. Those who register as absent do not pay the student union membership fee and are not entitled to student benefits.
According to the Universities Act, a student can register as absent for two academic terms (i.e., one full academic year) without the period of absence affecting the duration of studies. In study rights granted before 1 August 2015, the maximum period for registering as absent is four academic terms.
In addition to regular absences, the Universities Act refers to statutory absences, which include absences due to military service, non-military service, and maternity, paternity or parental leave. Such absences are recorded in the student register on the basis of documentation provided by the student. The duration of studies can be extended on the basis of a statutory reason for absence if the student registers as absent at the university for such a period of absence (adopted as of 1 August 2016).
Further information: Normative duration of studies.
Registering as absent in the first academic year
According to the Universities Act, a new student studying for a degree may register as absent in the first academic year for the entire academic year or for autumn or spring term only for the following reasons:
- if the student is participating in the service provided for in the Conscription Act (1438/2007), the Non-Military Service Act (1446/2007), or the Act on Women’s Voluntary Military Service (194/1995);
- if the student is on maternity, paternity or parental leave; or
- if the student is unable to begin studies due to the student’s own illness or injury.
A student registering as absent in the first academic year must supply documents that prove the absence is legally valid to the Student and Learning Services by the date specified in the registration instructions. Otherwise, the student will forfeit their right to study.
Documents proving the legal grounds for absence
1) service under the Conscription Act (1438/2007), Non-Military Service Act (1446/2007), or Act on Women’s Voluntary Military Service (194/1995):
– Call-up order
2) maternity, paternity or parental leave:
– Students residing in Finland: Kela’s certificate regarding maternity, paternity or parental allowance period or, if the certificate has not yet been received, a medical certificate regarding the pregnancy
– Students residing in other countries: Corresponding certificates from the authorities of the country in question regarding statutory parental leave
3) the student cannot begin studies due to being incapacitated by personal illness or injury:
– Sickness allowance decision or, if no decision exists, a medical certificate. The medical certificate must state which illness or injury the student suffers from, and that this condition prevents the student from beginning their studies.
– Obstacles caused by the practical arrangements required by the illness or injury: an adequate clarification, e.g. a certificate from the student housing foundation that the student is on the waiting list for an apartment required by their injury. The student’s own notification is not an adequate clarification.
The documents must be submitted in Finnish, Swedish or English.
Please note that if you do not have any of the above three reasons defined in the Universities Act, you must register as being present during your first year. You must register as being present also if you cannot travel to Finland and start your studies. In these cases, registration will be done remotely by sending the required documents (a copy of passport, registration form and the receipt of the Student Union payment) to the Student and Learning Services.
If you do not present your documents by the deadline, you will lose your right to study. In order to re-activate your study right later, you will need to re-register.
Changing registration status from absent to present in the middle of the academic year
Registration as absent can be changed to present at any time during the academic year. During the registration period, the change can be made by paying the student union membership fee in the Oili registration service using one’s personal online banking codes. Outside the registration period, the payment details needed to pay the student union membership fee (including your personal reference number) must be requested from the Student and Learning Services. Proof of payment of the student union membership fee must be presented to the Student and Learning Services in person or by email.