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A Viking reenactor plays the Nordic bagpipe

Tourism in Helsinki has never been as central to its local economy as it is right now. In 2017, the number of overnight stays in Helsinki shot up by 13%, crossing the four-million barrier for the first time in history, and overnight stays in the wider Helsinki region crossing 5.3 million. 

It’s stunning growth, but its source remains somewhat elusive. 

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Finnish people are eschewing foreign holidays at an unprecedented rate, with last year showing a record increase in domestic tourism bookings, amidst a decline in the number of international trips. A number of reasons have been attributed to this emerging trend, including rising travel costs, environmental concerns, and a general revival of interest in local culture.

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Many Finns might now know it, but the country's gambling sector is evolving into a unique model for other nations.

For starters, Finland's state-directed gambling sector is highly successful. In an age when economists tend to downplay the role of nationalised industries, Veikkaus has managed to create an efficient, popular, and socially responsible role.

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When it comes to Finland’s reputation on the world stage, the first words that appear in the minds of most people are design, video gaming, and sometimes, Moomins. It is therefore hardly surprising that Finland continues to be ranked as one of the best places in the world to be a game developer. Surve

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The Finnish gaming industry is one of the fastest growing in the global gaming market with an average growth rate of 45%. In 2016, the Finnish gaming industry set a record-high turnover of 2.5 billion euros. The share of Finnish mobile game development was roughly 7% of the global revenue of 35 billion.

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Medical campus at the University of Tampere (Image: Lehtikuva)

DR. JOY HONEA, ASSOCIATE DEAN OF BILLINGS UNIVERSITY IN MONTANA, has received a Fulbright Scholarship to move to Finland in order to learn from the country’s acclaimed suicide prevention strategies.

The highly-competitive scholarship, which has produced dozens of Nobel Prize winners, is a state-funded initiative which aims to “encourage innovation in order to improve society”. Dr. Honea will be relocating from Montana to the University of Tampere in July 2020, where she will spend several months researching how Finland was able to bring down its once world-leading suicide rates. 

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(Image: Lehtikuva)

THE TOWN OF LAITILA IN SOUTHWEST FINLAND has announced that a curfew for school-age minors will be introduced in full, following months of consultation and media attention over the controversial policy.

The curfew has been described by members of the local government as “unofficial” and “informal”, meaning that although a curfew for young people will be in place, it is not legally enforceable. This is because it was determined that a curfew enforced by law and police action would lack legal grounds and possibly be in violation of human rights law. 

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Mermaid scholars in action at Maija Möttönen's class in Espoo

The alternative sports trend and social media craze ‘Mermaiding’ has made its way to Finland, with qualified ‘mermaid instructors’ now teaching classes in Helsinki and Espoo.

The sport, which is believed to have first gained prominence in the United States earlier this year, consists of swimming with the aid of a mermaid tail, allowing the user to move like a fish. 

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Winners of this year's Yidan Prize Prof. Anant Agarwal (right), Prof. Larry V. Hedges (middle) being interviewed by moderator Tom Blackwell of EM Communications

 

THE 2018 YIDAN PRIZE was awarded to winners during a gala event followed by the Yidan Prize Summit in Hong Kong on the 10th of December. The Prize which was being awarded for the second year has been founded by Dr. Charles Chen Yidan in 2016. 

This year’s winners are Professor Larry V. Hedges of Northwestern University and Professor Anant Agarwal of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Larry Hedges is the Board of Trustees Professor of Statistics and Education and Social Policy, Professor of Psychology and Professor of Medical Social Sciences at the Northwestern University in Chicago.

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Clockwise from top, Elizabeth, Ben, Sofia and Scot are student ambassadors for Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

“This place can take you anywhere”: Four Students on Why They Chose Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.

WITH JOINT APPLICATIONS just around the corner, tens of thousands of people are now feverishly trawling through websites and brochures in an attempt to make the most important decision of their career. 

This year, a record number of students will be entering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral education, including thousands of international students representing hundreds of countries. A majority of those students will be conducting their studies here in Helsinki, which is home to most of the top-ranked institutions in the country. 

One of those institutions is the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, established in 2008, the largest UAS in Finland,  now boasting over 16,000 students, 1500 of them with international background, representing 90 nationalities.  

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Orsi, a 21-year-old international business student from Hungary, says that choosing Lapin AMK was the best decision she’s ever made.

As Finland redoubles its efforts to attract more international students, little attention has been paid to the far north of the country, where a small but rapidly-growing cohort of students from across the world are choosing to call this winter wonderland their home.

Lapland is home to the northernmost university of applied sciences in Europe, Lapin AMK, which teaches close to 6000 students at campuses in Rovaniemi, Tornio, and Kemi. Over 500 of those students now hail from outside of Finland, choosing Lapin AMK to study one of their English language degrees or as part of a study exchange program. 

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