A person entering a building at the Myllypuro campus of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki on 4 January 2023. (Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva)

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TAMK University of Applied Sciences believes it has found a solution to its dispute over unpaid tuition fees of Kenyan students with Uasin Gishu County in Kenya.

Carita Prokki, the director of business operations at TAMK, told YLE on Friday that the institute has signed a new agreement on the commissioned nursing and physiotherapy education with Kenya’s Max Global Group.

“The students’ stay in Finland has been secured,” she assured.

TAMK terminated its agreement with Uasin Gishu County in late February, citing the non-payment of tuition fees. Prokki revealed that the dispute concerns roughly a hundred nursing and physiotherapy students, whose future at the university of applied sciences was uncertain due to the non-payment of tuition fees.

Cornelius Kiplagat, the Tampere-based CEO of Max Global, said the company has agreed on the payments with the students’ parents in a way that is as transparent as possible.

A Finnish delegation learned earlier this year that the tuition fees had been paid by the parents rather than Uasin Gishu County, which had been the expectation in Finland. The parents had stopped making the payments due to lack of trust in the county and expressed their readiness to make the payments directly to TAMK, but such an arrangement was not allowed under Finnish law.

The institute will re-examine what kind of international programmes are worthwhile for it in future, according to Prokki. “All commissioned education will be examined to determine whether it’s worth it,” she said to the public broadcasting service.

Also other Finnish education institutes have experienced problems with the tuition fees of students from Kenya, including Edusampo, the joint municipal education and training consortium of Southern Karelia. Around 50 Kenyan students were to begin studies this year in Imatra and Lappeenranta, but their arrival was cancelled due to the non-payment of tuition fees by Uasin Gishu County.

Terhi Toikkanen, the head of Edusampo, told YLE that the consortium has made an agreement with another operator that enables the students to start their studies in food and cleaning services later this spring.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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