A1 Journal article (refereed)
Legitimations of Finnish education export : exploring the plurality of guiding principles (2022)

Juusola, H., & Nokkala, T. (2022). Legitimations of Finnish education export : exploring the plurality of guiding principles. European Journal of Higher Education, 12(2), 211-227. https://doi.org/10.1080/21568235.2021.1923046

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editorsJuusola, Henna; Nokkala, Terhi

Journal or seriesEuropean Journal of Higher Education



Publication year2022

Publication date11/05/2021


Issue number2

Pages range211-227


Publication countryUnited Kingdom

Publication languageEnglish


Publication open accessOpenly available

Publication channel open accessPartially open access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX)https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/75791


This paper explores the legitimation of Finnish education export (EE) activities linked to higher education institutions. As a small non-English speaking country with only recent involvement in the EE market, Finland provides an underexplored context to consider the legitimation of overseas, fee-based educational services from the perspective of EE providers. In this qualitative case study comprising two Finnish EE endeavours, we draw on convention theory to argue that the legitimation of education export is based on multiple roles of such export, not just on generating revenue for the provider institution. We show that legitimations are linked to multiple guiding principles, illustrated in our data through five themes: education for the future generations, competing institutions, localisation of education activity, project-oriented activity, and Finnishness of education export. Due to the plurality of principles, the legitimation process of EE among internal and external stakeholders includes more variation than the seemingly important market-driven logic would suggest, even if this logic has been in focus of the national higher education policy over the past decade.

Keywordseducation exportinstitutions of higher educationsystem of higher educationadministration of higher educationhigher education policy

Free keywordseducation export; legitimation; higher education; Finnish education

Contributing organizations

Ministry reportingYes

Reporting Year2022

JUFO rating1

Last updated on 2024-30-04 at 18:16