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Education

One of the basic principles of Finnish education is that all people must have equal access to high-quality education and training. The key words in Finnish education policy are quality, efficiency, equity and internationalisation.

In Finland everyone has the right to free basic education, including necessary equipment and text books, school transportation and meals. Post-compulsory education is also free: there are no tuition fees in general and vocational upper secondary education, in polytechnics or in universities. Education is primarily co-financed by the Government and local authorities.

PISA 2012: Proficiency of Finnish youth declining

pisabanner_pieniAverage mathematical literacy among Finnish school students ranked in twelfth place in the PISA 2012 assessment. Reading and science literacy have also deteriorated markedly. Finland came in 12th place in mathematics, 6th in literacy and 5th in science.

Despite the clear downturn, Finnish students remain one of the best performers among the OECD countries. Finland remains the best in literacy and science among the European OECD countries. Press release 3.12.

The Survey of Adult Skills PIAAC - Basic skills of Finnish adults one of the best in the OECD countries

PIAACThe international survey showed that average literacy and numeracy skills among Finnish adults were excellent. Finnish adults were also among the best in the survey in their ability to solve problems in technology-rich environments.

But there were many whose skills were weak too. The good average scores are largely thanks to the good skills of 20 to 39-year-olds, skills among older age groups are at the OECD average level. PIAAC and Finland

Education system based on trust and responsibility

ictopeThe Finnish education system has no dead-ends. Learners can always continue their studies on an upper level of education, whatever choices they make in between.

The activities of education providers are guided by objectives laid down in legislation as well as the national core curricula and qualification requirements. The system relies on the proficiency of teachers and other personnel.  The ideology is to steer through information, support and funding

Education system

Education policy in Finland

omppuEducation policy priorities are outlined in the Government’s five-year Development Plan for Education and Research. It directs the implementation of the education and research policy goals stated in the Government Programme. 

The key objectives of the current Development Plan (2011-2016)  include promoting equality in education, enhancing the quality of education at all levels and supporting lifelong learning.

Education policy

Educational autonomy is high at all levels

leijonalippuThe national education administration is organised at two levels. Education policy is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Culture. A national agency, the Finnish National Board of Education, is responsible for the implementation of the policy aims. 

 Many matters are decided by the education providers themselves – the local authorities and their consortia. These make the decisions on allocation of funding, local curricula, recruitment of personnel.

Polytechnics and universities enjoy extensive autonomy. They organise their own administration, decide on student admission and design the contents of degree programmes.

Administration in education

Internationalisation is a central strategic goal for Finnish higher education institutions

tutkinnotAn international evaluation team set by the Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council has published its report on international degree programmes (IDP) in Finland.

The evaluation team finds that internationalisation has been taken as a serious objective in all strategies of the Finnish HEIs. The IDPs are seen as an important instrument for reaching the objectives of institutional internationalisation.

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