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Education in Finland

Finland is known throughout the world for its excellent educational system.

Finnish Education System

Learning is a continuous process in human lives. Comprehension has been an integral part of our society from the moment we were born, and new solutions for effective learning are constantly being developed by scientists and researchers. Finland consistently scores high on educational performance assessments conducted by PISA. PISA is the world’s most comprehensive and reliable indicator of students’ capabilities. Finland is one of the countries that leads the way in developing sustainable and technology-based development. Keep reading this essay to gain useful information about the educational system of Finland.

By joining the Finnish learning community, students will be part of a supportive academic community that trains experts in various fields. There are also financial support and well-being services available for all students to facilitate the learning process and help students get the most out of their studies. Student support is provided in different forms such as student accommodation, healthcare services, transport, scholarships, and student loans which vary from institution to institution. Educational institutions offer up-to-date technologies for learning and provide a calm and nurturing environment for educators. Finally, the most important aspect of the Finnish learning culture, based on my experience as a student, is the enjoyable learning process without posing unnecessary stress to students.

Early childhood and Pre-Primary Education

The educational system in Finland includes six levels starting with early childhood education and care that is for children under school age. The main goal at this level is to promote children’s development, health, and well-being as well as to improve children’s opportunities for learning. The second level is pre-primary education, which influences children for future training. This level has become compulsory for all children in Finland since 2015, and services at this level are free of charge.

Comprehensive Schools

The pre-primary education proceeds to nine years of basic studies also called comprehensive school. All children who belong to the age group of 7-17 and reside permanently in Finland must receive comprehensive education services. Comprehensive studies are also provided free of charge by municipalities and other providers.

Upper Secondary Educations

After completing 9 years of comprehensive studies, students may continue their learning processes by choosing between general or vocational upper secondary education. As the name of general upper secondary (lukio in Finnish) suggests, this education does not equip students with a specific skill set but provides general knowledge which lasts for 3 years. Those who complete upper secondary level can continue their education at a university or university of applied science only if they pass the national school-leaving examination known as the Finnish matriculation examination. Students who choose to pursue a vocational upper secondary education will gain upper secondary qualifications, further qualifications, and specialist qualifications. The scope of vocational upper secondary qualifications is usually 180 ECVET points, further qualifications 150 points, and specialist qualifications 180 points. These qualifications will equip educators with the basic skills needed in their fields of expertise. Those seeking further qualifications can complete this stage of learning with vocational education, which is not only for young people.

Higher Education

Higher education in Finland is provided by universities and applied science universities. The main difference between the two universities is that universities focus more on research and training while universities of applied science try to develop practical skills for students to respond to the labour market. Universities offering higher scientific and artistic education, award bachelor’s and Master's degrees as well as postgraduate degrees, i.e. licentiate and doctoral degrees. Universities of applied sciences award UAS Bachelor's degrees and UAS Master's degrees. The duration and requirements for university degrees vary depending on the level and the field of study.

Life-long Learning

The last stage of the learning process is adult education or life-long learning. These services are accessible to a broad range of citizens in different forms of degree studies, training preparing for competence-based qualifications, apprenticeship training, further and continuing learning updating and extending the professional skills, and alike.

All age groups can access education in Finland; also, outsiders can apply for a wide range of educational opportunities, for instance through this website.


Research-based developments have helped Finnish society to develop steadily according to its future goals. Therefore, not only do universities invest heavily in research practices but most government bodies and institutions also allocate a generous budget for conducting relevant research to ensure their competence. The most common institutions conducting extensive research are Universities and universities of applied science

  • Academy of Finland and other Research centers

  • Municipalities and other administrative bodies

  • Research and development units in companies

Several institutions in Finland conduct research of which the major ones are universities and universities of applied science. These institutions promote research-based development by offering thesis projects, doctoral positions, post-doctoral positions, or hiring researchers according to their needs.

Research centers are the next organization conducting a great number of high-quality research. The Academy of Finland has established a long-term strategy to support research and researchers. In addition to this, there are several other research institutes investing in research such as:

Moreover, municipalities and other public administrative bodies tend to use research to deliver the best results. The last unit to be mentioned is the ‘Research and Development’ unit in several companies where the company invests in research-based development. Most of the businesses in Finland benefit from conducting research in their R&D departments.


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