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Finland – Education and Schools

Quality of Education in Finland

Finland is renowned for its high-quality education system. The country consistently ranks highly in international assessments, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Finland has a strong focus on equality, and education is seen as a fundamental right for all citizens.

Compulsory Education Age in Finland

Education in Finland is compulsory from the ages of seven to 16 years old.

Types of Schools in Finland

In Finland, there are several types of schools, including:

1. Comprehensive Schools

Comprehensive schools in Finland provide education from the first to the ninth grade. These schools are free and funded by the government. Comprehensive schools offer a wide range of subjects, including mathematics, science, language, and social studies.

2. Upper Secondary Schools


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Upper secondary schools in Finland provide education from the tenth to the twelfth grade. These schools offer a more specialized education and prepare students for higher education or vocational training. Upper secondary schools offer a range of tracks, including science, social science, and humanities.

3. Vocational Schools

Vocational schools in Finland provide vocational education and training in a variety of fields, including technology, hospitality, and business. These schools offer practical, hands-on training and prepare students for careers in their chosen field.

4. Private Schools

Private schools in Finland are funded by tuition fees and often provide a higher quality of education than public schools. Private schools are more common in urban areas and tend to be more expensive than public schools.

5. International Schools

International schools in Finland offer instruction in English and follow an international curriculum. These schools are mainly aimed at expatriate families or Finnish families who plan to study abroad.

Syllabus and Qualifications in Finland

In Finland, schools follow a national curriculum set by the Finnish National Agency for Education. Comprehensive education covers a range of subjects, including mathematics, science, language, social studies, physical education, and art. Upper secondary education includes additional subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, and foreign languages.

At the end of comprehensive education, students take the National Certificate of Education, which determines whether they can go on to upper secondary education or vocational training. Students who pass the examination are awarded a certificate of comprehensive education. At the end of upper secondary education, students take the Matriculation Examination, which determines whether they can go on to university. Students who pass the examination are awarded a certificate of matriculation.

School Hours and Holidays in Finland

The typical school day in Finland starts at 8:00 am and ends at 2:15 pm. However, some schools may have different schedules. Primary school students attend school from Monday to Friday, while upper secondary and vocational school students attend school from Monday to Saturday.

The school year in Finland runs from August to May, with breaks for autumn, winter, and spring holidays.

Enrolling in a School in Finland

To enroll in a school in Finland, students must provide a copy of their birth certificate or passport, a health certificate, and proof of address. In some cases, students may also need to provide academic records from their previous school.

Enrollment in comprehensive schools and upper secondary schools is generally straightforward, but there may be more competition for enrollment in vocational schools and private schools.

International Schools in Finland

There are several international schools in Finland, including:

These schools offer an international curriculum and instruction in English.

Higher Education in Finland

Finland has several options for higher education, including universities and vocational schools. The most prestigious universities in Finland are:

  • University of Helsinki
  • Aalto University
  • University of Turku
  • University of Tampere

These universities offer a range of degree programs, including engineering, medicine, law, and social sciences.

In addition to traditional universities, Finland also has a network of vocational schools that offer training in a variety of fields, including technology, hospitality, and business.

To enroll in higher education in Finland, students must typically have completed upper secondary education and passed the Matriculation Examination.

Education in Finland is widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Finland has a strong focus on equality, and education is seen as a fundamental right for all citizens. Finland offers a variety of school options, including comprehensive schools, upper secondary schools, vocational schools, private schools, and international schools. The country also has several options for higher education, including universities and vocational schools. While the education system in Finland is not without its challenges, it continues to evolve and adapt to meet the changing needs of students and society.


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