Jyväskylä Human Technology City

IN BRIEF: The Finnish education system

 Preschool education: According to Finnish law a child has the right to free preschool education in the year prior to the start of compulsory education, generally at the age of six.

Basic education: Basic education is a nine-year general education. Basic education is free and gives everyone who completes it the right to further education. All children living permanently in Finland are legally obliged to complete the compulsory education syllabus. Basic education is also available to adults: this is arranged by general upper secondary schools for adults and folk high schools.

Upper secondary education: Upper secondary schools provide general education for pupils of approximately 16–19 years of age. Upper secondary studies­, which complement the education given by primary schools, are geared towards the matriculation examination and renders pupils eligible to pursue all forms of higher education. Upper secondary education is also open to adults, adapted as necessary to individual life situations.

Vocational education and training: Vocational upper secondary education and training is arranged in vocational colleges and in the form of apprenticeship training in various disciplines covering virtually all fields of working life. Vocational upper secondary education and training provides all-round basic skills for working life and further studies. A three-year vocational upper secondary qualification gives general eligibility for higher education at both polytechnics and universities.

Higher education: The Finnish higher education system consists of two parallel sectors: polytechnics and universities. Universities are characterized by scientific research and higher education based on it. Polytechnics are working life oriented and operate on the basis of higher expertise requirements set by working life.

Adult education: The objective of adult education is to support citizens’ lifelong learning and to develop coherence and equality in Finnish society. Adult education is provided in more than 1 000 educational institutions in Finland.

Further information about the Finnish education system: The Finnish National Board of Education, www.oph.fi