Education of Finland

Education is among the best in the world

Education is one of the cornerstones of the Finnish welfare society. It has been consistently ranked among the top countries in international comparisons, such as the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) studies, which compare 15-year-olds reading, mathematics and science abilities in more than 50 countries.

Finnish teachers are highly educated and strongly committed to their work. The country is attracting foreign teachers willing to improve their pedagogical skills and take inspiration from the Finnish curriculum.

Below are a few examples of international comparisons, which show the high quality of Finland’s education system.

PISA 2018, First Results

Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland 

Finland’s higher education system is the best in the world according to Universitas 21 Ranking 2018

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Finland ranks as one of the top OECD countries in education.

OECD, Better Life Index: Education

Education in Finland answers to future needs the third best in the world.

Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) & Yidan Prize, Worldwide Educating for the Future Index

Education system in Finland

Finnish education is divided into several stages. Nine-year basic education is compulsory (comprehensive school), and it is followed by upper secondary education, which is either general education or vocational education and training. Higher education is divided into two categories, universities and universities of applied science. Finland is an increasingly popular destination for international students.

The fundamental principle of the Finnish education system is to offer equal opportunities for education for all. Education from pre-primary to higher education is free of charge. Since 2017, students who arrive from outside the EU or the EEA (European Economic Area) pay tuition fees for higher education.

Higher education opportunities in Finland

Finnish higher education system comprises universities and universities of applied sciences (UAS). Universities conduct scientific research and provide teaching based on it. They award Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees as well as postgraduate degrees, i.e. licentiate and doctoral degrees. Universities of applied sciences provide more practical education that aims to respond to the needs of the labour market. They provide UAS Bachelor’s degrees and UAS Master’s degrees.

Finnish higher education is getting increasingly international as there are more than 20 000 international degree students studying in Finland: 48 per cent of them study for a bachelor degree, 34 per cent are master level students, and 18 per cent study for a doctoral degree. English is the primary language of study. Finnish Tuition fees are charged for those not belonging to the European Union or the European Economic Area.

A recent international student satisfaction survey found that 91 per cent of the respondents were satisfied with their studies in Finland, and 83 per cent would recommend Finland as a country for studies.