European Education Area Progress Report 2020

Education and Training Monitor 2020


1. Key indicators

Figure 1 – Key indicators overview
Finland EU-27
2009 2019 2009 2019
Education and training 2020 benchmarks
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) 9.9% 7.3% 14.0% 10.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) 45.9% 47.3% 31.1% 40.3%
Early childhood education
(from age 4 to starting age of compulsory primary education)
71.9% 89.3%18 90.3% 94.8%18
Proportion of 15 year-olds underachieving in: Reading 8.1% 13.5%18 19.3% 22.5%18
Maths 7.9% 15.0%18 22.2% 22.9%18
Science 6.0% 12.9%18 17.8% 22.3%18
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-8 (total) 77.8% 84.4% 78.0% 80.9%
Adult participation in learning (age 25-64) ISCED 0-8 (total) 22.1% 29.0% 7.9% 10.8%b
Learning mobility Degree mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 4.1%18 : 4.3%18
Credit mobile graduates (ISCED 5-8) : 15.1%18 : 9.1%18
Other contextual indicators
Education investment Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP 6.5% 5.5%18 5.1% 4.6%18
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student in € PPS ISCED 1-2 €7 55712 €8 03017 €6 072d, 12 €6 240d, 16
ISCED 3-4 €6 56312 €5 69617 :12 €7 757d, 16
ISCED 5-8 €13 63412 €12 34717 €9 679d, 12 €9 977d, 16
Early leavers from education and training (age 18-24) Native-born 9.3% 7.0% 12.6% 8.9%
Foreign-born 21.8% 11.5%u 29.3% 22.2%
Tertiary educational attainment (age 30-34) Native-born 47.2% 49.1% 32.0% 41.3%
Foreign-born 27.2% 34.8% 25.1% 35.3%
Employment rate of recent graduates by educational attainment (age 20-34 having left education 1-3 years before reference year) ISCED 3-4 72.9% 80.8% 72.2% 75.9%
ISCED 5-8 84.1% 89.1% 83.7% 85.0%

Sources: Eurostat; OECD (PISA); Learning mobility figures are calculated by DG EAC, based on UOE 2018 data. Further information can be found in Annex I and in Volume 1 ( Notes: The 2018 EU average on PISA reading performance does not include ES; b = break in time series; d = definition differs; u = low reliability; := not available; 12= 2012, 16 = 2016, 17 = 2017, 18=2018.

Figure 2 - Position in relation to strongest and weakest performers

Source: DG EAC, based on data from Eurostat (LFS 2019, UOE 2018) and OECD (PISA 2018).

2. Highlights

  • Digital education is well developed, with high-skilled teachers and good digital infrastructure in schools. This enabled Finland to successfully manage the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Investment in education and training is recovering from budget cuts in recent years. A new funding model for higher education will be applied from 2021.
  • Educational outcomes remain high despite a slight downward trend. Gaps in the performance of socio-economically disadvantaged students keep widening.
  • There are challenges in providing good digital competences in vocational education and training (VET). There is high participation in adult learning, but this is much lower among those with low basic skills.

3. A focus on digital education

Digital skills are good. Finland ranks first in human capital according to the European Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020 (European Commission, 2020a). 76% of the population (aged 16-74) have basic or above basic digital skills (EU average 58 %). The gender gap in information and communications technology (ICT) skills is smaller than the EU average: 77% of women have at least basic digital skills (EU 55%) while 23% of ICT specialists are women (EU 17%) (European Commission, 2019a).

Finnish education curricula incorporate digital competences transversally into other subjects. The curricula are very detailed concerning the expected digital learning outcomes (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2019). Students are taught to use digital tools in diverse and creative ways, to collaborate and to work with data, information and knowledge. In primary and lower secondary education, part of lessons in other subjects can be devoted to teaching specific elements of digital competences. Since 2016-2017, the new curriculum for primary and lower secondary education includes ICT as a transversal competence and the syllabi of maths and craft include programming. In upper secondary, schools provide optional applied digital-related courses. (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2019). The Majakka network supports municipalities in the preparation and implementation of local curricula (FNBE, 2016). EUR 30 million were allocated in 2017 for the implementation of transversal competences, including digital ones (MEC, 2017).

Teachers have highly developed ICT skills. Teachers in Finland are currently better trained in digital subjects, have higher confidence when assessing their own digital skills level and make more everyday use of digital means for teaching than in previous years (Tanhua-Piiroinen et al., 2019). Use of ICT for teaching is part of pre-service teacher education and practice. The 2018 OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) (OECD, 2019a) shows a much higher proportion of teachers trained in the use of ICT than in TALIS 2013 (74% v 48%). A good command of digital competences is still more prevalent among younger and male teachers. Nevertheless, on average 19% of teachers report a high need for professional development in this area, and only 21% feel well prepared. The share of teachers who have undertaken subject-specific training on learning applications and equipment-specific training is below the EU average, but above average for those trained in the pedagogical use of ICT in teaching and learning (European Commission, 2019b). In 2016-2019, EUR 23.8 million were spent on creating 2 500 tutor teacher positions in municipalities to support teachers’ use of digital technologies and to create digital learning environments (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2019; Oppiminen uudistuu, 2018). The online self-assessment tools provided by Opeka1 help teachers assess their digital competence and their development needs (European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2019).

The use of digital means in teaching remains limited. The integration of transversal digital competences into the classroom still faces challenges (Saarinen et al., 2019). The methods used in learning still largely focus on books, notebooks and handouts, and digital tools are too often used just for completing assignments. TALIS 2018 (OECD, 2019a) reports that only 51% of teachers let students use ICT for project or class work, although this figure is much higher than in TALIS 2013 (18%). The share of students who use a computer at school for learning purposes is below the EU average at lower secondary level (44% v 52%) but above for upper secondary level (69% v 59%) (European Commission, 2019b). Tanhua-Piiroinen et al. (2019) suggest further regular evaluations of the quality of the digital learning environment and strengthening support for teachers in technical and pedagogical competences.

Digital infrastructure in schools is good. 99% of schools have access to the internet and 93% of students have an email account for school-related use (Fraillon et al., 2019). In primary schools there is currently one computer for every 2.5 pupils. In upper secondary schools all students have their own computer.

Box 1: Free online courses on basics of artificial intelligence (AI) for the whole EU

Elements of AI is a series of free online courses first launched in 2018 by the Finnish tech company Reaktor and the University of Helsinki. The initiative is also supported by the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation. The courses are designed to encourage people to learn the basics of AI, whatever their age or education. No prior mathematical or programming skills are required. It combines theory with practical exercises and can be completed at each student’s own pace. Today, Elements of AI is the most popular course ever offered by the University of Helsinki. Around 500 000 people have already participated.

The Finnish Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2019 decided to invest in people’s future skills and will now make the Elements of AI online course freely available in all official EU languages. Translation has been provided by the European Commission. The course is already available in, Finnish, Swedish, English, Estonian, German, Latvian and Norwegian. The goal is to educate 1% of European citizens in the basics of AI. The total cost of the initiative is EUR 1 679 000, and will be funded from the budget of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland.

The courses are available at:

4. Investing in education and training

Finland is expected to make upper secondary education free of charge in 2021. Pre-primary education is free for 6-year-olds. Parents have to pay for day care according to family incomes, but fees are being reduced to encourage enrolment. Primary and lower secondary education are totally free, including meals and learning materials. Upper secondary education is free except for learning materials. Legislative changes are under way to make upper secondary education totally free by autumn 2021. This will mean that education, meals, school trips of more than five kilometres and health care are free; as well as all learning materials and equipment, including laptops. The costs of the reform is estimated for the education material alone at around EUR 72.8 million annually2. Stakeholders support the measure but consider that the cost of the overall reform that also includes the extension of the compulsory schooling age to 18, is underestimated (Kuntaliitto, 2018; FEE, 20193). Central government covers approximately 29% of the primary and secondary education budget and the rest is covered by local education providers and municipalities. Tertiary education is also free, except for learning materials. University students get study grants from the state and meals at the university cafeteria are subsidised.

Investment in education decreased over the last decade. In 2010-2018, there was a decrease in general government expenditure on education (in deflated values) of 8% (EUR 1 billion less), and of 11% (EUR 0.5 billion less) in tertiary education4. This contrasts with an average EU-27 spending increase of 4% (2% in tertiary education). The major real expenditure reduction in 2000-2018 took place in compensation of employees (minus 10%) while there was a 9% increase in gross capital formation (by 26%, mainly at secondary level).

In recent years, the education budget has started increasing. In 2018, the Ministry of Education and Culture allocated EUR 6.6 billion to education (Valtioneuvosto, 2017), and EUR 6.4 billion in 2019 (MEC, 2018). In 2020, the budget increased to EUR 6.9 billion5. In 2018, Finland spent 5.5% of gross domestic product (GDP), above the EU average of 4.6%: 3% by central government and 3.6% by local governments. In pre-primary and primary education, spending was 1.2% of GDP (1.1% by local government), at secondary education 2.3% (1.2% by central and 2% by local governments) and 1.7% in tertiary education (1.6% by central government).

Figure 3 – General government expenditure on education (in deflated values) 2010-2018

Source: DG EAC figure showing Eurostat's general government finance statistics (2018). Online data code: [gov_10a_exp].

5. Modernising early childhood and school education

Finland keeps increasing participation in early child education (ECE) and looks to further strengthen access and quality. In 2010-2018, ECE participation from age 4 to compulsory primary education increased by 16.2 pps (from 73.1% to 89.3%), still below the EU benchmark of 95%. Participation in ECE varies among regions, from 86.4% to 95.6%. A new act on ECE6 aiming to improve access and quality was adopted in 2018. A Forum for the Development of ECE was set up in spring 2019 (MEC, 2019a). The Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC, 2019b) has made reforms to reduce group sizes from age 3 and allocated EUR 16 million annually to municipalities to fund additional costs linked to the measure. The Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities considers that if all ECE is to be completely free of charge, some EUR 270 million in additional funding would be needed from central government (Kuntaliitto, 2019). In 2020-2022, a development programme to strengthen access and quality of ECE will be supported with an additional budget of EUR 125 million from the Finnish government, a measure that has been positively acknowledged by the Trade Union of Education (OAJ, 2019).

Performance in basic skills remains high despite a slight downward trend. The 2018 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) confirms that levels of basic skills remain close to the top for participating countries (OECD, 2019b). Nevertheless, there has been a negative trend in average performance; indeed, since 2006 Finland experienced the sharpest performance decrease among PISA-participating countries (OECD, 2019c). Compared to 2015, the decline is only statistically significant in science. In 2009-2018, the underachievement rate increased in all three tested subjects, while remaining below the EU benchmark of 15% in all of them (European Commission, 2019c). The percentage of top performers in reading and science is still one of the highest among PISA countries.

Girls outperform boys in all three tested subjects, yet few of them are attracted to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers. The performance gap in favour of girls in reading and sciences is the largest among EU countries (OECD, 2019d). About one in ten high-performing female students in mathematics or science expects to work as an engineer or science professional (one in eight boys). Almost no girls indicate an expectation to work in ICT-related professions (4% of boys).

Students’ socio-economic and migrant backgrounds have a strong influence on educational outcomes and academic expectations. The gap in reading performance is closely related to students’ socio-economic status, and this gap has widened since PISA 2009 (OECD, 2019c). In addition, after accounting for socio-economic status, the difference in reading performance between students with migrant and non-migrant backgrounds is the largest in the EU (74 score points). Pupils from a disadvantaged background hold lower ambitions about getting a tertiary degree than would be expected given their academic achievement (OECD, 2019d).

Figure 4 – Difference in mean PISA score in reading between students with or without migrant background, 2018

Source: (OECD, 2019c), PISA results.

The school disciplinary climate requires improvement (OECD, 2019e). In Finland, 18% of students reported being bullied at least a few times a month (EU-27 22%); 27% of students reported that their teachers have to wait a long time for students to quieten down (EU-27 28%); 13% of students had skipped a day of school (EU-27 24%); and 45% had arrived late for school in the 2 weeks prior to the PISA test (EU-27 41%). Frequent bullying among students is linked to lower reading performance (by 7 score points); as is attending classes where teachers wait a long time for children to quieten down (by 16 score points), skipping a school day (by 60 score points) and arriving late for school (by 36 score points). These differences are close to the EU averages (8, 28, 54 and 33 score points respectively).

Finland successfully managed the challenges resulting from the pandemic. Schools and universities were closed on 18 March 2020 and in-person education replaced by distance learning (MEC, 2020a). Day-care and pre-primary schools remained open for children whose parents required and for those with special educational needs. Pre-existing resources in the education system and strong stakeholder relationships enabled the government to engage teachers, parents, students and experts in valuable discussions about emergency measures and to share their experiences (OECD, 2020a). The main education platforms for primary, secondary and VET education - Helmi, Wilma (Primus), Studentaplus and Sopimuspro - were used for giving homework, providing feedback and communicating with parents. The central administration offered support and guidance7. Various resources were collated to support online education from private and public entities and to develop an online information hub to guide teachers on good practices8. The Device for All9 campaign encouraged private sector companies to donate laptops to students. Several Finnish EdTech companies provided e-learning-materials for free at koulu.me10. Face-to-face teaching in primary and lower secondary education resumed with special arrangements on 14 May. Distance education is reported to have worked well, but there is a fear that some pupils who normally need more support than others did not make as much progress as their classmates.

Finland will extend the compulsory schooling age to 18 by 2021. The preparation of the proposal to extend compulsory education is progressing (MEC, 2020a). The aim is to ensure that every student completes at least secondary education, and therefore to reduce the dropout rate11; as well as to increase their chances of getting a job12. The rate of early leavers from education and training is well below the EU-27 average (7.3% v 10.2% in 2019), but is 4.2 pps higher for foreign born pupils (11.5% in 2019) than for native born (the EU-27 gap is 13.3 pps).

6. Modernising vocational education and training

VET is a popular study path. In 2018, 71.6% of all learners at upper secondary level were enrolled in VET. VET offers good job opportunities for young students entering labour market and for adult students seeking new career opportunities. The employment rate of recent graduates aged 20-34 is 80.4%.

The COVID-19 lockdown led to a shift to distance learning. The flexibility of the VET system, based on a modular qualification structure and individual learning pathways, enabled an easy adaptation. Nevertheless, guidance, validation and entry exams were affected. The government introduced financial support packages to aid education providers affected by the shutdown.

Ensuring that all learners receive digital competence development according to their individual needs is a challenge for VET. Before COVID-19, 15% of the students used the online learning apps related to their vocational field regularly, but 28% only occasionally according to a report on the level of digitalisation (MEC, 2018b). Remote studies were completed in an electronic environment regularly by 12% and occasionally by one quarter of the respondents. The Trade Union of Education reported that a lack of teacher/trainer capacity and motivation to use new pedagogical solutions among VET teachers were challenges (Finnish National Agency for Education, forthcoming)

The 2019-2023 government programme aims to increase the number of students completing upper secondary education, including VET. It provides more investments: EUR 235 million have been earmarked until 2023 for hiring new teachers and trainers (Cedefop ReferNet Finland, 2019a). In November 2019, VET and general education matters were brought under one department at the Ministry of Education and Culture. This arrangement aims to strengthen the cooperation between the two strands (Cedefop ReferNet Finland, 2019b). In June 2020, the Ministry of Education and Culture launched a three-year programme (2020 – 2022) for quality and equity in VET.

A VET quality strategy until 2030 is being prepared. It replaces the 2011 strategy and aims to ensure comprehensive quality management in VET institutions by applying customer-oriented approaches and clear targets, including for system efficiency (Cedefop ReferNet, 2020).

In order to enhance skills matching, at the end of 2019 a big data project developed automatic collection and analysis of qualification requirements for adults (Finnish National Agency for Education, forthcoming). Furthermore, in 2020 the Finnish National Agency for Education started work on including optional competence modules in sustainable development, financial literacy and economic know-how in the upper secondary VET curricula.

Box 2: Digital learning environment for homecare

The DigiHOP project run by WinNova, a vocational education provider, developed a digital learning environment for practical nursing education. The aim was to create interactive digital methods for learning at home. Two objectives were set for the project: to develop new pedagogical methods and to provide new professional skills for modern home care services.

Students in practical nursing education in western Finland carried out digital ‘home visits’ to volunteering older people – a total of 658 such home visits in a 5-week period. 15 student groups and 403 students took part in the activities.

Based on the feedback from students, the new learning environment offered versatile possibilities for learning and carrying out the home visits and was useful for developing professional skills. The students had genuine interaction with the elderly that helped develop their professional interaction and monitoring skills. Digital technology contributed to intergenerational encounters in a homecare learning environment. The model for homecare training could be transferred to other learning institutions.

The project was funded with EUR 441 000 (EU + national co-financing) from the Mainland Finland OP. Duration of the project was from February 2016-December 2018.

7. Modernising higher education

The Vision for Higher Education and Research 2030 is being implemented. The government set three main objectives for higher education by 2030: providing 50% of the total young adult population (aged 25-34) with a tertiary degree; playing a major role in adult learning; and increasing access to and equality in university studies. In 2017, 55% of first-time entrants to universities of applied sciences had a vocational degree, 9% for other universities (MEC, 2019c). 47.3% of adults (30-34) in Finland hold a tertiary level degree (EU-27 average 40.3%). This rate has increased by 1.4 pps since 2009 (45.9%). Higher education institutions are encouraged via the new funding model to develop adult education through continuous learning possibilities. The number of available student places at universities must meet the needs of society and be based on employment forecasts for each sector and region13. The limited number of places in certain regions make it particularly difficult to enter university there. For instance, in the Uusimaa region (i.e. the extended Helsinki metropolitan area) there is a major shortage of study places and a growing demand (European Commission, 2020b). Around two thirds of university applicants are rejected annually; this delays tertiary education for several years for many students. Higher education policy needs to incentivise their role in knowledge transfer more strongly.

Higher education students take a long time to get a degree. The average duration of tertiary education is 6.5 years, causing a considerable delay in labour market entry. Less than half of university graduates complete their degree within the target time in all fields (for humanities and arts less than 20%), except for health and well-being (58%) (MEC, 2019c). After seven years, about 70% of university beginners in 2010-2011 had a bachelor's or master's degree from a university, more than 16% were still studying, and 6% of students had neither a university degree nor keep studying (MEC, 2019c).

The conditions for student admission to university studies changed. From spring 2020, students will be mainly selected based on national matriculation examination grades, which is a biannual, high-stakes final `test´ that takes place at the completion of general upper secondary studies14. Student selection to universities of applied sciences already changed in 2019: applicants can apply to different study field with the same entry test and select up to six destinations (Arene, 2019). An applicant can also apply to different universities and disciplines via either the matriculation examination or through a single institutional entrance exam specific to certain universities and studies. While entrance exams are being modified so that they do not require lengthy preparation15, upper secondary students seems still prefer to attend private training courses to get better prepared for them16. In addition, since students do not know their matriculation examination outcomes early enough, they may also have to prepare for the entrance exam as well, just in case17.

The new funding model for higher education institutions will be applied from 2021. Universities of applied sciences will receive 6% (currently 4%) of their basic funding based on the number of graduates that enter into employment and the quality of their employment. For the other universities, it will be 4% (currently 2%). This will increase funding based on continuous learning indicators for universities of applied sciences from 5% to 9%, and for the universities from 2% to 5%. In 2019, the employment rate of recent tertiary graduates (1-3 years after graduation), aged 20-34, was 89.1%, above the EU-27 average (85.0%), and higher than in 2018 (88.3%).

The COVID-19 pandemic also affected higher education but to a lesser extent. Higher education institutions have various tools available for distance learning, such as their own learning management systems (Moodle, etc.), and commercial streaming services. Distance learning was the norm in higher education institutions from March and continued until the end of term. Finnish universities agreed that traditional institutional entrance examinations could not take place; each institution introduced its own entry procedures. The first spring call of joint examination for universities of applied sciences was cancelled; students were admitted based on school performance and selection assignments. For the second call, online selection mechanisms were used (OECD, 2020a).

8. Promoting adult learning

Participation in adult learning in Finland is the second highest in Europe, yet some challenges exist. 29% of all adults aged 25-64 engaged in learning in 2019. However, there are still challenges, like improving learners’ disposition towards learning and ensuring a comprehensive adult learning system with the right incentives and support services to all. According to the OECD (2020b), Finland has the largest gaps in learning participation between adults with low basic skills and those with higher skills, and there are considerable gaps in upskilling and reskilling opportunities.

New proposals were adopted regarding the validation of non-formal adult education. In December 2019, a working group coordinated by the Ministry of Education and Culture prepared a report with recommendations to include non-formal adult education provision in the national digital database of qualifications and certificates, Koski, by September 2021. This will also involve creating a more structured description of learning outcomes in different areas of non-formal adult education. The process will be coordinated by the National Board of Education, including funding for pilot projects, training of teachers and other staff and developing guidelines (MEC, 2019d).

A parliamentary working group on the development of the continuous learning concept continues its work, and it is on track to deliver its proposals by the end of 2020. The government asked the Ministry of Education and Culture to produce an educational policy report by the end of 2020. This snapshot of the current education system will serve as another tool for reshaping Finnish educational policy, including adult learning.

9. References

Arene (2019). Ammattikorkeakoulujen opiskelijavalinnat uudistuvat laajasti – syksyllä käyttöön yksi yhteinen valintakoe [The student selection in applied universities will be renewed extensively - one common entrance exam will be introduced in the autumn]. 

Cedefop, Finnish National Agency for Education (2019). Vocational education and training in Europe: Finland [From Cedefop; ReferNet. Vocational education and training in Europe database].

Cedefop ReferNet Finland (2019a). Finland: government emphasises VET in 2019-23 programme.

Cedefop ReferNet Finland (2019b). Finland: increasing compulsory education age and merging VET and general education governance.

European Commission (2019a), Women in digital scoreboard 2019 – Finland.

European Commission (2019b). 2nd Survey of Schools: ICT in Education. Finland country report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

European Commission (2019c), PISA 2018 and the EU. Striving for social fairness through education. European Commission, Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture.

European Commission (2020a). Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2020, Country Report Finland.

European Commission (2020b). Commission staff working document. Country Report Finland 2020. SWD/2020/525 final

European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice (2019). Digital Education at School in Europe. European Commission Report. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

FEE (2019). Oppivelvollisuusiän nostoon liittyy paljon avoimia kysymyksiä [There are many open questions about raising the compulsory school age]. Finnish Education Employers

FNBE (2016) Majakka-kouluille yhteinen sähköinen alusta [A common platform for schools participating the Majakka-network]. Helsinki: Finnish National Board of Education FNBE. Retrieved from

Fraillon, J., Ainley, J., Schulz, W., Friedman, T. & Duckworth, D. (2019). Preparing for Life in a Digital World. IEA International Computer and Information Literacy Study (ICILS) 2018: International Report.

García-Peñalvo, F. J., Rees, A. M., Hughes, J., Jormanainen, I., Toivonen, T., & Vermeersch, J. (2016). A survey of resources for introducing coding into schools. In F. J. García-Peñalvo (Ed.), Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality (TEEM’16) (Salamanca, Spain, November 2-4, 2016) (pp. 19-26). New York, NY, USA: ACM.

Kuntaliitto (2018) Kuntaliitto laski oppivelvollisuuden pidentämisen kustannukset: Satojen miljoonien eurojen lisäkulut odotettavissa [Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities Evaluated the Cost of Extending Educational Needs: Hundreds of Millions More Expenditures Expected]. Kuntaliitto (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities)

Kuntaliitto (2019). Kunnissa tarjolla isoja joululahjoja varhaiskasvatuksen asiakkaille [The municipalities offer large Christmas gifts for early childhood education clients]. Kuntaliitto (Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities).

MEC (2017). Osaamiseen ja tutkimukseen isot lisäpanostukset ensi vuoden budjetissa [Next year’s budget promises more resources for education]. Helsinki, Finland: Ministry of Education and Culture.

MEC (2018a). OKM:n talousarvioehdotus vuodelle 2019. [OKM: budget proposal for 2019]. Ministry of Education and Culture

MEC (2018b). Digitalisaatio Ammatillisessa Koulutuksessa Ministry of Education and Culture

MEC (2018c). Korkeakoulutuksen ja tutkimuksen visio 2030 [The Vision of Higher Education and Research 2030] Ministry of Education and Culture.

MEC (2019a). Varhaiskasvatuksen koulutusten kehittämiseen foorumi [Forum for the Development of Early Childhood Education]. Ministry of Education and Culture.

MEC (2019b). Kolme vuotta täyttäneiden varhaiskasvatuksen ryhmäkokoja pienennetään [Group sizes for early childhood education over the age of three will be reduced]. Ministry of Education and Culture

MEC (2019c). Tilannekuvaa korkeakoulutuksesta ja tutkimuksesta [A snapshot of higher education and research]. Ministry of Education and Culture

MEC (2019d) Vapaan sivistystyön kautta hankitun osaamisen tunnistamista ja tunnustamista valmisteleva työryhmä (Working group preparing for the identification and recognition of knowledge acquired through free educational work) Ministry of Education and culture.

MEC (2020a). Government policy recommendations for providers of early childhood education and care, pre-primary education, primary and lower secondary education, general upper secondary education, vocational education, higher education, liberal education and basic art education in order to slow down the spread of coronavirus infections. Ministry of Education and Culture.

MEC (2020b). Oppivelvollisuuden laajentaminen etenee - päätöksiä toisen asteen maksuttomuudesta sekä ohjauksesta ja valvontavastuusta. (extending compulsory education - decisions on second level free of charge and on guidance and supervisory responsibilities). Ministry of Education and Culture

MEC (2020c) Jatkuva oppiminen (Continuous learning). Ministry of Education and Culture.

MEC (2020c). Koulutuspoliittinen selonteko (Education policy report). Ministry of Education and Culture.;

Saarinen, J. Venäläinen, S., Johnson, P., Cantell, H., Jakobsson, G., Koivisto, P., Routti, M., Váánánen, J., Huhtanen, M., Kivistó, A. & Viitala, M. (2019). OPS-TYÖN ASKELEITA Esi- ja perusopetuksen opetussuunnitelmien perusteiden 2014 toimeenpanon arviointi [Stages of curriculum work – Evaluation of the implementation of the national core curriculum for pre-primary and basic education 2014] (Proceedings of the National Centre for Education Evaluation 2019:1). Helsinki, Finland: National Centre for Education Evaluation.

Tanhua-Piiroinen, E. Kaarakainen, S.-S. Kaarakainen, M.-T., Viteli, J., Syvänen, A. & Kivinen, A. (2019) Digiajan peruskoulu [Primary and Secondary level school at the Digital era]. Valtioneuvoston selvitys- ja tutkimustoiminnan julkaisusarja 6/2019.

OAJ (2019). Perusopetuksen ja varhaiskasvatuksen kehittämiseen yli 300 miljoonaa – OAJ kiittää [More than €300 million for the development of basic education and early childhood education - OAJ thanks]. Opettajien ammattijärjestö (OAJ) [the Trade Union of Education (OAJ)].

OECD (2019a), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume I): Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2019b), PISA 2018 Results (Volume I): What Students Know and Can Do, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2019c), Finland: Country Profile, Education GPS.

OECD (2019d), PISA 2018 Results (Volume II): Where All Students Can Succeed, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2019e), PISA 2018 Results (Volume III): What School Life Means for Students’ Lives, PISA, OECD Publishing, Paris,

OECD (2020a). Education Policy Outlook Finland. In press

OECD (2020b). Continuous Learning in Working Life in Finland, Getting Skills Right, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Oppiminen uudistuu (2018). Tasa-arvoisen peruskoulun tulevaisuus: Koulutustakuusta osaamistakuuseen [The future of equal primary school: From training skills to knowledge skills].

Valtioneuvosto Statsrådet (2017). OKM: n talousarvioehdotus vuodelle 2018. [OKM: budget proposal for 2018].

Annex I: Key indicators sources

Indicator Eurostat online data code
Early leavers from education and training edat_lfse_14 + edat_lfse_02
Tertiary educational attainment edat_lfse_03 + edat_lfs_9912
Early childhood education educ_uoe_enra10
Underachievement in reading, maths and science OECD (PISA)
Employment rate of recent graduates edat_lfse_24
Adult participation in learning trng_lfse_03
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP gov_10a_exp
Expenditure on public and private institutions per student educ_uoe_fini04
Learning mobility:
- Degree-mobile graduates
- Credit-mobile graduates
DG EAC computation based on Eurostat / UIS / OECD data

Annex II: Structure of the education system

Source: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, 2020. The Structure of the European Education Systems 2019/2020: Schematic Diagrams. Eurydice Facts and Figures. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

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2 Draft government proposal for a Compulsory Education Act and connected legislation

3 Finnish Education Employers (FEE) (3.7.2019). Oppivelvollisuusiän nostoon liittyy paljon avoimia kysymyksiä

4 Eurostat: [gov_10a_exp].



7 Among others: Opentunti, Yle Triplet,;,




11 According to national statistics, 10.5% of 20-24-year-olds were not in the labour market or in education in 2019.

12 According to national statistics, the employment rate of students with education up to lower secondary level only is around 40%.


14 See additional information at:

15 Korkeakoulujen valintauudistus on herättänyt hämmennystä viestinnän ja aikataulutuksen epäselvyyden takia

16 Pääsykokeiden uudistuksen piti vähentää valmennuskursseja, mutta miten kävi? Lukiolaisille myytyjen kurssien määrä moninkertaistui]. Yleisradio

17 Kukaan ei vielä tiedä, mitkä arvosanat riittävät korkeakoulupaikkaan – tuhannet opiskelijat pänttäävät nyt varmuuden vuoksi myös pääsykokeisiin Yleisradio