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Basic Principles of Finnish Education

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1 Basic Principles of Finnish Education
Finnish education and science policy stresses quality, efficiency, equity and internationalism Equal opportunities Comprehensive education Competent teachers Student counselling and special needs education Encouraging assessment and evaluation Significance of education in society A flexible system based on empowerment Co-operation A student-oriented, active conception of learning Everyone has the right to free basic education

2 Basic Principles of Finnish Education
no tuition fees in general and vocational upper secondary education, in polytechnics or in universities Education is primarily co-financed by the government and local authorities local authorities pay 54.7% of the cost of basic education, general upper secondary education, vocational education and training and polytechnic education. Universities, continuing vocational and professional education and liberal adult education are state-funded

3 Basic Principles of Finnish Education
• Mandatory for all children between 7 and 16 yrs old (since 1921) • Equality of access • Free of charge (from pre-school to university) • School-based curriculum • National curriculum framework • Municipal & school curricula developed locally • Prepares for lifelong learning • Teacher autonomy in instruction • Voluntary preschool education offered to all 6 year old children (95% attend)

4 Administration in education
Educational legislation is passed and the general principles governing education are determined by Parliament Government and the Ministry of Education and Culture, formulate and implement education policy. The National Board of Education, which is subordinate to the Ministry, has many tasks relating to the provision of education and its development Local authorities have a duty to provide basic education for children living in the municipality

5 Basic education in a nutshell
✓ a nine-year comprehensive curriculum for the whole age group ✓ teaching is provided by schools near the home ✓ no degree; a final certificate will be given for completing the syllabus ✓ teaching, text books and teaching materials, school transport and school meals are free ✓ basic education includes a one-year long voluntary pre-primary education in a school or day-care centre ✓ local authorities can also provide voluntary morning and afternoon activities for pupils in basic education ✓ provides the necessary prerequisites for all upper secondary education

6 Schools at Present • About 3300 schools of which 215 have grades 1 to 9 • General comprehensive school has 14 subjects in grades 1 to 6 and a few more in grades 7 to 9 • Religion is a mandatory subject • Newest subject is health education (2004-) • First foreign language at the 3rd grade (English and German most popular) • Handicraft has been a school subject since 1860s

7 Secondary Education • Upper secondary school (high school) • 2-4 year program leading to Matriculation Examination Individual curriculum for all students – nongraded program, everyone studies according to his/her own study plan • mandatory courses (47-52) • advanced courses (min 10) • same subject courses (max 15) • applied courses (max 20)

8 Secondary Education Finnish upper secondary schools are typically small, having students, only 8 schools over 1000 students • 417 upper secondary schools in the country, total is about students • About 58% of the student go to upper secondary school • Entrance restricted (grade marks based admission criteria) • Free for students, except books and materials

9 Vocational Education • Government has guaranteed access to further
vocational or general education for all comprehensive school graduates • Around 40% of students choose vocational education • Programs are generally 3 yrs long (120 ECTS credit points)

10 Vocational Education Education free of charge, including lunch and
transportation from home; books and materials not free 20 credits general studies, 80 credits vocational and 20 practical at the work place Over 200 different vocational programs offered Around 7000 students combine their vocational and upper secondary school studies and make both vocational degree and ME in a four year program

11 Upper Secondary Vocational Education and Training in a Nutshell
Admission requirement is the completion of basic education syllabus; Education providers primarily select their students based on earlier academic achievement but may also hold entrance exams or aptitude tests and may take the applicant’s work experience into consideration; Application takes place through a joint application system electronically; The studies primarily aim at obtaining the vocational skills needed in working life; Additionally, three-year studies give general eligibility to apply for studies at universities and polytechnics ; Opportunities for individual progress in studies have been enhanced; A vocational upper secondary qualification can be obtained through attending a vocational school, through apprenticeship training, or through a competence test; 20 credits (around 6 months) of the studies are conducted on-the-job; Skills demonstrations were launched in 2006 as proof of having reached the goals given to vocational studies.

12 Higher Education • Finland has a dual higher education system • 16 universities ( ) • 26 polytechnics ( ) • It is possible to apply to higher education after a Matriculation exam or vocational degree

13 Higher Education Total of 307300 students in higher education
Ministry of Education policy: 50% of 30-34yr age have higher education degree by 2015 The Universities Act requires that universities promote free research, offer scientific and artistic education based on research and educate students to serve their country and humanity. In carrying out this mission, universities must interact with society and strenghten the impact of research on society.

14 Polytechnics: Universities of applied sciences
Professional higher education degrees offered in the areas labour market requires highly educated professionals Polytechnics are municipal or private institutions, authorized and supported by the Ministry of Education Are autonomous in their internal affairs

15 Polytechnics: Universities of applied sciences
Degrees offered: • Polytechnic Bachelor’s degree • Polytechnic Master’s degree • Further education and specialization studies • Open polytechnic education

16 Universities 11 multidisciplinary universities, 1 school of economics and business administration, 2 universities of technology and 2 art academies New university legislation in 2010 All universities are public, autonomous institutions governed by themselves and funded mostly by support from the state budget Most popular programs are primary school teacher education, psychology, mass media, social sciences Open university system offers university level basic studies to everyone interested

17 Universities Universities are autonomous and independent of state
(also financially) Freedom of research and education Degrees are based on Bologna treaty ( ECTS) (since 2008) Students are accepted to study Master’s degree but have to take Bachelor before making the Master’s (MA, MSc) Entrance to universities very restricted: typically 15-20% of the applicants are accepted at the Univ of Tampere; 30-40% to universities of technology

18 Adult Education Both general and vocational adult education aimed to
promote the idea of lifelong learning General adult education institutes supported by the state and municipalities (e.g. community colleges) Courses do not lead to degrees Vocational adult education institutes offer same degrees as institutes for young students Curricula fitted for adult purposes Shorter programs – previous skills tested in working context exams

19 Adult education Adult education policy is designed to provide a wide range of study opportunities for the adult population General and interest-oriented: - General upper secondary schools for adults; - Folk high schools; - Adult education centres, study centres, and educational organisations; - Physical education centres; - Institutions providing basic art education, like music institutions; - Summer universities.

20 Adult education Vocational:
Institutions providing vocational education and training; Vocational adult education centres; Specialised vocational institutions; Continuing education centres of universities; Polytechnics; Home economics counselling organisations; Organisations for crafts and design.

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