Guide to being Finnish

Studying in Finland – General information

Posted by | 8th September 2012 | Study in Finland

Education and schools

Education is provided free of charge in Finland at all levels, and the majority of children attend state comprehensive (primary) schools and secondary schools. The children of foreign nationals living in Finland are also eligible to attend state schools.

Compulsory education for nine years from the age of seven is provided in comprehensive schools. Children usually attend the comprehensive school nearest to their home.

University of Technology

University of Technology

Students need to pass an examination at the age of 16 for entry to post-comprehensive education in upper secondary schools or vocational schools, and submit an application to the school of their choice through the centralized application system. Direct application must be made, however, to foreign-language schools or specialist schools as these are excluded from the centralized system.

Upper secondary school students study for the Matriculation examination or the International Baccalaureate, while vocational school students study for vocational qualifications in a wide range of subject areas.

Finland has a number of international schools or schools for the children of foreign nationals, mostly located in Helsinki. Some of these are privately run and charge fees, while others are state-run and provide free education. Schools offering an international-style education in English include The English School and The International School in Helsinki, and Turku International School. Some international schools prepare students for the Finnish Matriculation examination, others for the International Baccalaureate or other international qualifications.

There is a selection procedure, which includes examinations, for entry to Finnish universities. Most university students in Finland complete Masters Degrees, spending an average of 6 years at university.

University of Turku

University of Turku

Finland has an extensive adult education sector, in which adults can study for academic qualifications at night school. There is also an Open University offering distance learning.

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