Education in Finland

The Finnish education system is composed of nine years of mandatory basic education, three years of optional upper secondary education, and higher education provided by universities and universities of applied sciences (polytechnics).

Education policy in Finland stresses quality, efficiency, equity and internationalism.

Education is provided in both Finnish and Swedish, and in some municipalities also in Sámi. Financing for education is provided by municipal governments in cooperation with the national government. At the national government level, education is managed by the Ministry of Education and the Finnish National Agency for Education.

Education in Finland is free, promotes social equality, and is concerned with “lifelong learning.” The literacy rate is one of the highest in the world. Compulsory education lasts nine years, and the OECD has ranked learning outcomes for Finnish 15 year olds in math, science, reading literacy, and problem solving at the top.

The system of higher education includes a network of 40 institutions throughout all regions of Finland, 14 universities and 26 newer universities of applied sciences (polytechnics) which link study and research closely to the world of industry and work. "Intellectual capital" is recognized as a valuable resource for the future of a prosperous Finland.

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Image: the Finnish National Agency for Education