The education system in Finland: higher education, school and pre-school

The Scandinavian countries have their own special approach to the education and training of the younger generation. The General trend supports the education system in Finland, which consists of four levels:

  • early childhood education;
  • nine-year compulsory education in a mainstream school profile;
  • secondary education in the public schools and colleges (vocational education institutions);

Secondary and higher education in Finland is free, prepaid.


In the Finnish law on preschool education says that the most important task of the workers of the preparatory institutions – day care for children and assist fathers and mothers in the upbringing of the child. The main requirement which is made to kindergarten – the creation of a benevolent atmosphere and support diversity in learning.

The system of preschool education in Finland provides different options of childcare:

  • four-hour groups: kids walk, play, do, but do not feed;
  • night time entertainment is suitable for emergency occasions when parents are invited to a night shift or sent on business trips.

The minimum age of pupils of kindergartens of Finland – 9 months. If kindergartens are not enough seats, but parents need to help out, the state pays the family 500 per month to one of them stayed with the child at home.

About 60% of children from the age of three and before entering the first grade attending preschool institutions. From 6 years children can be transferred to the preparatory group of a kindergarten or a similar class at school.

The number of children in groups based on their age, but in any case by law a teacher cannot have more than four pupils.


A feature of the education system in Finland – flexibility and accessibility: a uniform training program does not allow elite schools and classes. Long forbidden to choose – all studied in the short, but after the lifting of restrictions parents prefer to send their children to institutions of the place of residence.

Finnish schools, by Russian standards, small: according to statistics from the 2008-year, one-third of schools has a maximum capacity of 50 people, and only about 4% of the institutions can take 500 or more.

The school system in Finland has two main levels of training:

  • Junior school – 3 years;
  • senior – 6 years.

To increase the knowledge level of graduates who completed a nine-year cycle, can the additional 10th grade, after which students with good grades go to vocational colleges or continue to improve knowledge in the public schools. Both schools provide complete secondary education and substance represent in the education system of Finland the analogue of the Russian high school.

Just Suomi 334 vocational College and grammar school, 441. The number of students in them 160 and 130 thousand, respectively. The population of Finland is 5.5 million people.

Gymnasium strictly select future students, paying particular attention to school achievement. The training course includes:

  • 2 language native language and in Swedish;
  • 1 – 2 foreign language of choice;
  • classic school discipline;
  • religious studies;
  • music;
  • drawing;
  • hygiene;
  • physical culture.

The study concludes with state exams across several disciplines. Upon successful completion of training, the road to yesterday’s students open to any high school. According to statistics, the majority of graduates of high schools selects universities, and graduates of the colleges – polytechnics. In total, the universities receive no more than 1/3 of the graduates of the last stage of secondary school education.


All the universities Suomi administratively subordinate to the Ministry of education, but have a constitutional government. Therefore, the system of higher education of Finland does not provide for uniform rules of admission to universities – regulations set by higher education institutions. The selection of applicants takes into account three criteria:

  • pupils ‘ performance in pre-University institutions;
  • the results of the entrance tests;
  • the results of the interview.

More than 80 thousand people studying in 9 universities and 12 polytechnics of Finland.

Education in universities takes 4 to 6 years, the period depends on the specialty. To obtain the degree of licentiate or doctorate, education can continue in the University graduate. Institutions are assigned only to the master’s degree.

Higher education in Finland is free, including for foreign students. Pay only some directions of preparation of specialists, bachelors and masters, for example – MBA Helsinki school of Economics. The share of public funding of University system reaches 72 %, so as such tuition fees in most colleges and universities no, but living costs and food still can not be avoided.