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FINNISH EDUCATION SYSTEM: Why are schools and universities in Finland successful?

The Finnish education system is one of the best in the world. International students come in big groups yearly to experience a new way to learn higher education. In fact, there was a 141% increase in Non-European student applications, and 93% successfully entered the country in 2021.

Aside from world-class education, Finland is safe, modern, and progressive. Finland is also consistently the happiest country in the world! Citizens enjoy lots of benefits in the nation.

Today, we will discuss the Finnish education system and how it works. We will also give you valuable information if you plan to study in Finland.

Finnish education system
Helsinki and other areas in Finland has the best universities in the world!

What makes finnish education System the best?

The Finnish education system specifically concentrates on lifelong and personalized learning. It focuses on good quality universal education and inclusivity.

Students learn necessary life skills and core knowledge of a primary discipline, but this does not mean there is no freedom. Students have the liberty to experiment and explore too.

Finland has been called the best country for higher education for many years. Universities in Finland are highly respected, and a degree from a Finnish university can certainly open many doors for a student.

Higher education in Finland is also less costly than in many other countries, like Canada and Australia. The Finnish education system provides many benefits not only for its citizens but for international students as well.

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Essential features of the Finnish Education System

1. Finnish teachers are passionate and highly educated.

Teachers in the country must have master’s degrees. They are also required to have initial training, which includes teaching practice.

Class teachers guide pupils in grade one, while specialized subject instructors are responsible for grades seven to nine.

2. Finnish schools offer individual support.

The basis for teaching and schoolwork comes from a student’s individual needs. Learning instructors conduct early diagnosing to understand their pupil’s needs to bring out high-quality education.

3. Extensive and professional cooperation to enhance the learning institution.

School authorities work closely with organizations representing teachers, students, and principals in Finland. The development activities receive strong and widespread support due to this collaboration.

4. Finnish citizens have a positive outlook on education.

According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, almost three in four Finnish people aged 25–64 hold an upper secondary school certificate. In addition, one in three holds a higher education degree.

Studying requires primary (compulsory) education. Only 1% of each age group leaves primary school without a certificate, and more than half finish later.

5. A student’s learning result is supportive and encouraging.

The Finnish education system requires no standardized tests given at the national level and no school rankings. In addition, there are no inspection procedures for learning institutions.

The state fully trusts school leaders and teachers in developing their students. They also help and assist with support and funding.

6. The country has the best libraries containing high-quality learning materials.

Finland is one of the countries with the most libraries in the world. Students in the country enjoy free services in libraries. They have access to updated and valuable information needed for research.

7. The core curriculum is applicable nationwide.

The state allows local school boards to set up teaching in the best way for their area. This decentralized method under the Finnish education system revolves around curricula made and used locally and considering each student’s needs.

Furthermore, the local curriculum design binds local teachers to education system growth and offers them broad pedagogic responsibility in teaching.

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The Finnish education system

Listed below are the levels of the Finnish education system. Each stage ensures that the age of the student complements the teaching method.

Early childhood education

All children in Finland can receive free early childhood education before school age. Family daycare and daycare centers organize fun activities such as playtime and outdoor exercises.

Early childhood education under the Finnish education system aims to develop a child’s well-being, encourage equality in learning, and support their development.

Preschool education

Finland requires one year of preschool before compulsory education. Six-year-olds start preschool education, and municipalities provide them for free.

Preschool teachers are well-educated. The schedule is from Monday through Friday for four hours.

Comprehensive education

Finnish children start comprehensive education at age seven. It is required and comprises nine grades.

Municipalities organize this level of education, and it is free of charge. Teachers in comprehensive education hold a master’s degree.

Immigrants, such as children and young adults, may get preparatory learning for comprehensive education. The learning schedule is generally complete in a year.

In addition, adult immigrants without comprehensive school certificates from their home country can complete comprehensive education in upper secondary schools specifically for adults.

Upper secondary education

Upper secondary and vocational education are the most common options after comprehensive school. Again, upper secondary education is free for all students.

Generally, upper secondary schools have the same subjects as comprehensive education. It takes two to four years to finish upper secondary education.

In addition, adults can take upper secondary school studies. They can get separate courses or finish the syllabus for upper secondary studies.

Vocational education

Vocational education emphasizes practice and generally takes three years to finish. You can also earn additional or specialized vocational qualifications while working. Vocational training requires on-the-job learning.

Students can go from vocational education and training to higher education. They can also work in their field while earning a training salary.

Preparatory education for programs leading to an upper-secondary qualification

Secondary education requires linguistic proficiency. If a student’s native language is not Finnish or Swedish and their language skills are insufficient for secondary or vocational schools, they can apply for preparatory education.

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Finnish education system
Higher education in Finland will certainly make you globally competitive!


Finland has two higher education institutions: universities of applied sciences and research universities. Universities of applied sciences focus on practical education that will respond to working life needs. Finishing a bachelor’s degree generally takes 3.5 to 4.5 years.

On the other hand, research universities are based more on scientific research and education. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree generally takes three years.

The Finnish education system specifically relies on trust and responsibility. Students in a Finnish university are very independent. They are responsible for creating their study plan. They are also allowed to choose the rate and style of study.

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Study in Finland, equality for all!

For international students

There are over 500 English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programs in Finland. It is one reason why over 20,000 international students join Finnish universities yearly. They also offer scholarship opportunities for students who come from outside the EU/EEA.

International students who want to take higher education in Finland must apply for a student residence permit immediately after receiving a letter of acceptance from a university in the country.

Also, they must get student insurance and have a budget for the living costs in Finland.

Finnish education system
Edunation can help you in achieving your higher education goals in Finland!


Edunation can certainly help you achieve your higher learning goals in Finland if you’re an international student. We have partnerships with major universities that deliver the best education to make you globally competitive.

To help you while studying, we can also assist you in looking for a part-time job. You can earn eight to 12 EUR on a work schedule that will not affect your studies.

How much is the tuition fee for international students in Finland?

Tuition fees in the country only cost around 6,000 to 12,000 euros per year. You may also apply for scholarship programs. Visit our tuition fees and scholarship page for more information.

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In a nutshell

The Finnish education system focuses on equality for all. International students can certainly benefit from this privilege. They are surely to receive the best higher education while learning in a modern and world-class country!

Book a free counseling session now, and let us start your journey toward the best higher education in the world! Be the best version of yourself and become globally competitive!

About the writer

Mark has been a professional content writer for more than three years. He is an expert in creating articles about education and studying abroad. His writings don’t only inform, but he wants to make emotional connections with readers.

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