Friday, 15 July 2011

Special Features of the Finnish Education System: Vocational Education

Lauri Kurvonen gave a presentation on Finland's vocational education sector.

The notes of the presentation are as follows:
  • 7-8% of students in vocational education take the matriculation examination
  • initial vocational education, but also specialist vocational qualifications, mainly for adults
  • last year of comprehensive school -- general application to "second step" -- student expresses their interests if they want to go to vocational education
  • the yhteishaku is based on marks from school, a nationwide application
  • it is now internet-based
  • make three preferences, either vocational education and training (VET) or gymnasium
  • polytechnic -- higher education in the vocational sector
  • 1990s -- changed VET to 3 years
  • VET -- 10% take classes in the gymnasium and 8% take the matriculation exam
  • 5% of students in university have a VET background
  • 25% of students in polytechnics have an academic background
  • VET -- 2 ways to do initial VET, from school or passing skills tests, aimed at adults with working experience
  • also further qualifications, similar to the NVQ in the UK
  • approximately 60,000 students leave comprehensive school per year -- 45% to VET, 50% to gymnasium, 4-5% do not go directly to upper-secondary school, 1-2% take an additional year in comprehensive school
General objectives of VET
  • knowledge and skills necessary for vocational competence and employment
  • knowledge skills needed in further studies and lifelong learning
  • 1/3 general subjects in VET
  • fast industrialization post-World War II
  • needed a way to produce skilled labor
  • Finnish government supported training
  • VET only way to education many in skills
Vocational Education and Training
  • operated by municipalities
  • approximately 200 VET schools
  • almost all of the schools are public
  • combination of theory and practice
  • same teachers teach both areas
  • 1945 Act -- government provides 1/2 of money to vocational industries
  • 1/2 of money comes from local and 1/2 from national budgets
  • have to buy books but allowance from state
  • decentralization and deregulation -- decisions on a local level
  • no more inspections, self-evaluations
  • merging of small schools
Qualification comes from the specific national core curriculum

Students can have a personal study plan

7 sectors of VET, 53 total qualifications:
  1. natural resources
  2. technology and transport
  3. business and administration
  4. tourism, catering, and home economics
  5. health and social services
  6. culture
  7. leisure and physical education
Initial VET
  • 120 credits (study weeks)
  • 40 per year
  • 20 credits for on-the-job training
  • (apprenticeships -- mainly adults)
120 credits
  • 20 credits -- core subjects e.g. math
  • 90 credits -- vocational studies
  • 10 credits -- free to choose
On-the-job learning
  • introduced in 1999-2000
  • done in the workplace
  • teacher comes to the workplace once in a while
  • students, not employees
  • there to learn, not to make money
  • in many cases, the student is hired
Skills demonstrations
  • practical tests in all vocational modules
  • introduced in 2006
  • in addition to written tests
Main challenges
  • lack of labor in certain fields
  • cooperation of on-the-job learning and working life, with general studies
  • opening paths to further studies
  • supporting weak students, preventing drop-outs
  • improving the prestige of VET
Competence-based qualifications
  • specialist and further qualifications
  • adult education -- 1000 institutions, 14% of Ministry of Education budget, 1 million adults participate
  • developed in 1990s
  • apprenticeships
  • updating of qualifications
Levels of qualifications
  • initial
  • further
  • specialist
Large increase in participants in VET

  • from the mid-1990s
  • more clear situation for this sector of higher education
  • for more practical focus, e.g. doctors at university, nurses at polytechnic
  • two types of engineers: insenoori (polytechnic), and diplomi-insenoori (university)


  1. This is extremely helpful info!! Very good work. It is very interesting to learn and easy to understood. Thank you for giving information. Please let us know and more information get post to link.

    Web Designing Training in Chennai

  2. Really, these quotes are the holistic approach towards mindfulness. In fact, all of your posts are. Proudly saying I’m getting fruitfulness out of it what you write and share. Thank you so much to both of you.
    Office Interior Designers in Coimbatore
    Office Interior Designers in Bangalore
    Office Interior Designers in Hyderabad

  3. Really it was an awesome article...very interesting to read..You have provided an nice article....Thanks for sharing..
    Android Training in Chennai
    Ios Training in Chennai