Published: 18 December 2019

Subject choices of students in upper secondary level education in 2018

According to Statistics Finland, nearly all students attending upper secondary general education in autumn 2018 studied English as a foreign language. A majority of students in vocational education, 94 per cent, also studied English. Ninety-two per cent of students in upper secondary general education and 86 per cent of students in vocational education studied Swedish. Of students in upper secondary general education, 61 per cent studied two languages and 38 per cent studied three or more languages.

Number of languages studied by students in upper secondary general and vocational education in 2018

Number of foreign languages Upper secondary general education Share of students, % Vocational education Share of students, %
0 0 0,0 7 264 5,6
1 1 435 1,4 5 506 4,3
2 62 954 60,6 111 872 86,7
3 32 651 31,4 3 830 3,0
4 5 934 5,7 480 0,4
5 732 0,7 50 0,0
6 114 0,1 4 0,0
Students total 103 820 100 129 006 100

The share of students in vocational education studying two languages was 87 per cent. Three per cent of students in vocational education studied three or more languages.

Languages studied by students in upper secondary general and vocational education in 2018

Language studied Upper secondary general education Share of students, % Vocational education Share of students, %
English 103 442 99,6 120 814 93,6
Swedish 95 046 91,5 111 491 86,4
Finnish 6 703 6,5 5 983 4,6
French 9 792 9,4 778 0,6
German 16 239 15,6 717 0,6
Russian 5 535 5,3 1 524 1,2
Spanish 14 113 13,6 1 314 1,0
Italian 867 0,8 29 0,0
Sami 32 0,0 3 0,0
Latin 631 0,6 4 0,0
Other 976 0,9 277 0,2
Students total 103 820 . 129 006 .

The order of the five most commonly studied languages in upper secondary general education has remained the same from 2014 to 2018 (see Appendix tables). The languages most commonly studied are English, Swedish, German, Spanish and French. In 2014, two languages were usually studied in upper secondary general education, and this was also the situation in 2018. The share of those studying three or more languages has decreased by around three percentage points compared to 2014.

Since 2014, the most commonly studied languages in vocational education have been English and Swedish. Two languages are also typically studied in vocational education.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Vesa Hämäläinen 029 551 2594, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (221.2 kB)

Tables

Appendix tables


Updated 18.12.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of students in upper secondary level education 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 16.1.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2018/01/ava_2018_01_2019-12-18_tie_001_en.html