Concepts and definitions

Completers of full upper secondary general school syllabus

In the statistics on upper secondary general education a completer of full upper secondary general school curriculum refers to a student who has completed satisfactorily the national syllabi contained in upper secondary general school curriculum and received for it a school-leaving certificate from upper secondary general school. Full upper secondary general school syllabus can be completed in upper secondary general schools or folk high schools.

Comprehensive school

In the statistics on pre-primary and comprehensive school education, subject choices of students, special education, and students and qualifications of educational institutions comprehensive schools refer to educational institutions providing basic, general knowledge teaching to an entire age cohort (basic comprehensive school education, compulsory education school). All children of the compulsory school age of 7 to 16 must complete the comprehensive school. Completion of the comprehensive school takes nine years.

Educational institutions of the following types classify as comprehensive schools:

Comprehensive schools

Comprehensive school level special schools

Comprehensive and upper secondary level schools

The full comprehensive school syllabus or subject studied within it can also be completed in upper secondary general schools and folk high schools but the basic teaching they provide is aimed at students over the compulsory school age (basic education of adults). These educational institutions and their students are not usually included in the statistics describing comprehensive schools.

Education

Education refers here to education leading to a qualification or degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree (qualification or degree-oriented education) refers to education leading to the completion of the full syllabus of comprehensive school (school-leaving certificate), completion of the full syllabus of upper secondary general school (matriculation examination certificate), International Baccalaureate certificate, Reifeprüfung certificate, European Baccalaureate certificate, Gymnasieexamen certificate, initial vocational qualification, basic vocational qualification, specialist vocational qualification, university of applied sciences degree, higher university of applied sciences degree or university degree.

Education leading to a qualification or degree is classified by the classification of education.

Educational system

The Finnish educational system is comprised of the following:

Pre-primary education is provided in Finland to 6-year-old children, usually at children's day care homes. Some 6-year-old children receive pre-primary education in comprehensive schools. Attendance of pre-primary education has been compulsory since 2015.

Comprehensive school education is general knowledge education provided for entire age cohorts. All children permanently resident in Finland must attend compulsory education. Compulsory education starts in the year of the child's seventh birthday.

Compulsory education finishes when the syllabus of comprehensives school education has been completed (9-year comprehensive school), or 10 years from the start of compulsory education. In exceptional cases compulsory education may start already at the age of six and last 11 years due to a disability or illness. A student who has received a leaving certificate from comprehensive school in the same year or in the year before it may continue to attend optional additional education (10th grade).

Post-comprehensive school education, or upper secondary general education and vocational education represent secondary level of education. Upper secondary general school education is education leading to a matriculation examination. Its scope is three years and it gives general eligibility to further education. Vocational education can be either educational institution-based or apprenticeship training. In apprenticeship training, most of the studying is comprised of learning through practical work tasks at a workplace. The qualifications are initial vocational qualifications attained in three years, which also give general eligibility to further polytechnic or university studies.

Further and specialist vocational qualifications represent further vocational education. They, as well as initial vocational qualifications can be attained in a skills examination that can be taken irrespective of the way of acquisition of professional skills, and in which skills can be proven on the basis of preparatory education for a skills examination or work experience.

Attainment of university of applied sciences degrees takes 3.5 to 4.5 years and higher university of applied sciences degrees requiring work practice 1-1.5 years. Attainment of lower university degrees takes three years while higher university degrees take two years longer. Attainers of higher level university degrees may continue their studies to licentiate and doctorate level degrees.

Grade

In the statistics on comprehensive school education, subject choices of students and special education, comprehensive school education is divided into nine grades from one to nine. In addition to these, pre-primary education of pupils of pre-primary education registered in comprehensive schools and additional education (10th class) of comprehensive school education are included in comprehensive school education.

Statistics on pupils are compiled by grade. If pupils cannot be allocated to a certain grade, e.g. in special education, they are included in the statistics of the grade that corresponds their age.

Pupil

In the statistics on comprehensive school education, on subject choices of students and on special education, comprehensive school pupils refer to all pupils registered at comprehensive schools: pupils of pre-primary education, pupils of grades 1 to 9 and pupils of additional education (10th class).

Data on the number of comprehensive school pupils describe the situation on 20 September.

School-leaving certificate from upper secondary general school

In the statistics on upper secondary general education and on subject choices of students, a school-leaving certificate from upper secondary general school refers to a certificate issued to a student who has completed satisfactorily the full upper secondary general school syllabusiculum. A school-leaving certificate from upper secondary general school can be issued by an upper secondary general school or a folk high school.

Subject choices

In the statistics on subject choices the point of departure for language choice is the student's choice. Language choices are reported according to the length of studies in a language.

A1 language is a common (compulsory) language started in grades 1 to 6.

A2 language is an optional language started in grades 1 to 6.

B1 language is a common (compulsory) language started in grades 7 to 9.

B2 language is an optional language started in grades 7 to 9 (at least six courses in upper secondary general school).

B3 language is an optional language started in upper secondary general school (at least six courses).

"Optional language, less than six courses" is a language started in upper secondary general school and studied for fewer than six courses.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.12.2017].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/kas_en.html

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