Published: 15 March 2011

Discontinuation of education decreased

In all, 5.4 per cent of students attending education leading to a qualification or degree discontinued their studies and did not resume them in any education leading to a qualification or degree during the 2008/2009 academic year. In upper secondary general education aimed at young people the discontinuation percentage was 3.9, in vocational education aimed at young people it was 8.5, in polytechnic education 8.6 and in university education 6.2 per cent. Compared with the previous academic year, discontinuation decreased in all sectors of education except for university education where it remained almost unchanged. Discontinuation decreased most in vocational education. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s Education Statistics.

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, polytechnic and university education in academic years from 2000/2001 to 2008/2009

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, polytechnic and university education in academic years from 2000/2001 to 2008/2009

Taking into consideration the students who have changed their sector of education, e.g. the students who have switched from upper secondary general school to vocational education, lowers the percentages of discontinuation. Most often the sector of education was changed in upper secondary general education and in polytechnic education.

Male students discontinued studies more frequently than female students. Education was discontinued more than average in the field of natural sciences and in the field of natural resources and the environment and less than average in the field of social services, health and sports.

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree by sex and sector of education in academic year 2008/2009 1)

Sex / sector of education Number of students used in the statistics on discontinuation of education 20.9.2008 Discontinued in own sector of education Changed sector of education Discontinued completely education leading to a qualification or degree
  % % %
Total 493 780 6,9 1,5 5,4
  Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 103 182 3,9 2,1 1,8
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 124 080 8,5 0,9 7,6
Polytechnic education (Bachelor's degrees) 126 907 8,6 2,1 6,5
University education (Bachelor's and Master's degrees) 139 611 6,2 0,9 5,3
Men Total 233 143 7,5 1,4 6,1
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 44 105 4,1 2,0 2,1
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 66 141 8,1 0,6 7,5
Polytechnic education (Bachelor's degrees) 57 598 10,0 2,1 7,9
University education (Bachelor's and Master's degrees) 65 299 7,0 1,0 6,0
Women Total 260 637 6,4 1,6 4,8
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 59 077 3,7 2,1 1,6
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 57 939 9,0 1,2 7,8
Polytechnic education (Bachelor's degrees) 69 309 7,5 2,1 5,3
University education (Bachelor's and Master's degrees) 74 312 5,5 0,9 4,6
1) The number of students used calculating discontinuation of education differs from the total number of students because some of the students had to exluded from the data.

Other statistics also indicate that studying was more interesting than in the year before. The pass rate improved and employment during studies decreased. More information is available from statistics describing Progress of studies and Employment of students .

A total of 193 pupils had discontinued studies in comprehensive school during the 2009/2010 academic year, four more than in the previous academic year. The number of those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education was 41 and those over the age of compulsory education having left school without a leaving certificate from comprehensive school was 152.


Source: Education 2009. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Riikka Rautanen (09) 1734 2375, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 15.3.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Discontinuation of education [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9302. 2009. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.5.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kkesk/2009/kkesk_2009_2011-03-15_tie_001_en.html