Published: 20 March 2012

Discontinuation of education increased in vocational education

In all, 5.5 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 2009/2010 academic year. In upper secondary general education the discontinuation percentage was 4.0, in vocational education aimed at young people it was 9.1, in polytechnic education 8.6 and in university education 5.9 per cent. In vocational education discontinuation increased after having decreased for several years. Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general education and polytechnic education remained almost unchanged from the previous academic year. University education was discontinued less than in the previous academic year. 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 2009/2010, %

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, polytechnic and university education in academic years from 2000/2001 to 2009/2010, %

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. Education was discontinued in relative terms the least in the field of social services, health and sports and in the field of other education, which includes such as police training.

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree by sex and sector of education in academic year 2009/2010 1)

Sex / sector of education Number of students used in the statistics on discontinuation of education 20.9.2009 Discontinued in own sector of education Changed sector of education Discontinued completely education leading to a qualification or degree
  % % %
Total 502 260 7,0 1,5 5,5
Men and women Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 102 290 4,0 2,0 2,0
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 127 893 9,1 1,0 8,1
Polytechnic education (Bachelor's degrees) 128 150 8,6 2,2 6,4
University education (Bachelor's and Master's degrees) 143 927 5,9 0,9 4,9
Men Total 237 795 7,6 1,4 6,2
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 43 767 4,0 1,8 2,1
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 68 027 8,8 0,7 8,1
Polytechnic education (Bachelor's degrees) 58 892 10,0 2,2 7,8
University education (Bachelor's and Master's degrees) 67 109 6,6 1,0 5,6
Women Total 264 465 6,5 1,6 4,9
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 58 523 4,0 2,1 1,8
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 59 866 9,4 1,3 8,1
Polytechnic education (Bachelor's degrees) 69 258 7,3 2,1 5,2
University education (Bachelor's and Master's degrees) 76 818 5,3 0,9 4,4
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.

More information related to the progress of studies is available from statistics describing Progress of studies and Employment of students .

A total of 275 students had discontinued studies in comprehensive school during the 2010/2011 academic year. The number of those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education in the spring term was 95 and those over the age of compulsory education having left school without a leaving certificate from comprehensive school was 180.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Updated 20.3.2012

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Discontinuation of education [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9302. 2010. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.5.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kkesk/2010/kkesk_2010_2012-03-20_tie_001_en.html