Published: 19 March 2015

Discontinuation of education increased in university education

In all, 5.6 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 2012/2013 academic year. In upper secondary general education, the discontinuation percentage was 3.4, in vocational education aimed at young people it was 8.5, in polytechnic education 8.3, and in university education 6.9 per cent. Discontinuation decreased from the previous year in all educational sectors except university education, where it increased. 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 2005/2006 to 2012/2013, %

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, polytechnic and university education in academic years from 2005/2006 to 2012/2013, %

If students who have changed their sector of education, e.g. students who have switched from upper secondary general school to vocational education, are not calculated as discontinued students, the percentages of discontinuation are lower. Students in polytechnic education and in upper secondary general education changed their sector of education most frequently.

Men discontinued education in their sector of education more often than women, except for vocational education, which women discontinued more often than men. By contrast, men in vocational education discontinued education leading to a qualification altogether more often than women.

Education was discontinued most often in the fields of natural sciences, tourism, catering and domestic services, and 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 fire and rescue training.

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree by sex and sector of education in academic year 2012/2013 1)

Sex / sector of education Number of students used in the statistics on discontinuation of education 20.9.2012 Discontinued in own sector of education Changed sector of education Discontinued completely education leading to a qualification or degree
% % %
Total 492 542 6,9 1,3 5,6
Men and women Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 97 436 3,4 1,7 1,6
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 122 196 8,5 0,9 7,6
Polytechnic education (Bachelor’s degrees) 130 274 8,3 1,9 6,3
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 142 636 6,9 0,9 6,0
Men Total 234 375 7,6 1,2 6,4
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 42 153 3,4 1,7 1,7
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 64 922 8,2 0,6 7,7
Polytechnic education (Bachelor’s degrees) 60 757 9,7 1,9 7,8
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 66 543 7,7 1,0 6,7
Women Total 258 167 6,3 1,4 4,9
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 55 283 3,3 1,8 1,5
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 57 274 8,7 1,2 7,5
Polytechnic education (Bachelor’s degrees) 69 517 7,0 1,9 5,0
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 76 093 6,2 0,9 5,3
1) The number of students used to calculate discontinuation of education differs from the total number of students because some of the students had to be excluded from the data. The data do not contain the Police College of Finland, because we have been unable to calculate the discontinuation of studies due to insufficient data on educational qualifications.

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

In 2013, 832 students discontinued apprenticeship training during the four-month probationary period, which is 1.6 per cent of all students in apprenticeship training. In all, 3,465 students discontinued apprenticeship training after the probationary period, which is 6.7 per cent of all students in apprenticeship training. There were 51,466 students in apprenticeship training in 2013.

A total of 347 students had discontinued studies in one way or another in comprehensive school during the 2013/2014 academic year. The number of those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education in the spring term was 78 and those over the age of compulsory education having left school without a leaving certificate from comprehensive school was 269. More than one-half of school drop-outs were boys. The number of boys among those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education was 51, and 171 among those having left comprehensive school without a leaving certificate.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Heli Hiltunen 029 551 3314, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 19.3.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Discontinuation of education [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9302. 2013. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.5.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kkesk/2013/kkesk_2013_2015-03-19_tie_001_en.html