Published: 14 March 2019

A total of 5.1 per cent of students discontinued education

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree remained in the academic year 2016/2017 almost on level with the previous academic year. In all, 5.1 per cent of students discontinued their studies and did not resume them in any education leading to a qualification or degree. In upper secondary general education aimed at young people the discontinuation percentage was 3.1, in vocational education aimed at young people it was 7.4, in university of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences qualifications) 7.3 and in university education (lower and higher university degrees) 5.9 per cent. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s Education Statistics.

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, university of applied sciences and university education in academic years from 2005/2006 to 2016/2017, %

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, university of applied sciences and university education in academic years from 2005/2006 to 2016/2017, %

These statistics examine discontinuation from many perspectives. Education can be discontinued in one's own field of education in one's own sector of education, but it can continued in another field of education either in one's own or another sector of education. Or correspondingly, examined by area; education can be discontinued in one's own sector of education in one’s own region, but it can continue in another region in either one's own or another sector of education.

Men discontinued studies more often than women

Men discontinued their education leading to a qualification or degree more often than women in the academic year 2016/2017. Of men, 6.0 per cent discontinued education completely and 4.2 per cent of women. Women and men changed their sector of education equally often. Men most often discontinued university of applied sciences education (9.3 per cent), women vocational education (7.5 per cent). Women discontinued studies in the sector of vocational education more often than men (7.3 per cent), but instead of discontinuing completely, women continued studies in some other sector of education more often than men.

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree by sex and sector of education in academic year 2016/2017 1)

Sex / sector of education Number of students used in the statistics on discontinuation of education 20 Sept. 2016 Discontinued in own sector of education Changed sector of education Discontinued completely education leading to a qualification or degree
Pieces % % %
Total 474 681 6,1 1,0 5,1
Men and women Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 96 224 3,1 1,5 1,6
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 115 264 7,4 0,7 6,7
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 128 337 7,3 1,2 6,1
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 134 856 5,9 0,7 5,2
Men Total 229 665 7,0 1,0 6,0
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 40 877 3,4 1,5 1,9
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 64 150 7,3 0,5 6,8
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 61 537 9,3 1,3 8,0
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 63 101 6,7 0,7 5,9
Women Total 245 016 5,3 1,0 4,2
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 55 347 2,9 1,5 1,4
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 51 114 7,5 1,0 6,5
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 66 800 5,5 1,1 4,4
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 71 755 5,3 0,7 4,5
1) Numbers of students used in calculating discontinuation differ from total numbers of students, because part of students had to be removed from the data (see the quality description, only in Finnish). The data do not include Åland University of Applied Sciences because discontinuation of studies could not be calculated due to insufficient monitoring data.

Big differences in discontinuation by field of education

Studies were discontinued most in natural sciences (12.0 per cent) and in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) (12.2 per cent), and least in general education (3.1 per cent) and in education (5.4 per cent). Discontinuation in various sectors of education focuses on different fields of education.

In vocational education aimed at young people discontinuation was most common in natural sciences (15.0 per cent) and in ICT (12.4 per cent), and lowest in health and welfare (8.6 per cent). When examining with a more detailed classification of field of education the situation changes slightly; discontinuation was highest in fishery (15.5 per cent), languages (15.1 per cen), environmental fields (15.0 per cent) and material and process technology (14.4 per cent) and lowest in forestry (7.2 per cent) and security services (8.1 per cent).

In university of applied sciences education discontinuation was most common in social sciences (13.2 per cent) and ICT (12.8 per cent). Discontinuation in university education was biggest in natural sciences (12.2 per cent) and ICT (11.5 per cent). In natural sciences discontinuation of education leading to a qualification completely was lower (6.4 per cent) than in ICT (8.3 per cent), because from that field students moved more often to another university field of education or completely to a different sector of education than from ICT. (See more details in Appendix table 2.)

Discontinuation in both university of applied sciences education and university education was lowest in health and welfare, in university of applied sciences education 5.1 per cent and in university education 3.0 per cent.

The statistics on discontinuation of education started to use the National Classification of Education 2016 in examining discontinuation. The discontinuation figures were calculated to levels 1 and 2 of the National Classification of Education. In earlier years the database tables used the education administration's Classification of field of education and level of education. They can be found nowadays in the archive database.

Other discontinuation data

Discontinuation grew slightly in apprenticeship training . The number of students having discontinued apprenticeship training during and after the probationary period was higher than in a couple of previous years. In all, 769 students discontinued apprenticeship training during the four-month probationary period in 2017, which is 1.5 per cent of all students in apprenticeship training. A total of 3,491 students discontinued apprenticeship training after the probationary period, which is 6.6 per cent of all students in apprenticeship training. The total number of students in apprenticeship training was 52,715 in 2017.

A total of 510 students had discontinued studies in one way or another in comprehensive school during the 2017/2018 academic year. The number of those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education in the spring term was 74 and those over the age of compulsory education having left school without a leaving certificate from comprehensive school was 436. Thirty-seven per cent of all school drop-outs were girls. The number of girls among those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education was 33, and 157 among those having left comprehensive school without a leaving certificate.

The database tables of these statistics contain information on discontinuation of studies by sector of education in different fields of education and regions.

These statistics describe the discontinuation of post-comprehensive school education leading to a qualification. Data concerning discontinuation in the academic year 2016/2017 have been obtained by examining the situation in September 2017 of the students who attended education in September 2016. If a person has not obtained a qualification or continued education during this period, he/she is counted as having discontinued education. In order to calculate the discontinuation, students have been followed in a certain logical order where completion of a qualification is always prioritised above studying. The calculation of discontinuation is described in more detail in the quality description (in Finnish).

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


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (271.7 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 14.3.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Discontinuation of education [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9302. 2017. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.7.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kkesk/2017/kkesk_2017_2019-03-14_tie_001_en.html