Entrance to education: documentation of statistics
Basic data of the statistics
Unit of measure
Frequency of dissemination
Education can be divided into education and training leading to a qualification or degree and non-qualification studies.
Statistics Finland has assigned an individualised educational institution ID to each educational institution. Educational institutions are classified according to a classification of types of educational institutions.
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.
Selection to education on a particular level of education often requires completion of a lower level of education.
The level of education is measured on the basis of both the overall duration or target time of the education and the requirement level.
Levels of education: early childhood education and care and pre-primary education (duration varies), primary education (6 years), lower secondary education (3 years, in total 9 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), upper secondary education (3 years, in total 12 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), post-secondary non-tertiary education (1-2 years, in total 13-14 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), lowest tertiary education (2-3 years, in total 14-15 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), bachelor's or equivalent level (3-4 years, in total 15-16 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), master's or equivalent level (5-6 years, in total 17-18 years from the beginning of comprehensive education) and second stage of tertiary education (2-4 years, in total 19-22 years from the beginning of comprehensive education).
The level of education indicator cannot be calculated directly on the basis of the duration presented in this concept.
The following classification is used:
- employed labour force
Persons outside the labour force
- students, pupils
- conscripts, conscientious objectors
- others outside the labour force.
Information on the main type of activity is based on data obtained from various registers. Where the data conflict as to whether a person is in the labour force or outside it, priority is given to the former. If, within the labour force, the data conflict as to whether a person is unemployed or employed, priority is given to the former.
The group "others outside the labour force" consists of persons who are not in the labour force and do not belong to the following groups: 0-14-year-olds, students, conscripts, conscientous objectors or pensioners.
The number of new students is lower than in other statistics by sector of education because it only includes students with a correct Finnish personal ID number and because a new student is only included once in the number of students by sector of education, level of education or some other variable, such as educational institute.
Students include persons studying in general upper secondary school, vocational upper secondary education and training, tertiary education and liberal adult education.
Adults studying in comprehensive education are also referred to as students.
In Statistics Finland's statistics the concept refers to upper secondary and tertiary level students.
In Statistics Finland's statistics students are required to be registered at an educational institution.
These include voluntary additional basic education (10th grade), preparatory education for general upper secondary education (LUVA) and preparatory education for vocational education (VALMA) and, starting from 1 August 2022, preparatory education for an upper secondary qualification (TUVA), which combines the previous transition phase education.
The objective of the education is a bachelor’s or master’s degree or a scientific postgraduate degree, which are licentiate's and doctoral degrees.
Education not leading to a qualification or degree can also be completed.
Initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications can be obtained in vocational education and training.
In addition to completing a qualification, parts of a qualification can also be completed in vocational education and training.
Vocational qualifications are initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications.
Accuracy, reliability and timeliness
The statistics do not include data on transition to education abroad. For example, those having completed education in Åland have often continued studying in Sweden.
The statistics are published at a lag of around one month from the completion of Statistics Finland's Student Register and Register of Completed Education and Degrees.
Comparability - geographical
Asymmetry of mirror flows statistics - coefficient / CC1
Comparability - over time
Length of comparable time series / CC2
Data on transfers to additional educational of basic education (10th grade) and guidance and preparatory education are available starting from 2014.
Coherence - cross domain
The Finnish National Agency for Education maintains register data on applicants to education and publishes statistics from them, the data of which may differ from Statistics Finland's statistics because the specifications, concepts and definitions used in them differ from each another.
Coherence - sub-annual and annual statistics
Coherence - internal
Source data and data collections
Starting from 2017, all application data are obtained from the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Studyinfo register through an interface. The data are divided in the statistics into two application registers of upper secondary and tertiary education. Data on applicants are retrieved from the interface once a year in spring.
Frequency of data collection
Imputation rate / A7
Principles and outlines
Contact organisation unit
Legal acts and other agreements
The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics.
Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.
Further information: Statistical legislationThe data of the statistics are used for reporting data to Eurostat as required by EU Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 912/2013 implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning, as regards statistics on education and training systems).
Confidentiality - policy
The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable.
Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
Confidentiality - data treatment
Database tables are more standardised and more detailed than publication tables in terms of data content. The background variables are typically at a more detailed level than the publication tables. The classifying variables are the municipality of education, region of education, gender and level of further education. Completers of comprehensive school and passers of the matriculation examination are given by number of students in the tables.
The data on completers of comprehensive school and passers of the matriculation examination in the statistics on entrance to education are public and the database tables and publication tables do not contain variables defined as sensitive. Protection of the individual is considered in planning the tables when the individual-based data have been made less detailed to the level of the municipality of education for completers of comprehensive school and passers of the matriculation examination. If there are fewer than 10 completers of comprehensive school or passers of the matriculation examination in the municipality, the threshold value rule has been used and the location data have been suppressed.
However, when preparing information service assignments, it must be taken into account that assignments are case-specific and what effect especially small numbers of observations and (possibly) more accurate background variables have on data protection. If the information service table contains variables defined as sensitive, e.g. nationality or main type of activity, less detailed classifications of other variables, e.g. regional data, have been used. Alternatively, data by educational institution on the nationality of foreign citizens are released at the accuracy of continent and data on native languages with the division Finnish-Swedish-other. If there is no desire to make the variables less detailed, the threshold value rule can be used.
Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service.
Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland
The data of the statistics are reported to UNESCO, the OECD and Eurostat in the UOE data collection and related separate inquiries.
Accessibility and clarity
Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.
In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.
Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.
Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.The statistics on entrance to education and the statistical database updates are published on Statistics Finland's web pages.
Data users can subscribe to emails concerning releases on desired topics (so-called news notification service).
The releasing of topical news, such as news contents, is decided on a case-by-case basis. The channels for topical news are
Data revision - policy
Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions.
The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before.
Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data.
Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice.
Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)
The statistics on entrance to education are official statistics. The Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) are a comprehensive collection of statistics describing the development and state of society. They comprise nearly 300 sets of statistics on 26 different topics. The producers of Official Statistics of Finland have approved a common quality assurance in which they commit to common quality criteria and quality assurance measures. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The good practices followed in the statistics are presented in Statistics Finland's Quality Guidelines for Official Statistics handbook.
Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published.
Further information: Publication principles for statistics
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