Published: 12 March 2021

Altogether 5.9 per cent of students discontinued education

In all, 5.9 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 in the 2018/2019 academic year. In upper secondary general education aimed at young people the discontinuation percentage was 3.0, in initial vocational education it was 9.4, in university of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences qualifications) 7.5 and in university education (lower and higher university degrees) 5.8 per cent. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s Education Statistics.

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree 2918/2019, %

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree 2918/2019, %

The population used in the calculation of discontinuation in vocational education has changed and the data on discontinuation in vocational education are no longer comparable with previous years.

Male students discontinued studies in all sectors of education more frequently than female students

Men discontinued their education leading to a qualification or degree more often than women. Of men, 7.1 per cent discontinued education completely and 4.8 per cent of women in the academic year 2018/2019. Women changed the sector of education slightly more than men. Both men and women discontinued their vocational education most often. Men discontinued their university of applied sciences education as often as their initial vocational education.

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree by sex and sector of education in academic year 2018/2019 1)

Sex / sector of education Number of students used in the statistics on discontinuation of education 20 Sept. 2017 Discontinued in own sector of education Changed sector of education Discontinued completely education leading to a qualification or degree
Pieces % % %
Total 498 584 6,7 0,9 5,9
Men and women Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 96 853 3,0 1,5 1,6
Vocational education (initial vocational qualifications) 140 019 9,4 0,7 8,8
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 127 419 7,5 0,9 6,6
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 134 293 5,8 0,6 5,2
Men Total 237 105 7,9 0,8 7,1
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 40 612 3,4 1,5 1,9
Vocational education (initial vocational qualifications) 72 638 9,7 0,5 9,3
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 61 808 9,7 0,9 8,7
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 62 047 6,8 0,6 6,2
Women Total 261 479 5,7 0,9 4,8
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 56 241 2,8 1,4 1,4
Vocational education (initial vocational qualifications) 67 381 9,1 0,9 8,2
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 65 611 5,4 0,8 4,6
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 72 246 4,9 0,6 4,3
1) Numbers of students used in calculating discontinuation differ from total numbers of students, because part of students had to beremoved from the data (see the quality description, only in Finnish). The data do not include the Emergency Services Academy Finland and Ålands yrkesgymnasium (Åland Vocational Gymnasium), because discontinuation could not be calculated due to insufficient monitoring data.

Large differences in fields of education

In the academic year 2018/2019, studies were discontinued most in the field of agriculture and forestry (12.4 per cent), information and communication technology (ICT) (11.6 per cent) and natural sciences (11.2 per cent), and least in general education (3.0 per cent) and education (5.7 per cent). Discontinuation in various sectors of education focuses on different fields of education.

In initial vocational education discontinuation was most common in natural sciences (20.8 per cent) and agriculture and forestry (15.1 per cent), and lowest in health and welfare (9.0 per cent). (See more details in Appendix table 2.) When examining with a more detailed classification of field of education discontinuation was most common in the field of environment (20.8 per cent), fisheries (18.5 per cent) and agriculture and forestry (16.9 per cent) and lowest in the field of health and welfare (9.1 per cent) and administration and commerce (9.5 per cent).

Discontinuation in applied sciences education was most common in ICT (11.9 per cent) and natural sciences (11.6 per cent). Discontinuation in university education was biggest in agriculture and forestry (11.1 per cent) and ICT (10.7 per cent). 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 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.

The database tables of the statistics contain information on discontinuation of studies by sector of education in different fields of education and regions. There is a new table including students under the age of 25 in initial vocational education. The figures are not comparable with earlier years when the population consisted of students in vocational education aimed at young people, but give information on those aged 16 to 24 in initial vocational education.

Calculation of discontinuation of education

These statistics describe the discontinuation of post-comprehensive school education leading to a qualification. Data concerning discontinuation in the academic year 2018/2019 have been obtained by examining the situation in September 2019 of the students who attended education in September 2018. 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 and the definition of the population are explained 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

Head of Department in charge: Hannele Orjala

Publication in pdf-format (258.5 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 12.3.2021

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Discontinuation of education [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9302. 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 14.5.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kkesk/2019/kkesk_2019_2021-03-12_tie_001_en.html