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Concepts and definitions

Adult education

In the statistics on adult education of educational institutions adult education refers to education, course or training programme that is designed for adults and lasts at least six hours.

Educational system

The Finnish educational system is comprised of the following:

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.

General education

Education intended to provide information and skills which facilitate functioning and influencing in society.

Comment:

General education comprises pre-primary education, comprehensive education, general upper secondary education and other non-vocational studies, for example, at liberal adult education institutions.

Level of education

Category into which programmes leading to a qualification or degree are divided on the basis of the requirement level.

Comment:

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.

Participants in education

In the statistics on adult education of educational institutions participants in education refer to participants in adult education provided during the calendar year. The same person may have participated (during the same year) in a number of educational programmes in an educational institution, so the number of participants does not correspond to the number of person having participated in education.

Sector of education

Comprehensive education, general upper secondary education, vocational education, university of applied sciences education, university education.

Specialist vocational qualification

A vocational qualification demonstrating professional competence tailored to the needs of working life, with more advanced command of profession or cross-sectional skills than a further vocational qualification.

Student

In the statistics on adult education of educational institutions students refer to the students registered at educational institutions during the calendar year and attending education not leading to a qualification or degree. A person is included (as participant) in the gross number of students from each education he/she studies. Thus a student can be included more than once in the number of students in one or more educational institutions during the calendar year. Net number of students means that a person is included as a student only once in one educational institution during the calendar year.

Teaching hour

In the statistics on the adult education of educational institutions teaching hours refer to the hours of teaching provided by teachers, e.g. lecturers, etc.

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Adult education of educational institutions [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-4551. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 11.8.2022].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/oaiop/kas_en.html