Education in Finland is of a high standard. The differences in the learning outcomes of different educational institutions are small, and education in Finland is considered very important.
Secondary level education
Secondary education, consists of upper secondary school education and vocational education.
Upper secondary school
Upper secondary education is general education and does not give professional qualifications. At the end of upper secondary school, a nationwide matriculation examination is conducted. Upper secondary school usually takes 3 years.
Read more about upper secondary school education
Vocational education qualifications include vocational undergraduate degrees, professional degrees, and specialist professional degrees. Vocational undergraduate qualifications provide the basic skills required in the field.
Apprenticeships are one way to get a vocational training.
Finnish National Agency for Education: vocational education
In practice, a double degree (that is completing several degrees) means that you will simultaneously complete studies on more than one field of education through additional studies. The most common double degree is a matriculation and vocational diploma double degrees.
Initial training for degree education, TUVA, has previously been known as VALMA. Training gives you the capacity to apply to a degree training, for example, for high school or vocational training. A personal skills development plan is drawn up for the student. Training lasts 38 weeks. Read more about TUVA on the Opintopolku pages.
Basic Adult Education
If you didn’t finish comprehensive school and need a final certificate for comprehensive education, you can apply for comprehensive education. This is usually held in adult colleges or upper secondary schools for adults.
In Finland, the higher education system consists of universities and universities of applied sciences.
Universities focus on scientific research and teaching based on it.
Universities of applied sciences offer pragmatic training that meets the needs of working life.
Read more about higher education here.
The aim of the integration training is to promote the development of the student’s Finnish or Swedish language skills and other capacities necessary in society and work life and to support the student’s employment or transition to further education.
Read more about integration training
Vocational labour market training:
The objective of vocational employment training is to complete a basic, professional or specialist professional degree or part of the degree. Training is primarily intended for unemployed or adults under the threat of unemployment.
Liberal adult education:
Educational institutions include folk high schools, adult education centres, summer universities, sports training centres (sports institutes) and learning centres. These educational institutions offer coaching and social studies on civic skills, general education, and increasing knowledge and skills through hobbies.
Etelä-Pohjanmaan Opisto (South Ostrobothnia Folk High School)
Located in Ilmajoki, Etelä-Pohjanmaan Opisto is one of Finland’s oldest and largest public colleges. The college, founded is 1982, is a religiously and politically non-committed educational institution. EP-Opisto offers a wide range of education and is also popular among immigrants. More information about the college you can find here.
If you have completed your degree in another country than Finland, you need a recognition decision by the Finnish National Agency for Education or other authority. You need a recognition decision if you want to work in a regulated profession or a position for which a certain level of higher education is required.
Health Care Degrees:
In Finland, Valvira gives permission to act as a healthcare professional. Valvira is the authorization and control agency for health and social care.
If you completed your studies
- In Finland, you can find the instructions here in Finnish.
- in another EU country or EEA country, you can find the instructions here
- Outside an EU country or EEA country, you can find instructions here
More information on the instructions for the application can be found here.
Regulated professions in Finland
Service Guide for the recognition of qualifications
Comparing the level of a university degree from abroad
Recognition of qualifications received abroad in Finland
Opintopolku – application form