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Finland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

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Overview Finland

Contents

Finland:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Finland:Historical Development

Finland:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Finland:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Finland:Political and Economic Situation

Finland:Organisation and Governance

Finland:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Finland:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Finland:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Finland:Organisation of Private Education

Finland:National Qualifications Framework

Finland:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Finland:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Finland:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Finland:Funding in Education

Finland:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Finland:Higher Education Funding

Finland:Adult Education and Training Funding

Finland:Early Childhood Education and Care

Finland:Organisation of early childhood education and care other than pre-primary education

Finland:Teaching and Learning in early childhood education and care other than pre-primary education

Finland:Assessment in early childhood education and care other than pre-primary education

Finland:Organisation of pre-primary education

Finland:Teaching and Learning in pre-primary education

Finland:Assessment in pre-primary education

Finland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Finland:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Finland:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Finland:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Finland:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Finland:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Finland:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Finland:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Finland:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Finland:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Finland:Organisation of Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Finland:Teaching and Learning in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Finland:Assessment in Vocational and Technical Upper Secondary Education

Finland:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Finland:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Finland:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Finland:Higher Education

Finland:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Finland:First Cycle Programmes

Finland:Bachelor

Finland:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Finland:Second Cycle Programmes

Finland:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Finland:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Finland:Adult Education and Training

Finland:Distribution of Responsibilities

Finland:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Finland:Main Providers

Finland:Main Types of Provision

Finland:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Finland:Teachers and Education Staff

Finland:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Finland:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Finland:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Finland:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Management and Other Education Staff

Finland:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Finland:Management Staff for Higher Education

Finland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Finland:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Quality Assurance

Finland:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Finland:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Educational Support and Guidance

Finland:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Finland:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Finland:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Finland:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Finland:Mobility and Internationalisation

Finland:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Mobility in Higher Education

Finland:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Finland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Finland:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Finland:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Finland:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Finland:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Finland:National Reforms in School Education

Finland:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Finland:National Reforms in Higher Education

Finland:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Finland:European Perspective

Finland:Legislation

Finland:Glossary


Overall national education strategy and key objectives

2016

A working group to prevent bullying

The minister of education and culture has appointed a working group to explore ways to prevent bullying and to promote peaceful and safety learning environment. Assignment covers early childhood education and care, pre-primary, basic and secondary education levels. The period of the working group will end at the end of 2017. 


The development program to reform teacher education was published

The main aim for the program is the development of teacher training as well as strengthening teachers' skills. Sense of community and networking are key elements for the development and modernisation of teacher training. Peer support and mentoring improve teaching and teacher collaboration.

The program is part of the key project and reforms defined in the Strategic Government Programme. The implementation of the development program is supported by 60 million euros over three years.



VET reform and budget cuts

Vocational education and training is facing financial challenges as the budget will be cut 190 million euros from the beginning of the year 2017. Reduction of the unit price decreases funding from the vocational upper secondary education and training by 59 million euros during the year 2016 and also 19 million euros from the apprenticeship training.

VET reform is seen as an answer for the budget cuts as the reform unifies financing system and legislation. Financing systems of vocational upper secondary education and training, vocational further education and training, apprenticeship training and labor policy education will be organised into a single entity. Dividers between current legislation will also be unified into joint legislation concerning adults and young students in VET.  With these measures financial resources are used more effectively.

Main goal of the VET reform is to improve the status of VET in the Finnish society. The funding system and structure will be renewed while keeping the various educational paths open.  Preserving the eligibility for further studies and ensuring regionally comprehensive education network is an important aspect when planning VET reform. One of the targets is to strengthen the interaction between educational institutions and working life. Reform also aims to remove barriers between young and adult students and eliminate unnecessary overlaps in education. Key aspect of the reform lies in the competence-based approach.

Reform is strongly based on the idea of customer-oriented VET, meaning that VET is designed to meet the needs of students and working life. The aim is, for example, to increase learning in workplaces and enable students to apply for training throughout the year. Apprenticeship training will also be reformed by easing the administrative and financial burden of employees.

Reform is prepared and carried out in close cooperation with experts and different stakeholders of VET in Finland. Reform takes effect from the beginning of the year 2018.



2015

Budget cuts

The Finnish government, in office since May 2015, will carry out budget cuts in order to shrink the state debt. Education is one of the main target areas for cuts. Already for 2016, education cuts will be total 210 million euro.

 

 


The Finnish Government aims to promote change and renewals in five priority areas:

  • Employment and competitiveness
  • Knowledge and education
  • Wellbeing and health
  • Bioeconomy and clean solutions
  • Organisational policies


On 31 August the Government decided on the schedule, measures and funding of its priority areas’ key projects. During the government term, the Government will allocate a total of EUR 1.6 billion to fund the programme of reform, 1 billion of which is directed to the key projects in 2016-18.


The programme of reform will be carried out through key projects and structural reforms that make part of the Government Action Plan. Responsible ministers have been appointed for the key projects and ministerial working groups for the priority areas. The Government will ensure the implementation of the key projects by monitoring them actively in its strategy sessions. 


Key projects for Knowledge and education

  • New learning environments and digital materials to comprehensive schools
  • Reform of vocational upper secondary education
  • Acceleration of transition to working life
  • Access to art and culture will be facilitated
  • Cooperation between higher education institutions and business life will be strengthened to bring innovations to the market
  • Youth guarantee towards community guarantee

 http://www.minedu.fi/OPM/Koulutus/koulutuspolitiikka/linjaukset_ohjelmat_ja_hankkeet/?lang=en

 
The programme of the current Government was submitted to Parliament in the form of a Government statement on 29 May 2015. Strategic Programme of the Finnish Government


Ten-year objective:

Finland is a country that encourages people to continuously learn something new. Skills and education levels in Finland have risen, promoting the renewal of Finnish society and equal opportunities. Finland is in the vanguard of education, skills and modern learning techniques.


Government-term objectives:

  • Learning environments have been modernised and the opportunities offered by digitalisation and new pedagogical approaches are grasped in learning.
  • The number of young people who have dropped out of education or working life has fallen. The drop-out rate in education has declined.
  • Dialogue between educational institutions and working life is more active.
  • The quality and effectiveness of research and innovation have begun to improve.
  • Education and research have become more international and obstacles to education exports have been removed.

By early autumn, the Government will decide on detailed indicators to assess the materialisation of the set objectives. Strategic Programme of the Finnish Government


Overview of the education reform process and drivers

The overall education strategy is included in the Government Programme. It is a strategic programme of reform. The overriding objective of the Programme is to raise the employment rate to 72 per cent through a number of measures promoting employment and entrepreneurship.

The Government aims to a change and renewals in five priority areas: employment and competitiveness; knowledge and education; wellbeing and health; bioeconomy and clean solutions; and digitalisation, experiments and deregulation.

The Government's Plan for the Implementation of the key projects focuses on the schedule, measures and financing of the key projects and the most important structural reforms. The implementation plan includes a large number of changes to modes of operation that will reform Finnish society and create more favourable conditions for economic growth.

Ministerial working group on knowledge and education will handle matters falling within the scope of the Government’s key objective “knowledge and education”, previously handled in the ministerial working group on education policy.