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Finland:Organisation and Governance

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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


Finnish education policy emphasises equity and equality in educational opportunities. Education is considered to be one of the fundamental rights of all citizens.

The governance is based on the principle of decentralisation.The legislation of primary and secondary education is a uniform legislation concerning the objectives, contents, evaluation and levels of education as well as students’ rights and responsibilities. Early childhood care is organised in municipal or private kindergartens or as family-based day care. Pre-primary education for six-years-olds is offered either in kindergartens or in basic education schools. The majority of primary and upper secondary schools are maintained by municipalities or confederations of municipalities. The polytechnics are municipal or private institutions, which are authorised by the government. The authorisation determines their educational mission, fields of education, student numbers and location. Polytechnics have autonomy in their internal affairs. Finnish universities are independent corporations under public law or foundations under private law. 

Education policy is defined by Parliament and Government. The Ministry of Education and Culture is the highest authority and is responsible for all publicly funded education in Finland. The Ministry is responsible for preparing educational legislation, all necessary decisions and its share of the state budget for the Government.In addition to educational legislation, the policy definitions are specified in Strategic government programme and implementation plan and in the state budget. 

There are several expert bodies supporting the work of the Ministry, such as the Council for Lifelong Learning, National Education and Training Committees (26 sectoral committees), the National Sports Council and the Advisory Council for Youth Affairs. The national evaluation is organised at the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre.

The Finnish National Agency for Education is a national development agency responsible for pre-primary, basic and upper secondary education as well as for adult education and training (not for institutions of higher education, however). The Finnish National Agency for Education follows the development of educational objectives, content and methods according to the performance agreement with the Ministry of Education and Culture. is responsible for drawing up the national core curricula for pre-primary and basic education, general and vocational upper secondary education. The Finnish National Agency for Education co-ordinates information networks and services in the education sector, produces indicator data and information for anticipating educational needs, maintains the financing system for the education sector and publishes training guides. It also provides support services for education. The Finnish National Agency for Education maintains, for instance, a student admission register for general and vocational upper secondary education and training as well as polytechnics and universities.

On regional level there are two bodies which are responsible for wide range of tasks, among them there are six Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVI) and 15 Centres for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY). Both bodies have only few tasks on educational sector. The Regional Councils draw up regional development plans in co-operation with the local authorities within their respective regions and the state authorities as well as representatives of economic life and non-governmental organisations. A central objective of the legislation on regional policy is to support the self-motivated and balanced development of regions.

Local administration is mainly managed by the local authorities (municipalities), which have self-government and the right to impose taxes. The local authorities are responsible for organising basic education at a local level, and are partly responsible for financing it as well. The task of the local authorities is to offer all children of compulsory school age – including those with mental or physical impairments – an opportunity to learn according to their abilities. Almost all schools providing basic education are maintained by local authorities.