The Finnish education evaluation system is based on trust and openness

PRESS RELEASE

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) has published the summary Evaluating the state of the Finnish education system: Results of the Finnish education evaluation. The summary deals with the state of the education system in Finland in all education levels, from early childhood education to higher education.

FINEEC is an independent agency responsible for the evaluation of education in Finland. The Finnish education evaluation system is based on trust, openness, interaction and enhancement-led evaluation. The duty of external education evaluation is to support the education system in achieving its objectives. Evaluating the prerequisites for educational equality and inclusion is one of the key areas of FINEEC’s evaluation operations.

Quality management as the premise for effective and sustainable education

The quality system of Finnish education consists of three elements: the responsibility of education providers for the quality and development of education, the steering and financing systems of education and external, independent evaluation of education.

The evaluations of FINEEC show that higher education institutions and the providers of vocational education and training have successfully developed their quality systems. The providers of basic and general upper secondary education and early childhood education show the greatest need for development.  Most of the early childhood education providers plan to renew their evaluation policies in the near future.

Relevance to working life has enhanced in vocational education and training

Vocational education and training has enhanced its relevance to working life and the contents of the education and training are now more in line with the needs of working life. The cooperation between education providers and working life has become closer. In addition to a working life-oriented approach, the education and training services have emphasised a student-oriented mindset, such as flexible and individualised studies.

The correlation between the pupil’s background and learning outcomes has increased

In basic education, the correlation between the pupil’s background and learning outcomes has increased in the 2010s. Differences between pupils are reflected in their parents’ educational background, appreciation of education and support. The difference generated by these factors in, for example, mathematical skills can be measured in years, and they have also been observed to influence skills of first language and literature in basic education.

There are also differences in learning outcomes between genders, and the competence of boys is becoming polarised. Promoting equality challenges education providers to develop more structures to support learners and learning.

For young people with immigrant backgrounds, the transitional stage after basic education is challenging as they may not have sufficient Finnish or Swedish skills and studying skills to continue their studies.

Regional equality appears to be realised fairly well in Finland. For a long time, Finland has been one of the OECD countries with the lowest differences between schools providing basic education.

The summary report

Evaluating the state of the Finnish education system: Results of the Finnish education evaluation

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