The education system in Finland is unique and highly democratic. Pre-primary education is free. Basic education is compulsory, but the schools are state-funded and tuition fees are required for higher education. The country has a highly educated population and one of its strengths is its accessibility and affordability. The Finnish government has made some substantial changes to the education system to improve basic education, which is currently a priority for parents. However, many parents are still unsure about the benefits of this system.
Pre-primary education is provided free of charge
Free pre-primary education is a legal requirement for all children in Finland. The government has made the education compulsory for children in the country since 2015. The pre-primary education syllabus is typically one year long and comprises 700 hours. Children can attend preschool in their own town or city or in a child-care centre. Alternatively, parents may choose to send their children to a private preschool. Both are free.
Children can also choose whether or not they want to attend supplementary early childhood education. The city of Helsinki will organise supplementary early childhood education. Interested parents should apply through Asti online. They must decline the offer if the child requires round-the-clock care. Parents who would prefer a private daycare centre must apply directly. Children can also attend the pre-primary education admission area where they are most likely to be accommodated.
Basic education is compulsory
Finnish students are required to attend basic education at school, and they may choose between a vocational and an academic track for the next three years. Upper secondary school admission is based on a student’s seventh and eighth grade GPA, and competition for a spot at an elite high school can be intense. Many students opt for the latter. Basic education in Finland is free. However, the country’s educational system is highly sex discriminatory.
Although the Finnish educational system is deemed among the best in the world, the quality of basic education in Finland is at stake for the country’s economy. The country’s high educational standards are a key component of its national strategy. Basic education in Finland is free and equal for all residents, and foreigners of compulsory school age are entitled to the same basic education as Finns. However, there are some areas in which Finland can improve its basic education.
Schools are state-funded
The Finnish school system has a number of features that distinguish them from American schools. Public schools are state-funded and designed to cater to all students, regardless of their background. Schools in Finland are 100 percent state-funded, which means that taxpayers pay for everything from instruction to school materials and health and dental care. Public schools are small, and students are able to interact with their teachers easily. There are no private school vouchers or tuitions, so parents can choose the best school for their children.
The Finnish school system is known for its highly committed and expert teachers. All teachers receive government-funded training and must pass a stringent selection process. Furthermore, teachers spend at least four hours per day in the classroom and two hours a week on professional development. As a result, the average teacher in Finland spends around half her time in the classroom instead of on the university campus. It is no surprise that Finland ranks so highly in teaching standards.
Tuition fees are charged for higher education
Until recent years, Finland has offered free higher education to foreign students. But that is not the case any more. The Finnish government introduced tuition fees for international students. The fees were controversial at first, but universities were able to implement different strategies and even launch intensive marketing campaigns. In the first few years, enrollment applications for international students declined by nearly 50%. Now, enrollment applications for international students have increased by more than a third.
Depending on the course, tuition fees for higher education in Finland can vary widely. Non-EU students must pay at least EUR1,500 per academic year. Fee-charging international students must be in full-time studies for the duration of the programme. In some cases, students are exempted from fees if they have a permanent residence permit. For exchange students, tuition fees are not charged, but they are required to pay in their home countries as well.