Finnish Education

Finland’s education system is regarded as the best in the world. The Finnish education system is research-and-evidence based. The holistic approach is built to support the learning, development, and well-being of each child. This education system does not only focus on good grades, it strongly encourages students to acquire skills that will support them throughout their lives.

Learning for life, not just for tests

Finnish education aims to develop students’ knowledge, skills, values, and attitude as an integral part of the learning process. Students are guided to explore, demonstrate understanding and reflect on the new knowledge and how to apply it in the real world, not just in tests. Phenomena-based and problem-based learning are a key part of understanding complex global issues.

Students are provided with support, meaningful challenges, play, and options to personalize their learning paths. In Finland, students are not compared to others or ranked. Instead, teachers are trusted to provide assessments and feedback they see as most beneficial for the student’s learning and development.

Highly educated teachers help students succeed

Finnish teachers are highly-educated, trusted, and given plenty of pedagogical autonomy. Teachers understand how age-appropriate learning happens and they obtain a wide toolkit of modern teaching methods to introduce new knowledge, activate students, or support students with difficulties.

Teachers plan lessons themselves according to the learning objectives of the curriculum and with a touch of their own personality. Subjects and important 21st-century skills are learned in different ways. Teachers’ skills are continuously improved during their careers; that is an essential part of long-term school development.

Finnish education is #1 in delivering the skills of the future

The Finnish national curriculum and teaching approach have a strong focus on 21st-century skills in all subjects. The Finnish system has won many awards for highlighting skill-based learning. The selected seven 21st century skills are a core part of each subject and have their own development goals.

Learning does not happen only in the classroom, it happens everywhere. Schools need to help students to collaborate with each other, with parents, and navigate in a constantly changing world.


Finnish education is based on research and it supports lifelong learning

  • #1 in Teaching the skills of the future, EF Index 2019
  • #1 Primary education, Global Competitiveness Report 2018
  • #1 in Education, OECD Better Life Index 2017
  • #1 Most literate country, WMLN
  • #1 Learning productivity, OECD 2018
  • #1 in Preparing students with digital skills, GC Report 2019
  • #1 Education answers to the need of the future, Yidan Prize 2019
Joy of Learning in Finland-video produced by Polar Partners.

Finnish education system

The Finnish education system supports the child’s growth and development individually from the very first steps of education:

Early childhood education and care (KG) supports children’s age-appropriate skills, a curious attitude, and learning through play and interaction.

In basic education (Grades 1-9) students get to practice various 21st-century skills while studying academic subjects and preparing for the future. Teamwork and learning across subject boundaries are an integral part of learning.

General upper secondary school and Vocational education and training (Grades 10-12) are great choices for teenagers between more academic general education and more practical, work-life oriented vocational education. Students develop 21st-century skills and an entrepreneurial mindset to succeed in a technology-rich work environment. After completing the program, students are well prepared to pursue their interests at any university in any field.


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