28.9.2017

Statistics of the month: In Finland students graduating from upper secondary vocational education are older compared to other OECD countries

The age of students completing vocational secondary education varies a lot among the OECD countries. In Finland the proportion of those who graduate at a more mature age is remarkably high. While the average age of graduation is 22 years in OECD countries, in Finland the studies are completed at the age of 28. For example, in Israel and Korea all graduates are under 20. In general, at the upper secondary level there is much greater variation in vocational programmes than in general education as far as the age of graduates is concerned.

In Finland, age groups are relatively evenly distributed among those graduating from vocational programmes. Only 25 per cent of graduates are under 20 years old, and 17 per cent are aged 40 or older. The age of completing the study programme is influenced by, for example, the length of the programme and the possibility to study part-time or later on in life. The comparison includes vocational upper secondary qualifications and further vocational qualifications, but no specialist vocational qualifications.

share_of_upper_secondary_graduates.PNG

The age of those studying at different education levels tells a lot about countries' education systems and different study paths. While in Finland, Poland, Sweden and Slovenia 90 per cent of 18-year-olds are enrolled in upper secondary programmes, 61 per cent of students of the same age in Korea are already starting tertiary education.

Source

OECD: Education at a Glance 2017

The age of students completing vocational secondary education varies a lot among the OECD countries. In Finland the proportion of those who graduate at a more mature age is remarkably high. While the average age of graduation is 22 years in OECD countries, in Finland the studies are completed at the age of 28. For example, in Israel and Korea all graduates are under 20. In general, at the upper secondary level there is much greater variation in vocational programmes than in general education as far as the age of graduates is concerned.