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Impact of COVID-19 on higher education student mobility in Finland

During the spring semester 2020 the Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) collected statistical information on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on international student mobility within higher education to/from Finland.
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COVID-related restrictions on education gradually lifted in Finland from 14.5.2020

The Government has decided to gradually lift the restrictions on education on the basis of an assessment by the health authorities. Early Childhood Education and Basic Education schools will resume contact teaching on 14 May. Upper secondary education, vocational education and higher education institutions can also do so, but the Government recommends that they continue to provide distance education until the end of the term.
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School premises in Finland closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus

School premises in Finland are closed until 13 April in order to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. This concerns basic education from grade 4 to 9, general upper secondary schools and vocational schools throughout the country. Pupils in grades 1-3 in basic education may go to school, but parents are strongly urged to keep their children home whenever possible. Early childhood education and care centres stay open but parents are asked to keep their children home whenever possible.
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Education services and the coronavirus

Schools, educational institutions, early childhood education and care and organisations participating in international projects should take active measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The Finnish National Agency for Education does not provide instructions for matters related to health care as this is the responsibility of the health authorities. Always contact the health authorities by phone if you suspect an infection.
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Higher education programmes offered in English attract more foreign students than earlier

The number of applicants to programmes offered in other than Finnish and Swedish has increased during the last few years.
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The Finnish good PISA results have brought thousands of educationalists to Finland

The Finnish good PISA results have brought thousands of educationalists to Finland The reputation of Finnish education seems to be known in all parts of the world. Thousands of visitors have come to Finland to learn about our system, schools and teachers since the beginning of the 2000s. The National Agency for Education alone has hosted more than 16 000 guests.
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Finnish 15-year-olds still among top performers in reading literacy but growing proportion of low performers needs addressing

OECD’s PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey again ranked Finnish 15-year-olds among top performers in reading literacy in OECD countries. This time the focus in the PISA2018 survey, held every three years, was on reading literacy. Compared with 2015, Finnish pupils’ mathematical literacy also remained unchanged, but performance in science literacy declined. Differentiation between students is being addressed with national programmes such as the national literacy forum and a survey of boys' learning challenges
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In a crisis, the safety of the students and the support offered by the schools are paramount

In early October 2019 Finland was shaken by a violent incident at Savo Vocational College in Kuopio. Schools in Finland are supporting pupils and students cope with what has happened. As part of student welfare plan, schools have to prepare a crisis plan and offer psychosocial support to students in a crisis situation. It is important to anticipate different situations, prepare plans on how to act, and to train for these situations regularly. EDUFI supports education providers by information and advice, and by providing materials and training related to security issues.
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Average group sizes in basic education in Finland below the OECD average

Average group sizes in basic education in Finland have for a long time been below the OECD average. This is the case also in 2017, according to this year’s Education at a Glance that was published in September.
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First school based on Finnish pedagogical approach has opened in Vietnam

A private school based on the Finnish curriculum and pedagogical approach has opened in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The opening ceremony of Vietnam-Finland International School (VFIS), the first school in Vietnam that is based on the Finnish model, was held on August 12th, 2019. The school, which operates under Ton Duc Than university, covers grades 1-9, and a part of the teaching staff comes from Finland.
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International mobility in vocational education and training picking up again

The number of international mobility periods among Finnish vocational (VET) students decreased sharply after 2016. In 2018, however, the downward trend seems to be evening out. In 2018 some 5 300 students did longer or shorter training periods of less than 2 weeks abroad.
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Great variation in instruction and “school-time” for teachers in the Nordic region

There is remarkable variation in compulsory instruction time in the Nordic region. Instruction time is highest in Denmark and lowest in Finland. In Denmark the number of instruction time is highest also compared to other EU and OCD countries. Although teachers’ minimum teaching time does not vary very much, there are big differences in the time teachers are required to be present at their schools.
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International mobility in upper secondary education is declining

In 2017 Finnish students in upper secondary education completed fewer mobility periods than the previous year. This is evident in the statistics compiled by the Finnish National Agency for Education. Target countries in both VET and general upper secondary education were mainly in Europe. The EU Erasmus+ Programme is becoming more and more important of as a source of funding for student mobility.
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Participation in early childhood education and care has increased in Finland

The participation rate in early childhood education and care is below the OECD average and clearly lower than in the other Nordic countries. The participation rate has however grown evenly since 2000.