International mobility in upper secondary education is declining

Current issues
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.

In 2017 some 12% of VET students and 29% of general upper secondary students completed a mobility period abroad. In VET international mobility decreased by 11%. Mobility in general upper secondary education decreased some 28 %. The trend is, however, difficult to follow reliably as the response rate from general upper secondary schools if often low and there is great variation from one year to another.

The mobility periods of VET students last on average 6 weeks. Most of these students learn at a foreign workplace during their mobility period. General upper secondary school students complete different educational and project trips as well as exchange periods lasting for a term or a school year.

Student mobility in upper secondary education focuses on Europe

Students in VET and general upper secondary education complete mobility periods in the other European countries: there were only European countries among the top 10 destination countries. Almost all incoming students were Europeans, as well. Over the last few years, the number of students coming from Asian countries has also been increasing.

The EU Erasmus+ Programme is the most important source of external funding for student mobility

The most important external source of funding for mobility in the general upper secondary schools participating in the study was the EU's Erasmus+ Programme, which funded one third of their mobility. The programme also funded 71% of the mobility periods of outgoing Finnish VET students and 77% of the mobility periods of incoming VET students. The programme's share of funding has grown considerably from the previous year in both sectors.