Press release

More than 800 people who have fled Ukraine go to school, study in upper secondary education or are in early childhood education and care in Finland

Current issues Ukraine
The largest number of children and young people who have fled Ukraine are currently in instruction preparing for basic education.
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At the turn of March and April, the Finnish National Agency for Education conducted a survey among the providers of early childhood education and care (ECEC), basic education as well as general upper secondary and vocational education on the impacts of the Russian attack. The survey was open from 29 March to 1 April, and the Finnish National Agency for Education will carry out a similar survey later in the spring and again at the beginning of the next school year.

A total of 398 responses were received, of which 379 were Finnish and 19 were Swedish. In the survey, 59% of the respondents represented a municipality and 41% represented other ECEC, teaching or education providers.
Out of the respondents, 78 already have children or young people who had fled Ukraine in the ECEC, teaching or education that they provide, while 104 have received enrolments or applications for education or ECEC.

According to the responses, the numbers are increasing and the situation is constantly changing.

Large cities and municipalities of the survey reported on a large number of arrivals. The responses indicate that these cities and municipalities are often better equipped to deal with the challenge than small municipalities, as they already have practices or staff in place from previous refugee crisis, such as immigrant services or immigration coordinators.

Based on the survey, small localities face the largest challenges, and the need for ECEC and teaching has increased significantly in some of them. Problems are also caused by long distances and the fact that all municipalities do not provide instruction preparing for basic education. In addition, many respondents perceived the recruitment of qualified staff with language proficiency as a major challenge.

The situation varies by the level of education and within the country

At the moment, instruction preparing for basic education faces the greatest pressure with 1010 enrolled pupils. So far, 94 new groups have been established for instruction preparing for basic education.

The situation in ECEC varies greatly across Finland. Some municipalities have received a large number of children compared to their resources, and the availability of day-care placements and nonstandard hour child care may cause challenges.

Substantially fewer students have applied for upper secondary education in comparison to the other educational structures, apart from a few individual cases. For example, 30 students are about to start in instruction preparing for general upper secondary education in Oulu, and the Municipal Education and Training Consortium of Central Uusimaa has received 20 applications for vocational education and training.

The number of children, young people and adults who have fled Ukraine currently in different educational structures and the number of enrolments/applications.
  Currently in the educational level Enrolments / applications
Early childhood education and care 49 180
Instruction preparing for basic education in pre-primary education 25 14
Pre-primary education 32 61
Instruction preparing for basic education 622 1010
Basic education 55 46
Basic education for adults 10 51
Preparatory education for general upper secondary education (LUVA) 30 Less than 5
General upper secondary education 6 5
Preparatory education for vocational training (VALMA) 0 6
Preparatory education for working life and independent living (TELMA) 0 0
Vocational education and training Less than 5 34