Curricula and qualifications

The Ministry of Education and Culture prepares the legislation and regulations for the education sector. The Government decides on the national objectives for education, the time allocation for compulsory and optional subjects in basic and general upper secondary education as well as the common core subjects and their scope in vocational education and training. In higher education the universities and polytechnics have autonomy with regard to the contents of their study programmes.

The national-level core curricula and qualification requirements in Finland are norms enacted by the Finnish National Agency for Education. These define the objectives and core contents as well as the basic principles of cooperation with homes as well as the objectives of pupil and student welfare services.

In addition, education providers draw up local curricula and qualification requirements, which are based on the national core curricula and requirements. In these the providers outline how the objectives set nationally will be reached.

Legislation and regulations

Legislation is seen as one of the means to develop public services. Today the approach in the education legislation is to create opportunities to develop new approaches and solution to provide education and training instead of listing administrative responsibilities. The aim is to encourage education providers and educational institutions to actively evaluate and develop their activities.

Links to the statues that have been translated into English have been provided in the right column of the page. All Finnish legislation can be found at Finlex data bank.

Core curricula and qualification requirements

The Finnish National Agency for Educationn draws up the national core curricula for pre-primary education, basic education, general upper secondary education and basic education in the arts, as well as the curricula for preparatory education for immigrants and morning and afternoon activities for school children. The curricula set out the key objectives, content and policies of education. The aim is to develop the national core curricula and to coordinate them so that they create a progressive continuum in a coherent way and a strong basis for lifelong learning. Education providers and schools draw up their own local curricula based on the national curricula.

The Finnish National Agency for Education also prepares the national qualification requirements for vocational upper secondary qualifications, further vocational qualifications and specialist vocational qualifications. Education providers and schools draw up their own local curricula based on the national curricula.