Quality Assurance National Reference Point

Quality assurance and evaluation

In Finland the quality of education and training is seen as a key factor related to the efficiency and excellence of education and training as well as the equality of individuals.

Quality assurance in Finland comprises the quality management of education providers, the national steering of VET and external evaluation.

Local autonomy in education is extensive in Finland. In addition to practical teaching arrangements education providers are responsible for the effectiveness and quality of the education provided.

The evolution towards today’s system started already in the early 1990s when the education administration was decentralised. At the same time, school and textbook inspections were abolished.

Until the early 1990s, quality assurance was largely based on norms and inspections. The inspections were carried out to ensure that regulations were observed, to provide guidance and to make proposals for improvements.

Today, the ideology is to steer through information, support and funding. The activities of education providers are guided by objectives laid down in legislation as well as the national core curricula. In addition, education providers are encouraged to develop quality on a voluntary basis. National authorities support this by providing tools and support, such as quality awards in VET and quality recommendations.

The system also relies on the proficiency of teachers and other personnel. Teaching personnel are required to hold a master’s degree. All personnel are encouraged to develop their work as well as participate in the quality improvement of their institutions.

Quality assurance is one of the main policy priorities. For example in VET, education providers were obligated to have systems for effective quality assurance and improvement from 2015.

Quality strategy for vocational education and training (VET)

A committee appointed by the Ministry of Education and Culture has prepared a proposal for a quality strategy for vocational education and training (VET), covering all sectors of the national quality assurance (QA) system and all forms of VET provision.

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