ABOUT VOCATIONAL EDUCATION
The main objective of Finnish education policy is to offer all citizens equal opportunities to receive education. The structure of the education system reflects these principles. The system is highly permeable, that is, there are no dead-ends preventing progression to higher levels of education.
The focus in education is on learning rather than testing. There are no national tests for pupils in basic education in Finland. Instead, teachers are responsible for assessment in their respective subjects on the basis of the objectives included in the curriculum.
After compulsory basic education school-leavers opt for general or vocational upper secondary education. Both forms usually take three years and give eligibility for higher education. Vocational education and training is popular in Finland, more than 40 per cent of the relevant age group starts vocational upper secondary studies immediately after basic education. The biggest fields are technology, communications and transport and social services, health and sports.
Vocational qualifications can be completed in upper secondary VET, apprenticeship training or as competence-based qualifications. The majority of young learners complete their upper secondary vocational qualifications at vocational institutions. Competence-based qualifications are usually completed by adults.