Finnish education system fails to improve performance

Finnish education system fails to improve performance |

The once internationally applauded Finnish education system has failed to evolve and has deteriorated, found a new report published by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture on Thursday.

While other countries have improved their performance, Finland has been stranded, according to the fresh Bildung review by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture.

Albeit the learning results of students are reasonably high, the place below the OECD average is a far cry from the glory days of the Finnish education system some twenty years ago. In international comparisons from 2021, the percentage of 25 to 34-year-olds in Finland with a university degree was found to be just above Turkey and below Chile.

According to the report, the decline in achieved learning outcomes has been ”exceptionally rapid” and ”the drop in reading and mathematics proficiency observed in several studies corresponds to the learning attained in one year – even two years.”

The report’s author Aleksi Kalenius, a special advisor at the Ministry, told YLE that the factors contributing to poor results are not fully known or understood. For example, ”the differences between genders were found to be exceptionally large from an international perspective,” and have continued to increase since the 2000s, the study found.

If something, the findings proved that political decisions have long-term implications. After the deep recession in the early 1990s, the welfare state took a hit and also funding for education was cut. The consequences are manifested in delay. According to the report, ”differences in learning outcomes related to the social background have become more pronounced than earlier.”

When presenting the study, as quoted by YLE, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Culture Anita Lehikoinen admitted that “we are no longer the most educated nation. Our young people are no longer the most knowledgeable,” and predicted ”big and quite radical changes” to the system.

(Pekka Vänttinen |


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