Upper secondary education and training

Upper secondary education and training has a dual structure

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.

The selection of students for upper secondary school is based on their grade point average for the theoretical subjects in the basic education certificate. Entrance and aptitude tests may also be used, and students may be awarded points for hobbies and other relevant activities.

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.