What You Should Know About Education In Finland

Even if a trip to chilly Finland hasn’t topped your list of vacation spots, you’ve probably heard about one of Finland’s great accomplishments —its world- class (and world-leading!)  education system. Students and schools in Finland are ranked as some of the best in the world – well ahead of many larger developed nations like the US and Canada. High school graduation rates are excellent, more students go on to earn college degrees than in other areas of the world, and Finnish students pretty much rock the pants off of standardized tests. 

There are a number of theories out there on why this is – many attribute it to teachers earning better pay and more respect, less homework, more active time (like for recess), and a very minimal amount of standardized testing. The handy infographic below takes an in-depth look at some of the details behind the success of education in Finland, and what makes it work so well. Keep reading to learn more.

Finland’s Educational Success

  • The high school graduation rate in Finland is 93% (compared to 78% in Canada and 75% in the US)
  • 2 in 3 students in Finland go on to college
  • Their mean PISA score is significantly higher than any other country (that uses that test)
  • The student to teacher ratio is about half of what it is in the US (1:12 vs 1:24)
  • There are about ten times fewer standardized tests than in the US
  • Finnish students rarely have homework until they are in their teens – they have more time to be kids
  • Finnish students have about 75 minutes for recess – US students have about 27 minutes
  • Teachers there are required to have a Master’s degree, and only the top 10% are accepted into graduate teaching programs (fully state subsidized)
  • Finland’s teachers are as esteemed as doctors and lawyers