Published: 12 March 2020

Altogether 5.4 per cent of students discontinued education

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree grew slightly in the academic year 2017/2018 compared with the previous academic year. In all, 5.4 per cent of students discontinued their studies and did not resume them in any education leading to a qualification or degree. In upper secondary general education aimed at young people the discontinuation percentage was 3.2, in vocational education aimed at young people it was 8.7, in university of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences qualifications) 7.1 and in university education (lower and higher university degrees) 5.9 per cent. These data derive from Statistics Finland’s Education Statistics.

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, university of applied sciences and university education in academic years from 2008/2009 to 2017/2018, %

Discontinuation of education in upper secondary general, vocational, university of applied sciences and university education in academic years from 2008/2009 to 2017/2018, %

Discontinuation increased in vocational education after having decreased or stayed unchanged for several years. The figure was 1.3 percentage points higher than in the previous academic year. Discontinuation increased slightly in upper secondary school education and decreased somewhat in university of applied sciences education. In university education discontinuation was unchanged from the previous academic year.

These statistics examine discontinuation from many perspectives. Education can be discontinued in one's own field of education in one's own sector of education, but it can continue in another field of education either in one's own or another sector of education. Or correspondingly, examined by area; education can be discontinued in one's own sector of education in one’s own region, but it can continue in another region in either one's own or another sector of education.

Men discontinued studies more often than women

Men discontinued their education leading to a qualification or degree more often than women. Of men, 6.4 per cent discontinued education completely and 4.4 per cent of women in the academic year 2017/2018. Women changed the sector of education slightly more than men. Men most often discontinued university of applied sciences education (9.0 per cent), women vocational education (9.0 per cent). Women and men studying in the sector of education of vocational education discontinued their studies leading to a qualification equally often (7.9 per cent).

Discontinuation of education leading to a qualification or degree by sex and sector of education in academic year 2017/2018 1)

Sex / sector of education Number of students used in the statistics on discontinuation of education 20 Sept. 2017 Discontinued in own sector of education Changed sector of education Discontinued completely education leading to a qualification or degree
Pieces % % %
Total 468 977 6,3 0,9 5,4
Men and women Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 96 745 3,2 1,5 1,7
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 111 002 8,7 0,8 7,9
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 127 565 7,1 1,0 6,1
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 133 665 5,9 0,6 5,3
Men Total 227 332 7,3 0,9 6,4
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 40 815 3,6 1,5 2,1
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 62 461 8,5 0,5 7,9
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 61 771 9,0 1,1 7,9
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 62 285 6,8 0,7 6,1
Women Total 241 645 5,4 1,0 4,4
Upper secondary general education (aimed at young people) 55 930 2,9 1,5 1,4
Vocational education (aimed at young people) 48 541 9,0 1,1 7,9
University of applied sciences education (university of applied sciences degrees) 65 794 5,3 0,8 4,4
University education (Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees) 71 380 5,1 0,6 4,5
1) Numbers of students used in calculating discontinuation differ from total numbers of students, because part of students had to beremoved from the data (see the quality description, only in Finnish).

Sectors of education and discontinuation in fields of education

In the academic year 2017/2018, studies were most discontinued in the field of information and communication technology (ICT) (12.0 per cent) and in natural sciences (11.9 per cent), and least in general education (3.2 per cent) and in education (5.3 per cent). Discontinuation in various sectors of education focuses on different fields of education.

In vocational education aimed at young people discontinuation was most common in natural sciences (20.6 per cent) and in ICT (13.9 per cent), and lowest in business, administration and law (9.2 per cent). (See more details in Appendix table 2.) When examining with a more detailed classification of field of education the situation changes slightly; discontinuation was most common in languages (26.8 per cent), fishery (20.7 per cent) and environmental fields (20.6 per cent) and lowest in forestry (6.8 per cent) and in the field of administration and commerce (9.2 per cent).

Discontinuation in university of applied sciences education was most common in natural sciences (14.2 per cent) and ICT (12.2 per cent). Discontinuation in university education was biggest in natural sciences (11.7 per cent) and ICT (10.7 per cent). In natural sciences discontinuation of education leading to a qualification completely (6.6 per cent) was lower than in ICT (8.4 per cent), because from that field students moved more often to another university field of education or completely to a different sector of education than from ICT.

Discontinuation in both university of applied sciences education and university education was lowest in health and welfare, in university of applied sciences education 4.9 per cent and in university education 3.2 per cent.

The statistics on discontinuation of education use the National Classification of Education 2016 in examining discontinuation. The discontinuation figures were calculated to levels 1 and 2 of the National Classification of Education. The education administration's Classification of field of education and level of education was used in earlier years’ tables. They can be found nowadays in the archive database.

The database tables of the statistics contain information on discontinuation of studies by sector of education in different fields of education and regions.

Other discontinuation data

In all, 595 students discontinued apprenticeship training during the four-month probationary period in 2018, which is 1.0 per cent of all students in apprenticeship training. A total of 2,352 students discontinued apprenticeship training after the probationary period, which is 4.1 per cent of all students in apprenticeship training. The total number of students in apprenticeship training was 57,398 in 2018.

A total of 443 students had discontinued studies in one way or another in comprehensive school during the 2018/2019 academic year. The number of those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education in the spring term was 91 and those over the age of compulsory education having left school without a leaving certificate from comprehensive school was 352. Forty-three per cent of all school dropouts were girls. The number of girls among those who had completely dropped out from compulsory education was 41, and 150 among those having left comprehensive school without a leaving certificate.

Calculation of discontinuation of education

These statistics describe the discontinuation of post-comprehensive school education leading to a qualification. Data concerning discontinuation in the academic year 2017/2018 have been obtained by examining the situation in September 2018 of the students who attended education in September 2017. If a person has not obtained a qualification or continued education during this period, he/she is counted as having discontinued education. In order to calculate the discontinuation, students have been followed in a certain logical order where completion of a qualification is always prioritised above studying. The calculation of discontinuation, incl. the definition of the population, is explained in the quality description (in Finnish).

More information related to the progress of studies is available from statistics describing Progress of studies and Employment of students.


Source: Education. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Heli Hiltunen 029 551 3314, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (271.7 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 12.3.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Discontinuation of education [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-9302. 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 28.9.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kkesk/2018/kkesk_2018_2020-03-12_tie_001_en.html