News 10 Sep 2019

OECD comparison shows how the Finnish education system fares internationally 

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, OECD has published a comparison of education indicators Education at a Glance 2019. The publication examines, for example, the level of education, participation in education and attainment of qualifications, as well as the social impact of learning and investments in education in different countries.

The special theme for the 2019 publication is tertiary level education. According to the results, the share of those aged 25 to 34 with tertiary level qualifications in the populations is slightly below the OECD average in Finland. In recent years, the share of those with tertiary level qualifications has increased at a slower rate in Finland than the OECD average. Two-thirds of the applicants to tertiary level education are not accepted, which is a lot in an international comparison. However, in Finland, lower tertiary degrees are completed in the target time more often than in the OECD countries on average.

Most Finnish data derive from Statistics Finland's data  

The data of the Education at a Glance publication are based on several statistical and research sources. A majority of the statistical data on Finland are based on material produced by Statistics Finland. These include, for example, UNESCO’s, OECD’s and Eurostat’s annual education statistics data collection (UOE), which includes data on, e.g. the number of students and degrees in the education system, education costs and teaching personnel. The Labour Force Survey is the source, for example, in comparisons of the educational level of the population and employment based on educational background.

Several separate data collections are also carried out in the Indicators of Education Systems networks, which are the basis for, e.g. international comparisons of how education affects income and the remuneration of teachers in different countries. Several other international comparisons are also used as sources for the publication, such as OECD’s PISA survey, OECD’s PIAAC assessment of adults’ competencies, adult education surveys and the EU-SILC income and living conditions survey.

Finland is actively involved in the development of the indicators

The Education at a Glance education indicator comparisons are produced and developed in OECD networks, in which Finland participates as cooperation between the Ministry of Education and Culture, the National Board of Education and Statistics Finland.

The OECD networks have been operating since the early 1990s. Statistics Finland has actively participated in the work of the networks from the outset in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Culture that is responsible for the Indicators of Education Systems (INES) work in Finland.

“The aim of the education indicator project is to develop new international comparison data on education because there has not been enough reliable comparison data on education systems available. The project became a success and resulted in the creation of the annually published Education at a Glance. The development work that resulted in the PISA survey also began in the INES networks,” says Statistics Finland’s Head of Development Mika Tuononen.

Learn more about the results of the Education at a Glance 2019 in the Ministry of Education and Culture’s release

Education at a Glance 2019 on OECD's website

Further information: Head of Development Mika Tuononen, tel. +358 29 551 3504,