25.4.2024 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

These statistics describe entrances and admissions to post-comprehensive school education leading to a qualification, and placement in further education of comprehensive school leavers and passers of the matriculation examination immediately after completing the qualification. The statistics contain data on the numbers of applicants and entrants to education and on their previous education, as well as on students having applied simultaneously to different sectors of education. The statistical data have been produced annually since the 1990s. In accordance with the Statistics Act, the personal data from which these statistics are compiled are confidential. As a rule, the statistics produced from them are public.

Statistical presentation

These statistics describe entrances and admissions to post-comprehensive school education leading to a qualification, and placement in further education of comprehensive school leavers and passers of the matriculation examination immediately after completing the qualification.

Statistical population

The population of these statistics are: applicants to different sectors of education either by sector of education and field of education or only by sector of education, new students by sector of education and field of education or only by sector of education, completers of comprehensive school in the statistical reference year and, starting from the statistics published in 2019, completers of the matriculation examination (incl. international matriculation examinations) in the spring term (1 January to 31 July) of the statistical reference year. Previously, the statistics included completers of the matriculation examination throughout the statistical reference year. The data include only persons with a Finnish personal identity code. For this reason, the figures are often lower than in other education statistics. The figures may also be lower compared to other education statistics because one person is calculated only once in the statistics, according to sector of education, level of education or field of education.

Statistical unit

The statistical unit of the statistics on entrance to education is a person.

Unit of measure

The measurement unit of the statistics on entrance to education is number of persons.

Reference period

The reference period of the statistics on entrance to education is a calendar year.

Reference area

The statistics on entrance to education cover data on entrance to education in Finland. The reference area of the statistics is Finland.

Sector coverage

The data on completers of comprehensive school and passers of the matriculation examination are total data. Data on entrance to education derive from the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Studyinfo service and thus cover applications to education through the service. In addition, Statistics Finland's Student Register and Register of Completed Education and Degrees are used, which are total data.

Time coverage

The statistical data have been produced annually since the 1990s. Data on applicants and admissions to universities are available starting from the beginning of the 1980s in Statistics Finland’s archives. The statistics are final.

Frequency of dissemination

The statistics on entrance to education are published once a year in December on Statistics Finland's web pages.

Concepts

Applicant for education

A learner who has submitted an application for admission to education or teaching.

Completers of comprehensive school

In the statistics on comprehensive school education and on entrance to education completers of comprehensive education refer to pupils who have satisfactorily completed the full comprehensive school syllabus and received a school-leaving certificate from comprehensive school. The full comprehensive school syllabus can be completed in comprehensive schools, upper secondary general schools and folk high schools.

Education

An organised activity, the aim of which is to produce competence based on teaching.

Comment:
Education can be divided into education and training leading to a qualification or degree and non-qualification studies.

Educational institution

An educational institution refers to an administrative unit with a principal or other head, which has teachers and other personnel in its service (role of employers), and which is liable to keep books and compile other documentation, in which students are registered, whose activities are regulated by a legal act or decree, which follows a national curriculum, and which is financed and controlled by a public authority. An educational institution does not refer to a school building or facility. A new educational institution is established, an educational institution is abolished or merged with another educational institution at the decision of the organiser of education (maintainer of the educational institution) or a public authority.

Statistics Finland has assigned an individualised educational institution ID to each educational institution. Educational institutions are classified according to a classification of types of educational institutions.

Educational system

The Finnish educational system is comprised of the following:

Pre-primary education is provided in Finland to 6-year-old children, usually at children's day care homes. Some 6-year-old children receive pre-primary education in comprehensive schools. Attendance of pre-primary education has been compulsory since 2015.
Comprehensive school education is general knowledge education provided for entire age cohorts. All children permanently resident in Finland must attend compulsory education. Compulsory education starts in the year of the child's seventh birthday.
Compulsory education finishes when the syllabus of comprehensives school education has been completed (9-year comprehensive school), or 10 years from the start of compulsory education. In exceptional cases compulsory education may start already at the age of six and last 11 years due to a disability or illness. A student who has received a leaving certificate from comprehensive school in the same year or in the year before it may continue to attend optional additional education (10th grade).

Post-comprehensive school education, or upper secondary general education and vocational education represent secondary level of education. Upper secondary general school education is education leading to a matriculation examination. Its scope is three years and it gives general eligibility to further education. Vocational education can be either educational institution-based or apprenticeship training. In apprenticeship training, most of the studying is comprised of learning through practical work tasks at a workplace. The qualifications are initial vocational qualifications attained in three years, which also give general eligibility to further polytechnic or university studies.

Further and specialist vocational qualifications represent further vocational education. They, as well as initial vocational qualifications can be attained in a skills examination that can be taken irrespective of the way of acquisition of professional skills, and in which skills can be proven on the basis of preparatory education for a skills examination or work experience.

Attainment of university of applied sciences degrees takes 3.5 to 4.5 years and higher university of applied sciences degrees requiring work practice 1-1.5 years. Attainment of lower university degrees takes three years while higher university degrees take two years longer. Attainers of higher level university degrees may continue their studies to licentiate and doctorate level degrees.

Further vocational qualification

A vocational qualification demonstrating professional competence tailored to the needs of working life, which is more advanced than an initial vocational qualification or targeted at more limited tasks.

Initial vocational qualification

A vocational qualification demonstrating broad-based basic vocational skills for different tasks in the field, as well as more specialised skills and professional competence required in working life in at least one sub-area related to working life.

Level of education

Category into which programmes leading to a qualification or degree are divided on the basis of the requirement level.

Comment:
Selection to education on a particular level of education often requires completion of a lower level of education.

The level of education is measured on the basis of both the overall duration or target time of the education and the requirement level.

Levels of education: early childhood education and care and pre-primary education (duration varies), primary education (6 years), lower secondary education (3 years, in total 9 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), upper secondary education (3 years, in total 12 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), post-secondary non-tertiary education (1-2 years, in total 13-14 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), lowest tertiary education (2-3 years, in total 14-15 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), bachelor's or equivalent level (3-4 years, in total 15-16 years from the beginning of comprehensive education), master's or equivalent level (5-6 years, in total 17-18 years from the beginning of comprehensive education) and second stage of tertiary education (2-4 years, in total 19-22 years from the beginning of comprehensive education).

The level of education indicator cannot be calculated directly on the basis of the duration presented in this concept.

Main type of activity

The concept of main type of activity describes the nature of a person's economic activity. The population is divided into people in the labour force and those outside the labour force. These categories can further be divided into subgroups. The classification is based on data on a person's main type of activity during the last week of the year.

The following classification is used:

Labour force
- employed labour force
- unemployed

Persons outside the labour force
- 0-14-year-olds
- students, pupils
- pensioners
- conscripts, conscientious objectors
- others outside the labour force.

Information on the main type of activity is based on data obtained from various registers. Where the data conflict as to whether a person is in the labour force or outside it, priority is given to the former. If, within the labour force, the data conflict as to whether a person is unemployed or employed, priority is given to the former.

The group "others outside the labour force" consists of persons who are not in the labour force and do not belong to the following groups: 0-14-year-olds, students, conscripts, conscientous objectors or pensioners.

Matriculation examination

Matriculation examination refers to a final examination of upper secondary general school which is set by the matriculation examination board and which a student studying the full upper secondary general school syllabus can take. Satisfactory pass of the matriculation examination leads to a matriculation examination certificate.

New student

In the statistics on entrants to education and progress of studies new students in upper secondary general education and university of applied sciences education refer to the students studying on 20 September who had registered into certain studies in the educational institution concerned between 1 January and 20 September. New students in vocational education refer to students who became registered in the educational institution during the calendar year studying in curriculum-based vocational education and attending education preparing for a skills examination, as well as students who have made an apprenticeship training agreement during the calendar year. Before 2013, new students in curriculum-based vocational education were those registered between 1 January and 20 September. From 2010 onwards, new students in university education refer to students having started studies leading to the current university degree at the university concerned and studying on 20 September. Previously, new students referred to students that had enrolled at the university concerned for the first time to study for a lower or upper university degree in any field of education and studying on 20 September.

The number of new students is lower than in other statistics by sector of education because it only includes students with a correct Finnish personal ID number and because a new student is only included once in the number of students by sector of education, level of education or some other variable, such as educational institute.

Sector of education

Comprehensive education, general upper secondary education, vocational education, university of applied sciences education, university education.

Specialist vocational qualification

A vocational qualification demonstrating professional competence tailored to the needs of working life, with more advanced command of profession or cross-sectional skills than a further vocational qualification.

Student

A learner studying in other than pre-primary or comprehensive education.

Comment
Students include persons studying in general upper secondary school, vocational upper secondary education and training, tertiary education and liberal adult education.
Adults studying in comprehensive education are also referred to as students.
In Statistics Finland's statistics the concept refers to upper secondary and tertiary level students.
In Statistics Finland's statistics students are required to be registered at an educational institution.

Transition phase

The transition phase is a phase in which a person moves from one phase of education to another so that the teaching methods, contents, goals or study form change significantly, or in which the person moves from one level of education to another or from education to working life.

Transition phase education

Preparatory education for upper secondary education.

These include voluntary additional basic education (10th grade), preparatory education for general upper secondary education (LUVA) and preparatory education for vocational education (VALMA) and, starting from 1 August 2022, preparatory education for an upper secondary qualification (TUVA), which combines the previous transition phase education.

University education

Tertiary education provided by universities.

Comment:
The objective of the education is a bachelor’s or master’s degree or a scientific postgraduate degree, which are licentiate's and doctoral degrees.
Education not leading to a qualification or degree can also be completed.

Vocational education and training

Education and training completed after the comprehensive education syllabus, aimed at producing vocational competence.

Comment:
Initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications can be obtained in vocational education and training.
In addition to completing a qualification, parts of a qualification can also be completed in vocational education and training.

Vocational qualification

A qualification intended to increase and maintain professional skills and demonstration of professional competence.

Comment:
Vocational qualifications are initial, further and specialist vocational qualifications.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

In addition to joint application, the application data for upper secondary education also contain data on applicants and those admitted to preparatory education for upper secondary school and preparatory vocational education and additional education (10th grade) starting from 2014. The data do not include all education leading to a qualification or degree outside joint application. Therefore, as replacement data, new students in education outside joint application have been included as applicants in the applicant data. The number of new students is usually lower than that of applicants to the education in question.

The statistics do not include data on transition to education abroad. For example, those having completed education in Åland have often continued studying in Sweden.

Timeliness

Statistics on entrance to education are published annually 12 months after the reference period.

The statistics are published at a lag of around one month from the completion of Statistics Finland's Student Register and Register of Completed Education and Degrees.

Punctuality

There is no delay between the release calendar and the actual release date.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

Education statistics are geographically comparable. The data are total data.

Asymmetry of mirror flows statistics - coefficient / CC1


 

Comparability - over time

The statistical data have been produced annually since the 1990s. Data on applicants and admissions to universities are available starting from the beginning of the 1980s.

Length of comparable time series / CC2

The time series are comparable starting from 2002.
Data on transfers to additional educational of basic education (10th grade) and guidance and preparatory education are available starting from 2014.

Coherence - cross domain

The statistical data are based on the same data sources and they have been compiled in accordance with the same principles as Statistics Finland's statistics compiled by sector of education. These statistics may well be used side by side, provided the special features of the statistics are taken into account.

The Finnish National Agency for Education maintains register data on applicants to education and publishes statistics from them, the data of which may differ from Statistics Finland's statistics because the specifications, concepts and definitions used in them differ from each another.

Coherence - sub-annual and annual statistics

The statistics are released for the statistical reference year, do not include sub-annual data.

Coherence - internal

Data on applicants to vocational education and upper secondary general school education and completers of comprehensive school education for 2015 are not included in the release of 2016 because the data were not available by the time of the release. The data were updated to the database tables in 2017.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The statistics are produced from the Finnish National Agency for Education’s application data (administrative files) on completers of comprehensive school, upper secondary level education and higher education, Statistics Finland's individual-based student data and the Register of Completed Education and Degrees.

Starting from 2017, all application data are obtained from the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Studyinfo register through an interface. The data are divided in the statistics into two application registers of upper secondary and tertiary education. Data on applicants are retrieved from the interface once a year in spring.

Data collection

The data in the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Studyinfo register are retrieved annually from the Finnish National Agency for Education’s interface. 

Frequency of data collection

The statistics do not have their own data collection, but the statistics are based on data from Statistics Finland's other statistics and on data in the Finnish National Agency for Education’s Studyinfo register.

Methods

Data compilation

The data do not include all education leading to a qualification or degree outside joint application. Therefore, as replacement data, new students in education outside joint application in Statistics Finland’s Student Register have been included as applicants in the applicant data. The data are corrected to correspond to the classifications of the statistical reference year and the register of educational institutions.

Data validation

The data of the statistics on entrance to education are validated in many stages during the statistical process. During data processing, the high quality of the data on applicants to education, students and employment on which the statistics are based is ensured by means of various statistical checking software and by comparison to corresponding previous statistics and other data sources.

Imputation rate / A7


 

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Statistics Finland<o:p></o:p>

Contact organisation unit

Social statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics. 

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation 

The data of the statistics are used for reporting data to Eurostat as required by EU Regulation (Commission Regulation (EU) No 912/2013 implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning, as regards statistics on education and training systems).

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable. 

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

Confidentiality - data treatment

The central guideline in data protection activities is to avoid publishing statistical data in a form from which an individual person can be identified. The data on students and qualifications of organisers of education and educational institutions are otherwise public because the education they organise is financed or controlled by a public authority (Section 12 of the Statistics Act). The statistics on entrance to education are released once a year. The publications contain tables and several StatFin database tables.  
 
Database tables are more standardised and more detailed than publication tables in terms of data content. The background variables are typically at a more detailed level than the publication tables. The classifying variables are the municipality of education, region of education, gender and level of further education. Completers of comprehensive school and passers of the matriculation examination are given by number of students in the tables.  
 
The data on completers of comprehensive school and passers of the matriculation examination in the statistics on entrance to education are public and the database tables and publication tables do not contain variables defined as sensitive. Protection of the individual is considered in planning the tables when the individual-based data have been made less detailed to the level of the municipality of education for completers of comprehensive school and passers of the matriculation examination. If there are fewer than 10 completers of comprehensive school or passers of the matriculation examination in the municipality, the threshold value rule has been used and the location data have been suppressed.

However, when preparing information service assignments, it must be taken into account that assignments are case-specific and what effect especially small numbers of observations and (possibly) more accurate background variables have on data protection. If the information service table contains variables defined as sensitive, e.g. nationality or main type of activity, less detailed classifications of other variables, e.g. regional data, have been used. Alternatively, data by educational institution on the nationality of foreign citizens are released at the accuracy of continent and data on native languages with the division Finnish-Swedish-other. If there is no desire to make the variables less detailed, the threshold value rule can be used.

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland 

Data sharing

The data of the statistics are submitted to the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education in accordance with the H9098-OKM-OPH information service agreement.

The data of the statistics are reported to UNESCO, the OECD and Eurostat in the UOE data collection and related separate inquiries.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.   

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases. 

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   

Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service. 

The statistics on entrance to education and the statistical database updates are published on Statistics Finland's web pages.
Data users can subscribe to emails concerning releases on desired topics (so-called news notification service).
The releasing of topical news, such as news contents, is decided on a case-by-case basis. The channels for topical news are
www.stat.fi
www.facebook.com/Tilastotohtori
https://twitter.com/tilastokeskus

Micro-data access

The database tables of the statistics can be found in the StatFin database.  

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions. 

The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before. 

Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data. 

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. 

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

The statistics on entrance to education are official statistics. The Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) are a comprehensive collection of statistics describing the development and state of society. They comprise nearly 300 sets of statistics on 26 different topics. The producers of Official Statistics of Finland have approved a common quality assurance in which they commit to common quality criteria and quality assurance measures. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The good practices followed in the statistics are presented in Statistics Finland's Quality Guidelines for Official Statistics handbook.

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics 

Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data. 

The data are released to all users of the statistics simultaneously on the web page of the statistics Entrance to education - Statistics Finland. No one has access to the data of the release before the official date of publication.

Statistical experts

Anna Loukkola
Senior Statistician
029 551 3678

The documentation released before 5.4.2022 can be found on the archive pages of the statistics.

Go to the archive page