Published: 12 December 2008

Subject choices of completers of upper secondary general school education in 2008

According to Statistics Finland, nearly all completers of the full upper secondary general school syllabus in 2008 had studied English, and Finnish or Swedish during their attendance of upper secondary general school. German had been studied by 29 per cent, French by 18 per cent, Spanish by 11 per cent and Russian by five per cent of the completers of upper secondary general school education. The proportions of those having studied other, more unusual foreign languages remained at four per cent or below. They also vary considerably between genders in several languages.

The completers of upper secondary general school studies had mainly taken English, Swedish or Finnish as a compulsory language subject. German, French, Spanish, Russian and other foreign languages had been mainly studied as an elective language. A total of 31,442 students completed the full upper secondary general school syllabus in spring 2008.

In spring 2008, 42 per cent of all completers of the full upper secondary general school syllabus - 33 per cent of female students and 53 per cent of male students - had taken the long syllabus in mathematics.

Language choices of completers of full upper secondary general school syllabus 2008

Language Compulsory languages Elective languages Total Share of
completers of full upper secondary
general school
syllabus, %1)
At least six courses Fewer than six courses
A language B1 language B2 language B3 language
English 31,054 60 13 4 1 31,132 99.0
Swedish 2,388 26,556 3 7 24 28,978 92.2
Finnish 1,924 - - 38 3 1,965 6.3
French 703 14 1,228 1,374 2,432 5,751 18.3
German 2,250 32 2,011 1,909 2,968 9,170 29.2
Russian 217 1 70 484 883 1,655 5.3
Sami 3 - 4 5 12 24 0.1
Latin - - 23 74 618 715 2.3
Spanish 8 - 40 1,197 2,232 3,477 11.1
Italian - - 3 258 1,003 1,264 4.0
Other 1 - - 4 350 355 1.1
1) In spring 2008, completers of full upper secondary general school syllabus numbered 31,442.

Source: Education Statistics. Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Ms Maija Sikanen +358 9 1734 2292, Ms Irma Suovirta +358 9 1734 3280, koulutus.tilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Mr Jari Tarkoma


Last updated 12.12.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Subject choices of students [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1056. Subject choices of completers of upper secondary general school education 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 29.1.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/ava/2008/01/ava_2008_01_2008-12-12_tie_001_en.html