Published: 14 March 2018

Foreign background especially affected completion of upper secondary level education

According to Statistics Finland's Education Statistics, students of Finnish background pass upper secondary general education and vocational education more quickly than those of foreign background. Eighty-one per cent of students of Finnish background completed upper secondary general education in 3.5 years, while the pass rate for students of foreign background was 66 per cent. Vocational education was completed in 3.5 years by 69 per cent of students of Finnish background and by 60 per cent of students of foreign background.

Pass rates by sector of education and origin in 2016

Pass rates by sector of education and origin in 2016
The pass rate tells how many per cent of those that started education have completed a qualification within the examined study time. The examined time is 3.5 years for upper secondary general and vocational education, 4.5 years for university of applied sciences education and 5.5 years for university education.
Statistics Finland's origin classification has been used to determine origin.

Students of Finnish background pass upper secondary general education clearly faster than students of foreign background

Progress of new upper secondary school students (aimed at young people) studies by end 2016

Year of
starting
New upper secondary school students, total Pass
rate
New
male students, Finnish background
Pass
rate
New female students, Finnish background Pass
rate
New
male students, Foreign background
Pass
rate
New female students, Foreign background Pass
rate
  %   %   %   %   %
2011 32 897 89,9 13 676 89,4 18 057 91,2 518 71,8 646 81,3
2012 32 183 89,4 13 251 88,7 17 762 91,1 507 68,2 663 75,7
2013 31 884 80,6 12 810 80,7 17 768 81,7 581 60,4 725 69,8

According to the data for 2016, upper secondary general education is rarely completed in over 4.5 years: Eighty-one per cent of new students in upper secondary general schools completed the upper secondary general school syllabus in at most 3.5 and 89 per cent in at most 4.5 years. Men studying in upper secondary general school passed their qualifications slightly more slowly than women studying there did.

Among new male students of Finnish background in upper secondary general school, 81 per cent completed their studies in at most 3.5 years, while the corresponding figure for women was 82 per cent. The difference between sexes in passing education was larger for students of foreign background than among students of Finnish background: 60 per cent of male students completed their studies in at most 3.5 years, and 70 per cent of female students. The pass rate for upper secondary general education in 4.5 years improved for students of both Finnish and foreign background: 68 per cent of men of foreign background and 76 per cent of women of foreign background. Eighty-nine per cent of men and 91 per cent of women of Finnish background had completed their studies in 4.5 years.

Women of Finnish background completed upper secondary general education in 3.5 years more often than women of foreign background, the difference between the pass rates was 12 percentage points. In 4.5 years, the difference between the pass rates increased to 15 percentage points. The difference narrowed when 5.5 years had passed from starting the studies, when 91 per cent of women of Finnish background and 81 per cent of women of foreign background had completed their studies. Men of Finnish background completed their studies in 3.5 years more often than men of foreign background, the difference between the pass rates was 20 per cent. The difference between pass rates narrowed after 5.5 years of studies to 18 percentage points.

Low pass rate in vocational education for men of foreign background

Progress of new students studies in vocational education (aimed at young people) by end 2016

Year of starting New students in vocational education, total Pass
rate
New male students, Finnish
background
Pass
rate
New female students, Finnish
background
Pass
rate
New male students, Foreign
background
Pass
rate
New female students, Foreign
background
Pass
rate
  %   %   %   %   %
2011 50 499 77,1 24 592 77,0 23 621 77,7 1 180 68,4 1 106 76,3
2012 49 759 74,6 24 549 74,5 22 640 75,5 1 324 63,6 1 246 72,0
2013 48 679 68,3 23 866 68,5 22 103 69,1 1 464 55,5 1 246 66,1

Sixty-eight per cent of students attending vocational education aimed at young people completed a qualification in at most 3.5 years and 75 per cent in at most 4.5 years. Women completed a qualification slightly faster than men. The difference between the pass rates of women and men of Finnish background was, however, small, under one percentage point.

Men and women of Finnish background passed vocational education nearly as often measured by how long had passed since the beginning of the studies. The difference between sexes in pass rates among students of foreign background were higher. Fifty-six per cent of men and 66 per cent of women of foreign background had completed a qualification in at most 3.5 years. In all, 64 per cent of men of foreign background completed a qualification in 4.5 years and 72 per cent of women, which means that the difference between the pass rates was eight percentage points.

Men of Finnish background completed a vocational qualification more often than men of foreign background in 3.5 years, the difference between the pass rates was 13 percentage points. Among those who pass the education in 4.5 years, the difference in the pass rates decreased to 11 percentage points and further to nine percentage points when 5.5 years had passed since the start of the studies. For women, the differences in pass rates were not as big as for men. Of women of foreign background, 66 per cent completed a qualification in 3.5 years while the corresponding share for women of Finnish background was 69 per cent. The difference between pass rates decreased to one percentage point after 5.5 years from starting studying.

Persons of foreign background have a better pass rate in university of applied sciences education than persons of Finnish background

Progress of new university of applied sciences students studies by end 2016, youth education

Year of
starting
New university of applied sciences students, total Pass
rate
New male students, Finnish
background
Pass
rate
New female students, Finnish
background
Pass
rate
New male students, Foreign
background
Pass
rate
New female students, Foreign
background
Pass
rate
  %   %   %   %   %
2009 28 400 67,7 12 197 58,5 14 556 74,9 930 65,8 717 78,5
2010 29 030 65,2 12 578 55,1 14 612 73,5 980 61,6 860 77,6
2011 28 646 60,6 12 288 48,0 14 178 70,9 1 159 57,9 1 021 72,1
2012 28 093 49,6 11 462 32,8 14 260 62,5 1 257 44,6 1 114 63,1
2013 26 894 27,2 11 378 12,9 13 404 38,8 1 063 25,0 1 049 36,6

Fifty per cent of those who started studying for a university of applied sciences degree completed their studies in 4.5 years. Sixty-eight per cent of students completed their studies in at most 7.5 years. In all, 53 per cent of students of foreign background and 49 per cent of those of Finnish background completed a qualification in 4.5 years. The difference between the groups in the pass rates remained the same after 7.5 years had passed since the start of studies.

The difference between sexes in pass rates was large both for students of foreign and Finnish background. Among women of Finnish background, 63 per cent completed a qualification in 4.5 years while the corresponding figure for men was 33 per cent. The difference between the sexes started to narrow when 6.5 years had passed since starting studies, when the difference was 18 percentage points. Among women of foreign background, 63 per cent completed a qualification in 4.5 years, while the corresponding figure for men was 45 per cent. In total, 62 per cent of men and 78 per cent of women of foreign background completed a qualification in 6.5 years.

Men of foreign background completed a qualification more often than men of Finnish background in 4.5 years, the difference between the pass rates was 12 percentage points. Among those who pass the education in 5.5 years, the difference in the pass rate decreased to 10 percentage points and further to seven percentage points after 6.5 years from the start of the studies. For women, the differences in pass rates were not as big as for men. Among women of Finnish and foreign background, 63 per cent completed a qualification in 4.5 years. The difference narrowed to four percentage points when 6.5 years had passed from starting the studies, when 78 per cent of women of foreign background and 74 per cent of women of Finnish background had completed a qualification.

One-half of students with foreign background attained a university degree in 3.5 years

Progress of new university students studies by end 2016, lower or higher university degrees

Year of
starting
New university students,
total
Pass
rate
New
male students, Finnish
background
Pass
rate
New female students, Finnish
background
Pass
rate
New
male students, Foreign
background
Pass
rate
New female students, Foreign
background
Pass
rate
  %   %   %   %   %
2009 19 940 70,7 7 977 63,0 10 501 77,4 843 59,9 619 70,3
2010 19 766 66,0 7 909 58,8 10 324 72,4 871 57,4 662 64,4
2011 19 827 62,1 7 812 54,1 10 225 68,2 974 58,6 816 65,8
2012 22 815 51,8 8 847 41,4 12 015 59,0 1 097 50,4 856 59,8
2013 23 162 32,0 9 142 21,4 12 090 36,9 1 047 49,4 883 53,5

The pass rate of university education grows, the longer time has passed from the start of education. The older the cohort of new students is examined, the higher the pass rate became. Sixty-two per cent of students completed a lower or higher university degree in 5.5 years and among those having studied for 7.5 years, 71 per cent had passed a university degree. Women of Finnish background attain a degree clearly faster than men. Of women, 68 per cent completed their degrees in 5.5 years, while 54 per cent of men attained a degree. Seventy-seven per cent of women and 63 per cent of men of Finnish background had competed a degree after 7.5 years of studying.

Students of foreign background attained a degree clearly faster than students of Finnish background. The degree was attained in 5.5 years by 66 per cent of women and 59 per cent of men. A majority of students of foreign background started directly in master’s studies.

The database tables of these statistics contain information on the differences between the pass rates for sectors of education, different fields of education and different origin group (see Tables in databases ). The database tables also include information on those students who did not attain their qualification in the target time.

In these statistics, the number of completers of education relative to starters of education has increased particularly for tertiary level education. Other statistics also indicate that studying was more interesting than before as discontinuation of education decreased. Employment among students increased slightly compared to the year before. ( Discontinuation of education , Employment of students ).


Source: Education Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mika Witting 029 551 3530, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (264.6 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 14.3.2018

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Progress of studies [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1021. 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 14.11.2018].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/opku/2018/opku_2018_2018-03-14_tie_001_en.html