Published: 12 March 2020

Completion of university education faster than before

According to Statistics Finland’s education statistics, completion of upper secondary general education, university of applied sciences education and university education accelerated. Attainment of vocational education, in turn, slowed down. In all, 65 per cent of the students having started initial vocational qualifications completed their studies in three and a half years in year 2018, while 68 per cent completed initial vocational qualifications in the target time during the previous statistical year. In five years, the share of students having passed university education in the target time has increased most.

Pass rates by sector of education, %

Pass rates by sector of education, %
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.

Eighty-two per cent of students in upper secondary general education passed the matriculation examination in at most three and a half years. The pass rate for upper secondary general education is stable and a high percentage of those having started the education pass the examination. In 2014, altogether 81 per cent of those having started it completed upper secondary general education, which means that the share of those having completed the education in the target time has grown by one percentage point in five years. Sixty-five per cent of those having started initial vocational education passed the qualifications in the target time, while 66 per cent did so in 2014. In the review period, the pass rate for initial vocational education was at its highest in 2016, when 68 per cent of those having started the education passed it. The pass rate for initial vocational education has decreased for two consecutive statistical years.

In 2018, more students than before completed university of applied sciences education and university education. Fifty-three per cent of those having started university of applied sciences education passed in the target time, while in 2014 the share of students having passed in the target time was 45 per cent. In five years, the share of students having completed the education in the target time has grown by eight percentage points. Sixty-five per cent of university students completed a higher or lower university degree in at most five and a half years. In five and a half years, the pass rate for university education has increased by 12 percentage points.

Pass rates for upper secondary general education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

Pass rates for upper secondary general education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

According to the data for 2018, upper secondary general education was completed typically in 3.5 to 4.5 years: Eighty-two per cent of new students in upper secondary general schools completed the upper secondary general school syllabus in at most three and a half years and 90 per cent in at most four and a half years. Men studying in upper secondary general school passed their qualifications slightly more slowly than women studying there did. Of women, 83 per cent completed their upper secondary general education in three and a half years and of men 81 per cent, i.e. the difference between the genders was two percentage points. Ninety-one per cent of women completed their upper secondary general education in four and a half years and 88 per cent of men, i.e. the difference between the genders was three percentage points.

Pass rates for initial vocational education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

Pass rates for initial vocational education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

The duration of completing initial vocational education varies more than that of upper secondary general qualifications. Sixty-five per cent of vocational education students passed their vocational qualifications in three and a half years or faster. Seventy-three per cent of students completed their education in at most four and a half years

The completion time for vocational education varied between men and women. Sixty-five per cent of male students passed a vocational qualification in three and a half years and 72 per cent in four and a half years. Similarly, 65 per cent of female students passed a vocational qualification in three and a half years and 75 per cent in four and a half years.

Pass rates for university of applied sciences education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

Pass rates for university of applied sciences education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

Fifty-three per cent of those who started studying for a university of applied sciences degree completed their studies in four and a half years. Sixty-three per cent of those who started studying for a degree completed their studies in five and a half years. When six and a half years had passed since the start of the studies, the pass rate rose to 68 per cent.

There are great differences between the genders in completing university of applied sciences education. Of men, 38 per cent completed a qualification in four and a half years and 67 per cent of women, so the difference between the pass rates was 29 percentage points. The pass rate of men increased to 51 per cent and that of women to 74 per cent when five and a half years had passed since the start of the studies. The difference between the pass rates was then 23 percentage points. In seven and a half years, 57 per cent of men and 76 per cent of women completed a qualification, so the difference between the pass rates was 19 percentage points.

Pass rates for university education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

Pass rates for university education by gender in different reference periods in 2018

Sixty-five per cent of university students completed a higher or lower university degree in at most five and a half years. The older the cohort of new students is examined, the higher the pass rate becomes: 74 per cent of students completed a higher or lower university degree in at most seven and a half years.

As in university of applied sciences education, there were large differences between genders in completing university education. Fifty-eight per cent of male students and 70 per cent of female students had completed a higher or lower university degree in at most five and a half years, i.e. the difference in the pass rates for the genders was 12 percentage points. In seven and a half years, 78 per cent of women and 68 per cent of men completed university education.

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

More statistics on student flow statistics. ( Discontinuation of education , Employment of students ).


Source: Education Statistics, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Mika Witting 029 551 3571, koulutustilastot@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (288.8 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 12.3.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Progress of studies [e-publication].
ISSN=1799-1021. 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 18.6.2021].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/opku/2019/opku_2019_2020-03-12_tie_001_en.html