In Finland all people have equal access to high-quality education and training. The same opportunities should be available to all citizens irrespective of their ethnic origin, age, wealth or where they live. Finnish education policy is built on the principle of lifelong learning.
All children, permanently residing in Finland and from the age of 7 have to attend basic education or otherwise complete a similar level of learning. Basic education lasts for 9 years.
Upper secondary schools offer general education for students of about 16-19 years of age. This continues the educational task of the comprehensive school and provides students with the capabilities to continue to further studies.
The post-compulsory level is divided into general education and initial and further vocational education and training.
After compulsory basic education, 95.5% of school-leavers continue in additional voluntary basic education (2.5%), in upper secondary schools (54.5%) or in initial vocational education and training (38.5%).
The purpose of adult education centre is to provide education and training opportunities that promote social cohesion, equality and active citizenship. Learning is not aimed at achieving a formal qualification.