Finland’s Education System

Over the years, the Finnish education system has received its fair share of publicity around the world for being the ‘best’. A frequently asked question we hear is what makes Finland’s education system so successful? Read on to learn more!

Finnish Education in Global Rankings

#1 in Educating for the Future

Worldwide Educating For The Future Index 2019

#1 in Primary Education

Global Competitiveness Report 2018

Did you know?

Finland has been named the happiest country in the world for the fifth consecutive year (2018-2022), according to the World Happiness Report. Although this high ranking is due to many reasons, we believe it has a lot to do with our education system.

10 Best Practices of Finland’s Education System

There is no short answer as to why the Finnish education system is so successful, but we gathered a list of Finland’s 10 best educational practices that contribute to its success.

Equal opportunities

The central objective of Finland’s education system is to provide good quality universal education. This means that the same free, inclusive, and comprehensive educational opportunities are provided for all citizens.

Phenomenon-based learning

A learner-centred, multidisciplinary approach that is based on problem solving. Students investigate and solve their own questions by applying subject knowledge relevant to the global problem.

Learning through play

Finnish daycares and preschools follow the national Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) curriculum that strongly believes in letting children be children, by focusing on play, health, and the overall wellbeing of the child.

Personalized learning

Learning is personalized for each student by empowering their strengths and supporting their challenges - there are no ‘dead-ends’. Each student’s progress is followed through the national curriculum’s learning outcomes.

Lack of standardized testing

Students’ learning is assessed through various qualitative methods that focus on the overall development of the student and learning soft skills, rather than their memorization skills and quantitative scores.

Minimal homework

Especially during the first years of school, homework is minimal, and the school days are short. This leaves more time for after-school play and hobbies and developing soft skills outside of the classroom. This contributes to the student’s level of life satisfaction.

Autonomous Teachers

Finnish teachers are highly trained through a mandatory master’s degree. Teachers are motivated through the autonomy given to them to plan their own teaching and resourcing. A big part of each teachers’ education is learning how to tailor teaching to different kinds of learners.

Supportive technology

A wide range of digital tools and solutions are used by schools in Finland to support learning. Technology is used in a mindful way to enhance both the teaching and learning experience, instead of overpowering daily life and adding more work for teachers.


Inclusive education

Special needs education is heavily embedded in Finland’s national education system. This means that all students are supported, no matter how much support they require.

Lifelong learning

Learning never stops. The Finnish education system promotes lifelong learning. No matter what age and stage of life one is in, they can always continue their education through the flexible system.


All this sounds pretty good, right?

The reality is that Finnish education cannot be exported as-is. Various elements and best practices of Finland’s education system can be implemented in schools abroad, but it requires localization, training, and the right mindset.

 Interested in starting your own future-proof school based on Finland’s best practices?

We provide the training, tools, and support needed for new school set-up and continuous school improvement. Our partner schools around the world embody elements of Finnish education practices.