About our evaluations

FINEEC produces reliable national evaluation information, expertise and understanding regarding education and its quality. Our evaluation information is used for improving Finnish education and training. 

FINEEC's evaluation information helps to understand the special features and strengths of our education system as well as the development areas that should be addressed. FINEEC’s activities therefore also increase competence in the development of education and making decisions related to education. The activities also increase the evaluation competence of those working in education and early childhood education and care (ECEC). Our evaluation information is used for decision-making and development of the activities and for international comparisons.

What is evaluation? 

Our evaluation is systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of information about education. For example, evaluation may mean that the activities or a selected theme is compared with the objectives or criteria set for it or with the results. In evaluations, the selection of the most important development areas is based on the conclusions made, and recommendations are given for their enhancement. In other words, evaluation involves valuation, which somewhat distinguishes it from conducting research. 

Our evaluations provide an up-to-date picture of important themes in education, the level of competence, the impacts of education reforms and the state of quality management in education. The aim is to determine to what extent the results achieved meet the objectives that have been set. Our evaluation evidence helps improve Finnish education.  

All levels of education are subject to our evaluation: 

  • early childhood education and care (ECEC)
  • pre-primary and basic education
  • general upper secondary education
  • vocational education and training (VET)
  • higher education
  • liberal adult education
  • basic education in the arts.

Evaluations may also be conducted across the levels of education, in which case an evaluation may cover several levels of education at the same time. 

All our evaluation reports are public and can be downloaded from our website. We will also provide the evaluation results and feedback to those who participated in the evaluation.

The practice of enhancement-led evaluation 

Our evaluations comply with the practice of enhancement-led evaluation. This means that the evaluated organisation may already enhance its activities on the basis of the received feedback during the evaluation. Evaluations in which the enhancement-led method is used are participatory, meaning that external experts with special knowledge of the organisation or theme to be evaluated are typically involved. Read more about the practice of enhancement-led evaluation. 

In addition to the practice of enhancement-led evaluation, our evaluations are based on our four values: independence, trust, openness and interaction. Read more about our values on the page About us. 

Our evaluation types 

FINEEC conducts four types of evaluations. 

  • In learning outcomes evaluations, we look at to what extent the objectives set for pupils’ competence in the national core curricula have been reached. Learning outcomes evaluations also provide information on changes in the level of competence in the long term and on the realisation of equality of education. 
  • Thematic evaluations are always carried out on a current theme, such as how the exceptional teaching arrangements caused by COVID-19 affected the equity of learners. Often, thematic evaluations also look at whether reforms in education policy have led to the desired results.
  • System evaluations look at what the strengths and development areas of the education system are at a specific level of education or at the level of the entire education system, or how the processes of reforming and enhancing the education system have succeeded. 
  • The evaluations of quality management examine how the organisation that is being evaluated enhances its activities. 

In addition to conducting evaluations, we support those working in education and ECEC in matters concerning evaluation and quality management. We support education and training providers in developing quality management by, for example, producing information on good quality management and development practices, supporting the utilisation of evaluation data, producing support materials, and providing training on quality management and evaluation.

National Education Evaluation Plan and the focus areas of evaluation 

The themes and schedules of FINEEC's evaluations are determined in the National Education Evaluation Plan. The evaluation plan is prepared for a four-year period at a time, and it covers all levels from early childhood education and care to higher education. 

In addition to individual evaluations and their schedules, the evaluation plan identifies the focus areas of FINEEC's evaluations, or their key societal themes, for the four-year period in question. An individual focus area may be an umbrella theme for several evaluations, and similarly, a single evaluation may produce data for more than one focus area.

The focus areas of the evaluations in the evaluation plan period 2020–2023 are 

  • Learning and competence development
  • Promoting equity
  • Improving the effectiveness of the education systemSupporting continuous improvement
  • Supporting continuous improvement. 

Read more about the National Education Evaluation Plan 2020–2023. 
Read more about the focus areas of evaluation. 

Evaluation services subject to a fee 

It is also possible to order evaluation services subject to a fee from us, such as different lectures, training and commissioned evaluations on specific themes. Evaluation services subject to a fee can also be provided for international customers. 

Are you interested in our fee-paying evaluation services? Read more on the page Evaluation services subject to a fee and contact us!

Use of the data in research 

To implement the evaluations, we collect dozens of datasets every year. Researchers outside FINEEC may also utilise them if the criteria for disclosing the data are met. 

Read more about using the evaluation data in research.