About our evaluations

The aim of national evaluation is to produce information based on evaluation to promote the achievement of the objectives of the education system and to further improve education and ECEC.

The starting point in FINEEC’s evaluations is a systemic view of the phenomena in education and ECEC, the interconnections between issues and the changing operating environment. Our multi-perspective evaluations tackle current topics to provide knowledge and understanding that strengthen the capacity of the education and ECEC system and the ability of organisations to change and adapt and help them to prepare for the future. 

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.

All levels of education are subject to our evaluation: 

  • early childhood education and care (ECEC)
  • pre-primary, primary and lower secondary 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.

Objectives of evaluation activities

FINEEC’s evaluation activities are aimed at producing knowledge, enhancing education, and ensuring outcomes.

Production of knowledge

Evaluations strengthen the knowledge base for decision-making concerning education policy at the national and the local level. Evaluations increase knowledge and understanding of the operating environment and the phenomena subject to the evaluation. Information that supports change explains and provides knowledge of the underlying factors affecting the activities and of interconnections between issues. The knowledge base is also strengthened by producing syntheses of information from different sources. What is learned in the evaluations can also be used to produce theories of how reforms are carried out and/or how renewal is caused. Evaluation theories and methodologies can also be developed in evaluations.


Evaluation supports the achievement of the objectives of education and ECEC, promotes learning and the development of competence and improves activities. Evaluations help recognise strengths, good practices and areas in need of enhancement, to plan purposeful development measures and to support the implementation of development programmes. Evaluations are an essential part of the continuous improvement of the operations and quality of education and ECEC organisations. Evaluations strengthen participation and awareness to improve the organisation’s own activities.

Ensuring impact

The purpose of evaluation is to verify and monitor the results and impacts of the objectives set for education. Evaluations are conducted to determine how the objectives set for education are implemented and what kind of results are achieved. Evaluations ensure the realisation of accountability and promote the achievement of the objectives.

The practice of enhancement-led evaluation

Our evaluations are based on the approach of enhancement-led evaluation, which has also been recorded in the legislation on evaluation of education. The starting point in enhancement-led evaluation is the need for evaluation and the usefulness of the evaluations to the subject of the evaluation, the party commissioning the evaluation, the stakeholders participating in the evaluation and the users of the evaluation results.

Enhancement-led evaluation supports the achievement of the goals and promotes learning and change. Interaction, participation, an analysis of the operating environment and an understanding of the situation from the participants’ point of view are essential in FINEEC’s enhancement-led evaluation. The evaluation is aimed at achieving positive impact already during the evaluation and at using the evaluation results and the proposed recommendations to support change. Read more about the practice of enhancement-led evaluation. 

In addition to the practice of enhancement-led evaluation, our evaluations are based on our three values: impactful, trustworthy and independent. Read more about our values on the page About us. 

Our evaluation types 

The types of evaluation are based on FINEEC’s statutory tasks. The types of evaluation are:

Evaluations of learning outcomes

Evaluations of learning outcomes focus on the learning outcomes of primary and lower secondary education, general upper secondary education, vocational education and training (VET) and basic education in the arts. These evaluations assess the achievement of the objectives set in the national core curriculum and the national qualification requirements as well as the factors affecting learning. 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 of education and ECEC

FINEEC’s thematic evaluations are conducted on current topics related to the entire education system and ECEC and on the operation of ECEC providers, education and training providers and higher education institutions. Thematic evaluations may focus on the state of education and teaching, the functioning of the entire education system or the operation and outcomes of a specific level of education.

Evaluations of quality and quality management

Evaluations of quality management focus on how organisations in education and ECEC maintain and enhance the quality of their activities. FINEEC’s evaluations of quality management are aimed at supporting the providers of education and ECEC and higher education institutions in the achievement of objectives and in the continuous improvement of activities

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.