Education evaluation results to be published in winter 2023–2024

Release Vocational education Pre-primary and basic education Higher education General upper secondary education Early childhood education and care

The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) will publish several sets of topical evaluation results in winter 2023–2024. The themes of these publications include comprehensive school students’ learning outcomes, new forms of student counselling introduced as compulsory education was extended, and the competence produced by vocational education and training in relation to the requirements of studies at universities of applied sciences.

This press release contains advance information about evaluation results that will be published between November 2023 and January 2024. The purpose of this summary is to promote better use of evaluation evidence. The next summary of future releases of evaluation results will be published in early 2024.

Publications that concern several levels of education 

Evaluation of the new forms of student counselling (OHJA) 2022–2024, interim report

The evaluation focuses on new or enhanced forms of student counselling brought about by the extension of compulsory education. It covers the continuum of student counselling related to the extension of compulsory education from basic education up to guidance counselling provided for students who have completed an upper secondary qualification. The evaluation covers basic education, basic education for adults, preparatory education, liberal adult education, VET and general upper secondary education.

The first-stage report published this autumn examines particularly the realisation and effectiveness of guidance counselling as a whole and its new forms. The evaluation focuses on the adequacy of guidance counselling, identification of guidance needs, impact of resources on the delivery of guidance counselling, and the effectiveness of cooperation associated with guidance counselling in schools and educational institutions. The evaluation results concern the views of personnel and student groups in basic and secondary level education as well as liberal adult education on the organisation and delivery of student counselling.

The interim report was published on 16 November. 

Further information: 

Evaluation of education programmes in early childhood education and care

The evaluation of education in the early childhood education sector is timely as major changes have occurred in the steering system. The evaluation examines education programmes in early childhood education and care provided by universities, universities of applied sciences, vocational education and training providers and Snellman University College from the perspective of the each programme’s objectives.

The evaluation produces information about needs to develop the contents of education programmes providing eligibility for teaching, management, education and care positions in early childhood education and care. The evaluation will also investigate whether the quality of the education provided for early childhood education and care teachers and other personnel is consistent at the regional level.

The publication event of the evaluation will be held on 16 January 2024. 

Further information: 

Basic education 

Assessment of grade 9 students’ learning outcomes in mathematics

The assessment of grade 9 students’ learning outcomes in mathematics was conducted in spring 2021, and in total, approx. 12,500 grade 9 students both at Finnish-speaking and Swedish-speaking schools participated in it. 

The purpose of the assessment was to produce information on the achievement of the objectives set in the National Core Curriculum for Basic Education (POPS 2014) at the final stage of comprehensive school and to establish how national equality is realised between schools, genders, geographical areas and language groups. An effort was also made to determine which background factors affect the learning outcomes and how knowledge and skills have changed since 1998, the year in which the first assessment of learning outcomes in mathematics was conducted.

The initial findings of the assessment were published in December 2021. After this, more detailed analyses were conducted, among other things of the link of the learning environment and the student's background factors, including attitudes and emotions, to learning outcomes. 

The latest reports will be published in December 2023.

Further information: 

Data collection on worldview subjects

The diversity of worldview subjects at schools keeps increasing. To support the Finnish National Agency for Education's development group, FINEEC collected data on the numbers of students taking different worldview subjects in basic education as well as the status of the teaching and teachers' views. 

The report on the findings concerning studies of worldview subjects will be published in late 2023.

Further information: 

General upper secondary education 

Intermediate report – progress of the curriculum reform during the first two academic years

FINEEC’s evaluation of the general upper secondary school reform (LOPS 2019) monitors the stages of the reform in 2022–2024. In spring 2023, we published a report focusing on the implementation of the general upper secondary school reform. This publication examines the progress of the curriculum reform and the realisation of its key aspects at the end of the second academic year. 

The report was published in mid-November in Finnish and in Swedish. 

Further information: 

Special needs education and other support for learning in general upper secondary education – findings of the evaluation focusing on the curriculum reform

FINEEC’s evaluation of the general upper secondary school reform monitors the stages of the reform in 2022–2024. This report evaluates the achievement of the objectives of special needs education and other learning support at the end of the academic year 2022–2023, at which time the National Core Curriculum for General Upper Secondary Schools (LOPS 2019) had been followed for two academic years. The evaluation looks at the status, delivery and practices of special needs education from the perspective of special needs teachers in general upper secondary education. In addition, special needs teachers and principals of general upper secondary schools reflect on factors that promote and hinder the delivery of special needs education and other learning support.

The report will be published in January or February. 

Further information: 

Vocational education and training

Competence provided by vocational education and training in relation to the requirements of studies at universities of applied sciences

In the work on the Vision for higher education and research in 2030 and the Education Policy Report, the target was set at increasing the share of young adults with a higher education degree to 50% of the cohort. The evaluation examines how the competence of students who have completed vocational education and training meets the requirements of studies at universities of applied sciences. It also asks how VET providers support the development of students' capabilities for further studies and how universities of applied sciences support their students with a vocational qualification in their studies. Factors in the backdrop of the evaluation also include changes in the admission procedures of universities of applied sciences and the wider use of vocational qualification certificates in student admissions.

The initial evaluation findings were published in October 2023. The final evaluation report will be published in a webinar on 25 January 2024.

Further information:

Higher education

Audits of higher education institutions

The purpose of the audit is

  • to evaluate whether the quality work at the higher education institution corresponds to the European principles for quality assurance,
  • to evaluate whether the quality management system produces information that is appropriate for strategy implementation and the continuous development of activities, and whether it leads to effective development measures,
  • to encourage internationalisation, experiments and a creative atmosphere in higher education institutions, and
  • to compile open and transparent information about the quality work of Finnish higher education institutions.

The audit covers the mission of higher education institutions, or education, research and societal interaction. The possibility given by the audit model for higher education institutions to select one of the evaluation areas supports their development. The audit also covers a benchlearning method.

Audit of the University of Ljubljana

The theme selected by the University of Ljubljana as its optional evaluation area is QA of the Joint Educational Offer. The benchlearning partner selected by the university is the EUTOPIA network, and the benchlearning target is QA of the Joint Educational Offer.

The audit report will be published on 26 January 2024.

Further information:

Arcada University of Applied Sciences 

The optional evaluation area chosen by Arcada University of Applied Sciences is Management and guidance of RDI processes.  Arcada’s benchlearning partner is Høyskolen Kristiania, and the benchlearning target is RDI development.

The audit report will be published on 26 January 2024.

Further information: