Lessons from Finland: What Other Countries Can Learn

The Finnish education system

Lessons from Finland: What Other Countries Can Learn

Finland, a small Nordic country in Northern Europe, has garnered international attention for its remarkable education system. Over the years, it has consistently ranked at or near the top of global education rankings, such as the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). What makes Finland’s education system so unique, and what lessons can other countries draw from its success? In this blog, we will delve into the key aspects of Finland’s education system and discuss what other nations can learn from it.

Equal Access to Quality Education

One of the most significant lessons from Finland is its commitment to providing equal access to quality education for all students. Finland offers free education, including college and university, to all its citizens and residents. This commitment to equitable access ensures that socio-economic status does not dictate a child’s educational opportunities. Other countries can learn from this by investing in public education and prioritizing equal access to quality schooling.

Teacher Training and Professionalism

Finnish teachers are highly trained professionals who are required to hold a master’s degree in education. The rigorous selection process for teacher education programs ensures that only the most qualified candidates become educators. Additionally, teaching is a respected and well-compensated profession in Finland. Countries around the world can learn from Finland’s emphasis on teacher training, professionalism, and adequate compensation to attract and retain top talent in education.

Student-Centric Learning

The Finnish education system places a strong emphasis on student-centric learning. Students are encouraged to explore topics that interest them, and there is less standardized testing and homework than in many other countries. This approach fosters a love for learning and helps students develop critical thinking skills. Other nations can take inspiration from this and strive to create environments that prioritize students’ holistic development and curiosity.

Reduced Standardized Testing

Unlike many countries, Finland does not rely heavily on standardized testing. Instead, it focuses on continuous assessment and evaluation by teachers. This approach reduces stress on students and allows teachers to tailor their instruction to individual student needs. Countries with an excessive focus on standardized testing can learn from Finland’s approach to create a less stressful and more effective learning environment.

Shorter School Days and Less Homework

Finnish students enjoy shorter school days and less homework compared to their counterparts in many other countries. This approach prioritizes a healthy work-life balance and gives students time for extracurricular activities, hobbies, and family life. Other nations can consider adjusting their school schedules to prioritize student well-being and overall development.

Support for Students with Special Needs

Finland places a strong emphasis on supporting students with special needs. Inclusion is a core principle of its education system, and students with disabilities are provided with the necessary resources and support to succeed in mainstream classrooms. This inclusive approach sets an example for other countries to ensure that all students receive the support they need to thrive in education.

Trust in Teachers

Finland’s education system trusts teachers to make decisions about curriculum and assessment. Teachers have autonomy in the classroom, which allows them to adapt their teaching methods to best meet their students’ needs. Trusting and respecting teachers as professionals is a lesson that can benefit education systems worldwide.

Focus on Well-Being and Mental Health

Finland recognizes the importance of student well-being and mental health. Schools in Finland prioritize creating a supportive and positive learning environment that addresses the emotional and psychological needs of students. Other countries can learn from this approach and invest in mental health support for students to ensure their overall well-being.

Collaboration over Competition

Unlike some education systems that emphasize competition between schools and students, Finland promotes collaboration. Schools in Finland share resources and best practices, reducing disparities between schools and ensuring that all students have access to quality education. This collaborative approach can inspire other nations to prioritize cooperation over competition.

Parental Involvement and Support

Finnish parents are actively involved in their children’s education, but they are not burdened with excessive homework monitoring. The education system trusts parents to support their children’s learning journey without micromanaging their involvement. This balance between parental support and independence can serve as a valuable lesson for other countries.


Finland’s education system offers a wealth of valuable lessons for other countries looking to improve their own systems. From equal access to quality education and teacher professionalism to student-centric learning and a focus on well-being, Finland’s approach to education prioritizes the holistic development of students. By studying and adapting these principles, nations around the world can work towards creating more equitable, effective, and student-centered education systems for the benefit of their future generations.

If you’d like to explore more about Finland’s education system and its principles, you contact Finland Education Hub.

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