Progress of studies 

Updated: 17.3.2017 - Next update: 17.3.2018

Qualifications were completed faster

According to Statistics Finland’s education statistics, completion of university education accelerated. In all, 56 per cent of the students having started university education completed their studies in five-and-a-half years, 33 per cent completed lower university level degrees and 23 per cent higher university degrees. The pass rates of university of applied sciences and upper secondary vocational education also improved in 2015.

Statistics Finland / Progress of studies

Description of indicator

The indicator describes how new entrants to university education progress in their studies up to the attainment of a qualification or degree. The statistics contain data on started education, duration of education, change of education, and on what students have done if they have discontinued education. Data on the progress of university studies have been produced at intervals of a fixed number of years since the 1980s and the 1990s.

For the development of society and the vitality of working life, it is important that students receive support to complete their studies and, after graduation, to make as natural and flexible a transition into work as possible. In order to function, society needs an extensive working population, because the level of the employment rate has a direct impact on the balance of public finances and the stability of the economic dependency ratio. Problems are accentuated as the population ages.

The progress and possible prolongation of studies are influenced by social and financial factors as well as future employment prospects. With respect to employment, it is important that students receive work experience during their studies and have opportunities to work alongside their studies. At the same time, however, society must be able to safeguard students’ livelihood by supporting them with financial and other social benefits. In addition, the public sector must bring studying and working life closer together through labour and social policy measures.

Modern society has changed considerably in the last few decades, and this is reflected in the ever-changing demands of working life and its increasingly complex structure. Fewer and fewer people are graduating for one specific job, and this presents challenges for acquiring the right education and expertise as well as the workplace skills suitable for the jobs available. The diversity of employment opportunities and the clarity of study paths have a key influence on the quality and progress of studies. The tightening of links between education and work should be seen in a wider context in which economic fluctuations in the labour market and their relationship with educational and research structures are taken into account.