Development of general upper secondary education

This page outlines the development plans and programmes currently in place for general upper secondary education.

Reform of general upper secondary education

In its mid-term review in spring 2017, the Government decided to reform general upper secondary education in Finland. The reform includes both a reform of the Act on General Upper Secondary Education and a functional reform of general upper secondary studies. The reform is being planned and prepared by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Finnish National Agency for Education together with a wide array of stakeholders and experts. Studies, experiments and projects carried out earlier to reform general upper secondary education are utilised in the preparation. A government proposal for a new Act on General Upper Secondary Education will be submitted to Parliament in spring 2018.

New Upper Secondary School - Dare to Try

The Ministry of Education and Culture is working in cooperation with the Finnish National Agency for Education to carry out the New Upper Secondary School - Dare to Try development programme. The aim is to renew general upper secondary education so it can respond to future social developments, new knowledge and skills requirements as well as the challenges set by further education and working life. The programme consists of a trial on lesson hour distribution and the activities of the General Upper Secondary School Development Network. Both projects were launched on 1 August 2016. The Ministry of Education and Culture is responsible for the lesson hour distribution trial and the Finnish Nation Agency for Education for the activities of the General Upper Secondary School Development Network.

Lesson hour distribution trial

On 1 August 2016, the Ministry of Education and Culture launched a trial on the distribution of lesson hours. The purpose is to see if students might benefit from a higher number of optional lesson hours and how it would work. During the trial, the statutory range of lessons that education provider must provide will not change from the existing one, as provided in Section 9 of the Government Decree on Lesson Hour Distribution, enacted in 2014.

The Ministry is responsible for the trial and also selected the education providers that would be given a trial licence among those that submitted an application. The trial will be implemented based on the statutory range of lessons that each education provider is obliged to provide, as referred to in the Government Decree on Lesson Hour Distribution, and on the trial programme approved by the Finnish National Agency for Education.  Optional studies are generally in the humanities and natural sciences.

The objective of the lesson hour distribution trial is to

  • gain experiences on how well a distribution of lesson hours that includes more optional lessons and has more personalised study choices works;
  • gain information on the link between national objectives for education and the lesson hour distribution;
  • produce information on the lesson hour distribution in general upper secondary schools for development purposes;
  • see what effect the trial has on the general education competencies, knowledge and skills of students;
  • see how it impacts the status of teaching staff;
  • see how it affects educational institutions of different sizes;
  • see how it works in different languages of instruction;
  • see how it affects which subjects students choose for their matriculation examination tests and how well they succeed in them.

General Upper Secondary School Development Network

As part of the New General Upper Secondary School - Dare to Try programme, the Finnish National Agency for Education launched the General Upper Secondary School Development Network as a separate project. The objective of the network is to develop and renew the pedagogy, study environment and operating culture in general upper secondary schools.

Reform of general upper secondary education

Reform of general upper secondary education

Reform to increase the attraction of general upper secondary education. The reform includes both a reform of the Act on General Upper Secondary Education and a functional reform of general upper secondary studies.

Reform of general upper secondary education

Contact information

Heikki Blom, Opetusneuvos 
OKM, Lukiouudistuksen yksikkö 0295330074   forename.surname@minedu.fi