Other online sources

The Finnish National Board of Education has issued guidelines to Finnish institutions of education for preparing the Diploma Supplement. These guidelines also include a description of the national education system in English.

Read more on NBE's Europass site

Finnish education system

Bologna links

Evaluation of the Bologna Process Implementation in Finland (pdf)
The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council

Bologna Follow-up Seminar on 3rd Cycle Degrees: Competences and Researcher Career – seminar report (pdf)

Strategy for the Internationalisation of Higher Education Institutions in Finland 2009–2015

ECTS and Diploma Supplement labels

Institutions of higher education may apply for ECTS and DS labels, which show that they comply with the requirements of the systems and that they are a reliable partner.

The labels are awarded by the European Commission for a period of 3 years at a time.

List of Finnish institutions of higher education with an ECTS or a DS label

National qualifications framework, Finland

The working group of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture submitted in 2009 its proposal on the national qualifications framework and other learning.

Read more on the national qualifications framework

Lifelong Learning Programme

Objectives of the Bologna Process and Finland


What has Finland done?

Comparable and easily readable degree structures and a coherent system of credits

Finnish higher education introduced qualifications compatible with the Bologna Process in 2005.

The European Credit Transfer SystemECTS was introduced. This system is based on the assessment of student workloads, core content analysis of the curricula and clearly defined learning outcomes, which aim at a more student-led teaching approach.

All students in Finnish higher education automatically receive a Diploma Supplement in English on graduation.

Promotion of mobility and the European dimension in higher education

The aim is to make mobility possible for all student and staff groups.

As in other European countries, mobility is promoted by

  • grants (as in the Erasmus programme)
  • making use of the ECTS system in the recognition of studies
  • awarding exchange students and trainees a Europass Mobility document
  • simplifying formalities and bureaucratic structures for international students and staff.

Student financial aid is available for Finnish exchange students and for Finns doing their entire degrees abroad.

Collaboration and student mobility in higher education is also promoted by joint and double degrees. In Finland, a joint degree refers to a programme co-developed and co-managed by several institutions of higher education, leading to a joint degree, double or multiple degree.

Finnish institutions of higher education have shown interest in developing international collaborative degrees, but there are as yet few joint degree programmes as such.

Improving the quality of higher education and quality assurance

The national system in Finland is the auditing of the quality assurance mechanisms of higher education institutions. Each institution decides independently on the goals, structure, working principles and methods of its quality assurance system.

The auditing carried out by The Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council makes an assessment of the practice, comprehensiveness and effectiveness of an institution’s quality assurance mechanism related to the basic mission of the institution. The auditing is based on the notion of enhance-led evaluation, which seeks to help institutions of higher education to recognise their strengths, best practices and challenges.

Lifelong learning and the social dimension of higher education

Finnish legislation provides guidelines to recognising and accrediting prior learning. A higher education institution may credit comparable studies completed in another institution in Finland or abroad toward its own degree. Lifelong learning is also promoted by accrediting prior learning acquired by other means.

The social dimension covers students’ financial support measures (student financial aid in Finland) and various guidance and advisory services. Institutions of higher education shall also make their learning environments more versatile. Student participation is essential, for students are fully-fledged members of the higher education community.