In which Josh get’s more in depth in to the core problems with Higher Education.
As it turns out, this is our next english assignment. (Lucky me).
I wanted to write about a specific example of higher education. More specifically, higher education in Finland. As many people know, higher education in Europe is drastically different than anything we have here. Although there are several reasons why you may be able argue the down side of their school system, I personally think that Finland and all the other European countries are doing something right.
The gist of the Finnish Education system is that there is no tuition fee along with fully subsidised meals served to students who are full time. The availability of education isn’t even just at the level Universities. Free education is provided starting at an incredibly young age. The present day finnish school system provides a daycare program, nine year comprehensive school and post-compulsory secondary general academic and vocational education, higher education at a Uni and finally lifelong adult education. The interesting thing about the Finnish education policy is that they do not select, track, or stream students during early education at a common basic level. All levels of the education is publically funded.
The Nordic strategy for achieving equality and excellence in education has been based on constructing a publicly funded comprehensive school system without selecting, tracking, or streaming students during their common basic education. Part of the strategy has been to spread the school network so that pupils have a school near their homes whenever possible or, if this is not feasible, e.g. in rural areas, to provide free transportation to more widely dispersed schools. Inclusive special education within the classroom and instructional efforts to minimize low achievement are also typical of Nordic educational systems.
After their nine-year basic education in a comprehensive school, students at the age of 16 may choose to continue their secondary education in either an academic track (lukio) or a vocational track (ammattikoulu), both of which usually take three years. Tertiary education is divided into university and university of applied sciences (ammattikorkeakoulu, formerly known as polytechnic) systems. Universities award licentiate– and doctoral-level degrees. Formerly, only university graduates could obtain higher (postgraduate) degrees, however, since the implementation of the Bologna process, all bachelor degree holders can now qualify for further academic studies. There are 17 universities and 27 universities of applied sciences in the country.
The Education Index, published with the UN‘s Human Development Index in 2008, based on data from 2006, lists Finland as 0.993, amongst the highest in the world, tied for first with Denmark, Australia and New Zealand. The Finnish Ministry of Education attributes its success to “the education system (uniform basic education for the whole age group), highly competent teachers, and the autonomy given to schools.”
According to the latest PISA assessment 2012, Finland does not have the best education system in the world anymore, ranked 12th with a score of 519 barely passing Canada (518), Poland (518) and Belgium (515). Finnish Ministry is determined to seek non-Finnish experts to fix the current situation