Our fourth meeting was about the education systems. We met this time, how appropriate, at the university.
My expectations were that the Finnish and Dutch education system are pretty similar, but that was not the case. It’s totally different from each other.
The Finnish school system starts at age 6. Kids will start preschool. At age 7, kids will go to basic education. The basic educations has 9, sometimes 10 years. The 10th year is for those who need a little bit more time and for those who can’t decide what to do next. Most pupils are around 15 or 16 when they finish basic education.
After basic education, pupils can choose between Upper secondary school and Vocational school.
Upper secondary school
This is kind of similar to high school. This will take 3 years, and this is particularly theoretical education. Pupils will get different kinds of subjects and after Upper secondary school, Pupils can to vocational school, university of applied sciences or university.
Vocational school is a school for pupils who already kind of know what they want to become. This is particularly practical education, you can study for cook for example. This will take 3 years and after vocational school, pupils can look for a job and gain work experience, do another vocational qualification, go to university of applied sciences or go to university.
University of applied sciences
Most pupils are around 18 or 19 years old when they finish upper secondary school or vocational school. One of their options is going to the university of applied sciences. This will take 4 years and after finishing the university of applied sciences, you will get a Bachelor’s degree. With a Bachelor degree and work experience, it’s possible to go for a Master’s degree.
The other option is going to the university. This will take 5 years. After the 3rd year, students will have their Bachelor degree. After the 5th year the students will get their Master’s degree. After getting a Master’s degree it’s possible to get a licentiate and a doctor’s degree.
A fun fact about the school system in Finland are the graduation caps. After graduating Upper secondary school, Finnish students will get a graduation cap.
Like I already said before, the Finnish education system differs a lot from the Dutch system. In the Netherlands, children will start school when they are 4 years old. They will start high school when they are about 12 years old.
Another really big difference between the systems is the fact that in the Netherlands, after elementary school, pupils will get classified on level. The level decides to what school they will go after high school.
It was really interesting to see the 2 education systems next to each other and it was also interesting that the systems differ a lot from each other. After seeing them next to each other I can’t say which system I think it’s better, because they both got their pro’s and con’s.