VET and HRD research in European countries > Overview 

Finland  []  Summary

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During the last few years, the assessment results of education have brought up a few problems which have also been intervened with extensive development projects. These projects have often included those that deal with the whole educational system, especially the student guidance development project and the Diverse Learners Common School Project, which aims to overcome the differences in learning achievementsbetween men and women. 

Also extensive educational reforms have been promoted by conducting research. The most essential educational reforms include studies that deal with learning at work and its evidence. The Life as learning research programme (LEARN) aims to produce new evidence in support of education policy measures and also of the joint objectives of education and labour policies. An essential study regarding EUprojects has been the national evaluation of the Leonardo programme.

Lately the most important themes in national VET research have been studies on vocational education reforms and research projects on exclusion.

Research mainly takes place at universities and within university research organisations. Key research organisations include: Research Unit for the Sociology of Education, Work Research Centre, University of Tampere, Research Centre for Vocational Education, Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä.

VET/ HRD research has mainly been conducted in Finnish universities. The research costs are covered by both university finance and other financial bodies, in particular the Academy of Finland, the National Technology Agency and the Ministry of Education.
FERA is an important national network in this field. Among other things, FERA publishes a magazine called Kasvatus. Another network is OKKA-säätiö; a foundation which, for example, publishes a journal on professional pedagogics.

VET/HRD research in Finland is very versatile, both in the fields of basic and applied research. Research projects that are strongly linked to political education reforms or reform projects have a huge impact. The results of these studies are monitored and taken into account in decision making processes.

In the future, research needs to be concentrated on, for example, the quality of VET, the efficiency of VET institution networks, the appreciation of VET and the prevention of underachievement and drop out.

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Source: Cedefop - National Research Report Finland (details see Bibliography)
Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO