Quality Assurance

Education Evaluation Council

Established in 2003, the EEC is comprised of a body of experts to evaluate all levels of Finland’s education system (UNESCO, 4). This page goes into detail for how higher education is evaluated in Finland. It is important to note that the EEC works in connection to the Ministry of Education and Culture in the interest of Quality Assurance (EEC, 12/11/2013).

Internal Audit system-Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council

Source: http://www.enqa.eu/agencydet.lasso?id=31

Finland has a very comprehensive self-auditing system which encourages higher education institutions (HEI) to be audited in order to boost their reputation.

How does it work?

“In accreditation, the minimum quality criteria are set by a party outside the HEI, and the purpose of the evaluation is to provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer as to whether the minimum quality criteria are met or not,” (FINHEEC, 3). The FINHEEC (who is partnered with the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education,  the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education, and Norden)is in charge of conducting these audits.

The Process

To the right is a detailed description of how the audit process works in higher education Audit Chart JPGinstitutions. You may note that HEI’s apply to be audited in order to receive certification. While each HEI is allowed to create their own methods of Quality Assurance (QA), each HEI must apply to be audited and go through the process outlined in order to be recognized as an institution of quality by the government and subsequently, the people of Finland.

A brief overview of the process is listed below:

1. HEI registration for the audit

2. audit agreement signed between HEI and FINHEEC

3. audit material collected by the HEI

4. preparatory meeting for the audit visit

5. audit group’s visit to the HEI

6. audit report

7. publication of results and feedback discussion. (FINHEEC, 12)

Legal Decrees that Regulate Education

Quality Assurance practices are very centralized in Finland. While each institution is free to create their own version of QA, they must do so abiding by the laws, acts, and decrees detailed below. This system is designed to provide an ‘equal education’ for all.

The information provided in this section is from the World Data on Education 2010/2011 provided by UNESCO. See Works Cited page for more information.


 For evaluation of EducationExamine

 Government Decree on Evaluation of Education No. 150/2003: This  decree led to the creation of the Education Evaluation Council  (UNESCO, 6)


Boy Helping Girl Use Computer


For day-care and home/private education

Act on Children’s Day-care No. 36/1973 Act on Children’s Care at Home and Private Day-care No. 1128/1996


School Kids


For basic compulsory comprehensive education

Basic Education Act No. 628/1998 (Amended in 2010) Basic Education Decree No. 852/1998 Government Decree No. 1435/2001


For upper secondary educationTeenage School Girl

General Upper Secondary Schools Act No. 629/1988 Government Decree No. 810/1998 Decree No. 955/2002


Graduates in Cap and GownFor higher education

Government Decree on University Degrees No. 794 of 2004

University Act No. 558/2009 Government Decree No. 794/2009

                                                         Liberal Adult Education Act No. 632/1998


For Vocational Education and Training (VET)vocational

Vocational Education and Training Act No. 630/1998 (came into effect Jan. 1, 1999)

Government Decree No. 811/1998 : This decree was enacted to create more cooperation between neighboring schools and creating more links between employers and schools.

Government Decree No. 488/2008 Vocational Adult Education Act No. 631/1998


Blue Chemical Dye

For Polytechnics 

   Polytechnics Act No 351 of May 2003 Government Decree No. 352 of    15 May 2003



Cbhild Protection, Rights, and Equity Child Welfare Act No. 417/2007 : “The municipalities must ensure that schools are provided with a psychologist and social worker services,” (UNESCO, 4).

Constitution of Finland 1st of March, 2000 and most recently amended in 2011 states, “…everyone has the right to basic education free of charge… The public authorities shall, as provided in more detail by an Act, guarantee for everyone equal opportunity to receive other educational services in accordance with their ability in accordance with their ability and special needs, as weoo as the opportunity to develop themselves without being prevented by economic hardship (Section 16),” (UNESCO, 5). Equality Act L21/2004; “This act prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, ethnic or national origin, language, religion, beliefs, opinions, health, disability and sexual orientation.” (UNESCO, 5)

 Teacher Training

Teaching ClassDecree on the Qualifications of Educational Staff No. 986/1988 outlines the requirements for those wishing to become teachers. The way credits are measured toward education degrees is in ECTS. One ECTS credit is about 27 hours of work. The process of becoming a teacher consists of obtaining a Bachelor’s in the subject they want to teach and then a Master’s degree at an education training school (Kymen, 4).

  • Bachelor’s 180 ECTS
  • Master’s 120 ECTS
  • TOTAL: 300 ECTS

This puts their total training time to about 8100 hours in order to become a teacher of basic education or upper secondary school education. Different areas such as vocational teaching or university level teaching require different levels of ECTS credits.

Additional Related Sources:

Quality Assurance in Nordic Higher Education

Finnish Higher Education Evaluation Council 

Works Cited PDF