Expatriate Finns are interested in a variety of opportunities for remote studies in Finland. There are plenty of alternatives available, but it’s not always easy to find information about them.

During the pandemic, many of us have made a huge digital leap. People have learned to use the internet and various online platforms as part of remote work throughout the world. Remote studies have also become mainstream over the past year and a half.

Finland has long developed flexible study solutions which take into account individual needs. Especially adult high school education (so called evening high schools) launched as early as the late 1960s and early 1970s feature such as ungraded and course-based studies as well as periodical schedules. In addition, procedures crediting previous studies, a rolling application system, subject studies, cooperation between different degrees as well as remote and online instruction provide examples of innovations developed in adult high schools during the past decades.

Remote high school, degree or subject students

While about 100 Finnish high schools offer remote classes, adult high schools provide the most extensive and versatile course selection. At the moment there are 21 adult high schools along with a few more high school adult study programs.

Adult high schools have about 7,500 degree students (completing the whole high school syllabus) and over 20,000 subject students (such as combination degree students, those seeking to improve their matriculation exam scores and those studying individual subjects).

For many people, adult high schools provide a new opportunity: in some schools nearly half of those starting high school studies have previously studied at youth high schools or vocational institutions. Subject students often enroll in adult high schools to improve their working life skills and matriculation exam scores, complement vocational or university studies, integrate in the Finnish society through S2 studies, or just to continue their education as lifelong learners.

Remote high-school studies also outside Finland

Adult high schools and programs are also an excellent way to attend high school outside Finland. An essential part of their operating culture is flexibility, whether it is a matter of teaching arrangements, ways to study or student guidance. Adult high schools and programs provide an opportunity for tailored studies, allowing all students to choose which style of study suits them best. Flexible study programs make is possible to proceed at your own pace and to graduate quickly if necessary.

Adult high schools have developed forms of remote and online studies that have proved successful. During the past few years, these have included efficient forms of support and digital guidance needed for efficient learning online.

“At your own pace” studies, separated from modular studies, are offered by the Eira High School for Adults, for instance. These studies are well suited for remote students, as it is possible to start all study units at any time during the school year.

Students define the right pace for themselves

A course is completed after a student has finished all the required online exercises correctly. The Moodle platform is used for many courses. Students may determine the study pace to suit their own abilities and situation, which allows them to work on the side of their studies, for instance.

Students can attend “own pace” courses together with others or by themselves. Teacher support is continuously available, while its implementation varies. Practices connected to assessment and possible exam weeks also differ somewhat from one school to another. You will therefore get the best description of the courses and how to attend them by contacting the high school directly.

The network of schools arranging adult high school education is already able to meet some of the challenges connected with the availability of high school instruction in Finland, both regionally and nationally. Digital learning environments and solutions will certainly develop significantly as online studies are becoming an increasingly important part of high school studies and support the present ways of learning and studies. This development will also benefit expatriate Finnish students.

Links to sources of information: www.opintopolku.fi and www.aikuislukiot.fi

Text: Satu Paasilehto, Government Counsellor, Ministry of Culture and Education
Published: Suomen Silta/Finland Bridge 4/2021