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Need for raising level of education underscored

Published : 11 Nov 2020, 02:09

Updated : 11 Nov 2020, 10:09

  DF Report

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Press Release Photo by Ministry of Education and Culture.

Participants at a webinar on Tuesday viewed that the overall level of education in Finland needs to be raised, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Education and Culture.

In the context of higher education, the aim is to raise the percentage of higher education graduates from the current 41% to 50% of all 25- to 34-year-olds by 2030.

The participants also raised the question whether the Finnish higher education offers equality and non-discrimination to everyone.

The webinar is part of an ongoing work to draw up an accessibility plan for higher education.

The webinar produced useful material for establishing an overall picture of the situation, and it will be used in the forthcoming situation awareness assessment.

Following this, recommendations will be made on the necessary measures. Clear targets that can be measured that can make it easier for underrepresented groups to access education and graduate will also be introduced.

According to Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko, who spoke at the webinar, education is an important institution for generating equality in Finland.

“We are proud in Finland that we have succeeded in creating high-quality education that is free of charge. In principle, there are opportunities for everyone to study. Unfortunately, however, inequalities in education exist in the sense that opportunities to study are not equal for people to study the extent that they actually want to,” said Saarikko.

The speeches held during the webinar focused on how social, regional, and linguistic equality and non-discrimination are realised in higher education, as well as on possible obstacles for different minority groups to apply to higher education institutions.

The question that was posed was whether higher education comes across in a similar way to everyone and whether it is equally accessible to people such as immigrants, those of a foreign background, the Roma, the Saami, learners with special needs, people with disabilities or those who belong to sexual and gender minorities.

“I consider it very important that the policies in education and culture guarantee everyone, regardless of their family background, gender and wealth, equal opportunities and rights to schooling and learning, high-quality education that is free of charge, and the conditions for full citizenship,” the minister added.