Services for families
Finnish basic education has consistently achieved the top ranking in international comparisons in the last few years. Finland was among the highest-performing countries on the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment science scale in one of the latest surveys.
Finland appreciates and invests in education. A proper basic education prepares children for higher education. 35% of over-15 year olds in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area hold an academic degree.
Day care centres and free education
Helsinki offers a wide selection of public and private day care centres for small children. Day care is provided both in Finnish and in Swedish, and also in English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic and Russian.
Schools in Helsinki provide multicultural education, with students in public schools enjoying free education. Teaching is offered in about 40 languages. Schoolbooks etc. are provided free in every public school, and also in many private schools, though a small number of specialised private schools may have enrolment and term fees.
The primary schools run by the City of Helsinki offer education in Finnish and Swedish, with an additional nine schools conducting lessons in a foreign language. Some of these schools specialise in certain subjects, such as mathematics and science, foreign languages, handicraft and art.
Furthermore, there are two English language upper secondary schools. The Finnish state matriculation exam is usually taken by pupils after three years of studies, with applicants for foreign language upper secondary schools also required to sit for a language test.
Comprehensive education in Helsinki (City of Helsinki)