General and vocational education following basic education

General and vocational education

“What I’m going to be when I grow up?”

After compulsory basic education school-leavers opt for general or vocational upper secondary education. Both general and vocational upper secondary education take usually three years and give eligibility for higher education. The selection of students for upper secondary school is based on their success in the basic education certificate. Entrance and aptitude tests may also be used. You can read more about upper secondary education and training for the page of Finnish National agency for education.

Vocational upper secondary education

Vocational education and training is popular in Finland, more than 40 per cent of the relevant age group starts vocational upper secondary studies immediately after basic education. The majority of young learners complete their upper secondary vocational qualifications at vocational institutions. Competence-based qualifications are usually completed by adults.

The most popular fields are:

  • technology
  • communications
  • transport
  • social services
  • health and
  • sports

You can familiarise yourself with the vocational upper secondary education in Joensuu on our page called Riveria.

General upper secondary education in Joensuu

  • 5 institutions
  • Over 1600 students
  • Also General upper secondary education for adults
  • Every institution has their own curriculum which is based on the national curriculum of general upper secondary education

The Matriculation examination – Finland’s only national examination

  • The Finnish education system has only one national examination: The Matriculation examination.
  • The examination is taken at the end of upper secondary studies.
  • The examination grades and entrance tests serve as admission criteria for a majority of further education.

General upper secondary education institutes

Inspiring examples of our learning institutions and special study routes

Joensuu Communal Upper Secondary School

  • A fascinating school of today with long traditions: The school celebrated its 110th anniversary in year 2017.
  • Joensuu Communal Upper Secondary School is the largest full-time upper secondary school in North Karelia.
  • The school has modern facilities and learning environments. It is run in interesting architectural fusion building. The old building is designed in 1912 and the new building completed in 2015.
  • In addition to its modern classrooms, the school also boasts: a cafeteria hall (Masuuni), with such features as a disco ball, coloured lights and state-of-the-art audio-visual technology; an outstanding, fully-equipped art studio; after-school practice facilities for bands; a brand new gymnasium; a media centre; a student lounge, with PS4 games, virtual reality and drone systems; a fountain; an amphitheatre-like atrium and game areas; and a variety of small group rooms.
  • All instruction and social areas are equipped with the latest technologies and pupils are actively involved in various virtual environments, taking full advantage of state-of-the-art mobile technology, among other things.
  • Electronic matriculation examinations were taken into consideration during construction of the school.

Special study routes:

  • The athlete emphasised programme in co-operation with Sports Academy
  • The art emphasised programme

The Lyseo Upper Secondary School

  • Traditional environment: Founded in 1865, the Lyseo is Finland’s second-oldest Finnish-speaking secondary school.
  • The Lyseo focuses on the following areas:
    • 1) Society and internationality;
    • 2) Natural sciences and technology;
    • 3) Media and culture.
  • Special educational tasks: International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme in English.
  • In order to meet the requirements of the IB Programme, the physical environment boasts a well-equipped chemistry laboratory, fully-equipped science classrooms and a school library with more resources than normal.
  • Technical structure facilitating digital learning and electronic examinations in all classrooms.
  • As a pedagogical learning environment, a highly participative culture and active student association.
  • In 2006, the Finnish National Agency for Education named Joensuun lyseo the most active upper secondary school in Finland.
  • Read more

The Finnish-Russian School of Eastern Finland

  • The private Finnish-Russian School of Eastern Finland is the only international language school outside of the capital area.
  • Offers bilingual education from pre-school education until the end of upper secondary school education.
  • Both languages are taught as a mother tongue.
  • The school is intended for Finnish children who want to learn Russian, but also for immigrant children whose mother tongue is Russian and who speak Finnish as a second language.
  • Entrepreneurial education is one of the school’s focus areas.
  • The school has created one-to-one mobile learning environments over a period of several years.

Normaalikoulu Upper Secondary School in Joensuu

  • A university school that also performs as a teacher training school
  • About 360 students
  • A modern, hi-tech learning environment
  • A wide range of elective courses, particularly in science and mathematics. Also various of foreign languages are offered, including Russian, German, French, Spanish and Chinese.
  • School’s core values are responsibility, respect, tolerance and a strong sense of community.

Read more