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Basic education for immigrants

Students stannd in the corridor of the school. Photo: Olli Häkämies

Basic education for immigrants under 17 years of age

Immigrants and asylum seekers who live in Finland and are of compulsory education age (7–17 years) are entitled to the same basic education as Finns. In basic education, pupils of compulsory education age are placed on the grade level that matches their age, knowledge and skills. Remedial teaching in various subjects should be provided for newcomers.

In some municipalities, pupils of compulsory education age can participate in instruction that prepares them for basic education and lasts for one year. In preparatory instruction groups, pupils study Finnish and key concepts in other subjects. When a pupil has sufficient language skills, they can move to the grade that matches their age and skills.

Please contact your municipality for information about such preparatory instruction.

Early-stage studies in adult basic education for immigrants

Early-stage studies in adult basic education for immigrants correspond to lower comprehensive school for pupils of compulsory education age, or grades 1–6. If you have previously studied in any of the following:

  • integration training for immigrants
  • training for illiterate immigrants and/or
  • instruction preparing immigrants for basic education

and you are not yet ready for basic education studies, you can proceed to early-stage studies for adults. During early-stage studies for adults, you obtain knowledge and skills enabling you to continue you studies in actual adult basic education or other training.

Adult basic education for immigrants

Adult basic education corresponds to studies in grades 7–9 and provides eligibility for general upper secondary education or vocational upper secondary education and training. Every student is provided with an individual study plan takes into account earlier studies or knowledge and skills acquired by other means. The studies last for approximately two years.

In basic education for adults, you can:

  • complete the syllabus in basic education and obtain a basic education certificate
  • study individual subjects in basic education
  • raise the grades in your basic education certificate, and
  • complete early-stage studies in adult basic education, in full or in part.

You can receive basic education for adults if:

  • you did not complete your basic education
  • you need a basic education certificate to continue your studies in secondary education
  • are an adult immigrant and you need a boost in early-stage skills in basic education, such as reading, writing, mathematics and basic knowledge about Finnish society.

Adult comprehensive education at a general upper secondary school for adults or a folk high school

At a general upper secondary schools for adults, you can start comprehensive school studies at any time of the year. Usually students register in May–June or early August or January. You can also start studying at the beginning of each period because, in the form of instruction in a course, the school year is divided into 5–6 periods. The largest general upper secondary schools for adults have a specific comprehensive school line for immigrants.

Basic education at folk high schools usually begins in the autumn.

Read more about folk high schools.