Compulsory education

Compulsory education was extended to cover all under-18-year-olds, and in the future, compulsory education will end when a young person has their 18th birthday, or when they have completed an upper secondary education degree (matriculation examination or vocational degree before their 18th birthday. The aim of the reform is that more young people finish upper secondary education degree.

Those who finish the 9th grade in spring 2022 are the second age group to which compulsory education applies also after basic education.

Rights and obligations of the young and the guardians

Extended compulsory education will bring new obligations to the young and their guardians. In the future, young people ending basic education are obliged to apply for upper secondary education in the joint application. Students finishing basic education have basically the same options of choosing their education as before, and they can apply for the education of their choice in the joint application.

Study materials will primarily remain free of charge until a student in upper secondary education, subject to compulsory education, has their 20th birthday. Students are given free-of-charge tools and materials necessary for their degree, for example, textbooks, tools, and matriculation examinations. However, education focusing on special subjects may incur costs for the students.

The guardians shall supervise their children’s performance of compulsory education. In practice, this means that the guardians shall monitor the progress of the students’ studies, while accounting for the students’ age group. If a young person remains without a study place, the guardian, the young person in question, and the municipal employees shall together search for a suitable study place for the young person.