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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.2 Administration and governance

Last update: 28 November 2023
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  1. Cross-sectorial cooperation
  2. Governance

Cross-sectorial cooperation

The Finnish National Agency for Education is managed by the Board, the members of which represent political decision-making, local authorities, teachers and social partners. Cross-sectorial co-operation mechanisms on themes related to education and training are recently being developed also in the frame of the Youth Guarantee. It involves the following ministries: Economic Affairs and Employment; Education and Culture; Social Affairs and Health. More about the Youth Guarantee in Finland, see Youth Wiki/Finland 3.1 General context.

According to the Youth Act, all municipalities must have a coordinating body for the general planning and implementation of co-operation amongst local authorities. These networks must include representatives from education, social, health and youth services, as well as from labour and police administrations (more information about cross-sectorial co-operation in local level, see Youth Wiki/Finland 1.4 Youth Policy decision making and 6.3 Preventing early leaving from education and training (ELET).


As described in the country-description in Eurydice database/Finland 2.6 Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional level: 'The Ministry of Education and Culture is the highest authority and is responsible for all publicly funded education in Finland. The Ministry is responsible for preparing educational legislation, all necessary decisions and its share of the state budget for the Government. It is also responsible for administration in the cultural, ecclesiastical, youth and sports sectors.

The Finnish National Agency for Education works in close co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Culture. It is a national development agency responsible for early childhood education and care, pre-primary and basic education, upper secondary education and training as well as for adult education and training. The activities of the Finnish National Agency for Education include implementing national education policies, preparing the national core curricula and requirements for qualifications, developing education and teaching staff as well as providing services for the education sector and administrative services. In addition, it assists the Ministry of Education and Culture in the preparation of education policy decisions. For instance in the recognition of degrees and international information exchange its responsibilities cover higher education as well. The Governance has been based on the principle of decentralisation since the early 1990s. Education providers are responsible for practical teaching arrangements as well as the effectiveness and quality of the education provided. Local authorities also determine how much autonomy is passed onto schools. For example budget management, acquisitions and recruitment are often the responsibility of the schools.'

The Finnish National Agency for Education is also the main agency for implementing policies in the field of international cooperation in education, training, youth, sports and culture.

Regional State Administrative Agencies (see: the Glossary) are responsible for the regional tasks of the Ministry of Education and Culture in the field of education, day-care, libraries, sports and youth work. These tasks include for example assessing the accessibility of the public services, handling complaints and organising in-service training.