The fact that young people in Finland transition to higher education at a later age than their peers elsewhere in Europe indicates that the entrance examination system is no longer functional, gauges Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture.Sanni Grahn-Laasonen (NCP), the Minister of Education and Culture, is open to the idea of eradicating entrance examinations in higher education.

The Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT) proposed yesterday that the entrance examinations be eradicated and replaced with an admission system based upon performance in the matriculation examination, a centralised application register and a smart algorithm.

“The proposal makes a lot of sense. I am in favour of abolishing the strenuous entrance examinations,” Grahn-Laasonen writes on her website.

VATT argued in its press release that the current system is flawed in that it forces applicants to devise a strategy to balance their true aspirations and the likelihood of admission. It also said the amount of time the applicants are required to invest in preparing for the examinations prevents them from applying to more than one field of study.

The abolition of the examinations would encourage aspiring higher education students to contemplate what they really want to study, according to VATT.

“The conclusions drawn by VATT about our entrance examination system and its inefficiency correspond with those of the Government and support the reforms I have launched in an attempt to expedite the transition to higher education, reduce the number of gap years and better utilise the matriculation examination as part of the entrance examinations,” writes Grahn-Laasonen.

She estimates that the fact that young people in Finland transition to higher education at a later age than their peers elsewhere in Europe suggests the current system is no longer functional.

“On average, young people have to apply more than once to the more popular fields of study and pay for expensive prep courses, which is a problem also from the viewpoint of educational equality. It is difficult for young people to first prepare for the challenging matriculation examination, the results of which are not utilised as widely as possible, and then spend the entire spring preparing for a difficult entrance examination,” says Grahn-Laasonen.

The Government, she reminds, has initiated a spearhead project to support the transition of young people to the working life.

“Higher education institutions are encouraged to revamp their entrance examinations in a direction that measures aptitude and motivation instead of memorised facts,” says Grahn-Laasonen.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Vesa Moilanen – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi