The Helsinki Department of Education and Culture is proposing new measures to provide flexibility in applying to high schools (lukio) in Helsinki. According to the press release, high school admissions would be open year-round for both Finnish and Swedish-language schools. The proposed changes would be discussed in the upcoming meeting of the Finnish-language division on May 16, 2023.
The new way of applying to high schools is expected to serve the needs of young people in various life situations while making it easier for high schools to manage their admissions. Students would be able to apply for high school four times a year through the opintopolku.fi online application service and via each school's own application system. High schools that require an entrance exam or aptitude test would not have to offer places in the autumn, winter, or summer rounds of applications because these tests are generally held only in the spring.
Tarja Aro-Kuuskoski, Acting Head of High School Education, said that "continuous applications to high schools will provide more opportunities to apply throughout the year and allow for flexibility in high school education. Continuous applications have been used for vocational education for a long time."
The proposal for continuous admissions to high school will benefit young people in several life situations, including those who are moving to Helsinki or those who have completed preparatory studies (TUVA) and whose readiness for high school has increased so much that they do not need to wait for the next academic year to apply.
Helsinki Adult Education Centre will be renamed Konepajan lukio ja aikuislukio, as it prepares to launch a new program for young students, who will be able to attend high school from 1 August 2024. The youth program will follow the curriculum of regular high schools, and 200 places will be available for admission starting from the 2024 joint application process.
The plan is for the adult education centre to merge with the new high school that will be established. The high school will have both young and adult students, with approximately 200 16-year-old students starting the youth program in August 2024. The high school is expected to have about 600 compulsory school-age students by 2026. In addition, the adult education centre currently offers vocational high school education and basic education for adults. The high school will be located in the immediate vicinity of the historic Vallila machine workshop buildings, in the former administrative offices of the Education and Culture Department. The department's administration will move to the Kalasatama urban environment offices during the spring and summer of 2023.
The new high school and adult education centre will strengthen multidisciplinary expertise and cooperation with working life and higher education institutions, allowing students to be better prepared for further studies and working life, and easing transitions. The department aims to provide a supportive learning environment that fosters learning and student success.