Students at the Helsinki University library. LEHTIKUVA


The Vice-Rectors for Education of the Rectors' Council of Finnish Universities (UNIFI) have presented a proposal for a new scoring model for certificate-based admission to universities. The aim is to ease the pressures on general upper secondary students and allow them to focus on subjects that interest them. The new scoring model is expected to be implemented from 2026 onwards, with universities making their decisions and announcing them in autumn 2023.

The proposed scoring model takes into account the importance of the native language in all university studies and assigns more points to it than the current system. Differences in scoring between humanities and natural sciences subjects have been reduced, while languages will receive higher scores. These changes aim to provide general upper secondary students with better opportunities to select subjects for the matriculation examination according to their preferences.

Mathematics will continue to carry significant weight in the scoring model across all fields of study because studying mathematics enhances problem-solving and other skills necessary for university studies. However, the weighting of mathematics syllabuses will depend on the relevance of advanced mathematics for each specific field.

"Starting from 2026, the scoring for certificate-based admission will be more closely aligned with the proficiency demonstrated in general upper secondary subjects relevant to the field of study. At the same time, it is acknowledged that interdisciplinary proficiency is valuable in many fields," says Marja-Leena Laakso, Chair of the meetings of Vice-Rectors for Education at UNIFI.

The new scoring model takes into account feedback from general upper secondary schools, addressing their concerns and aiming to alleviate pressure on students while allowing them to pursue subjects that interest them.

The draft scoring model for certificate-based admission underwent a public consultation period from March 31 to April 21, 2023, where it received feedback from universities and key stakeholders. The comments and suggestions were carefully considered, and the final proposal incorporates the most important recommendations.

Representatives of Finland's guidance counsellors, principals of general upper secondary schools, and general upper secondary students were particularly pleased with the fact that the new scoring model would reduce the burden on students and enable them to focus on subjects of interest.

After reviewing the comments, approximately 50 proposals for minor changes were considered. The changes were evaluated based on the level of support from universities and stakeholders and the impact they would have on the overall scoring system, especially from the perspective of applicants.

The new scoring model for certificate-based admission will be published on the website in autumn 2023. This will allow young people starting their general upper secondary studies to understand how their matriculation examination certificates will be scored. Until 2025, matriculation examination certificates will continue to be scored according to the current system.