In recent years, the number of foreign-language students in vocational education whose mother tongue is other than Finnish, Swedish or Sámi has increased considerably. Even as enrolment in general upper secondary education has grown, foreign-language students have been choosing vocational education more often.

In school/curriculum-based education (initial vocational education), 8% of new IVET students were foreign language speakers in 2015. The number was 4% in 2010. In preparatory training for competence-based qualifications the number was 11%, a rise from 6% in 2010.  

The fastest growing groups registering in VET are students whose mother tongue is Somali or Thai, while those whose mother tongue is Russian and Estonian remained the largest groups in 2015.

The most popular fields of vocational education for foreign-language students in 2015 were technology, communication and transport, social services, health and sports and social sciences, business and administration, tourism, catering and domestic services. The most popular fields were the same among the students whose mother tongue is Finnish, Swedish or Sámi. 

There is significant gender segregation among students speaking foreign languages in their fields of education: over 80% of students in technology, communication and transport are male, while in social services, health and sports 80% being female. This orientation applies among speakers of Finnish, Swedish and Sámi.

More information: Education Statistics Finland

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