Finland Has One of World’s Top 10 Toughest Education Systems, New Study Reveals

Finland Has One of World’s Top 10 Toughest Education Systems, New Study Reveals


Finland has one of the top ten toughest education systems in the world and, at the same time, one of the most rigorous systems in the European Union, a new study reveals.

According to MastersDegree.netFinland’s ranking amongst the world’s top ten toughest education systems was made after taking into account several factors, including the country’s structure of the education system, tertiary education attainment, and the acceptance rate of the best college, among others.

As the study reveals, the education system in Finland follows a 9-3-3 structure. This comprises a mandatory nine-year primary school education, followed by a three-year period of upper secondary education and a three-year higher education phase, reports.

The toughest exam in Finland is the Finnish Matriculation Examination, which is a nationwide test that is taken upon completion of high school.

Students who pass this exam are permitted to pursue their studies at universities as well as other higher education institutions. Data show that around 30,000 students pass the exam successfully each year.

Its main goal is to see how well students have learned the required knowledge and skills during their high school years and if they’ve matured in line with the goals of their education.

Alongside Finland’s demanding education system, students struggle with elevated stress levels. According to the study, students pursuing their studies in Finland have more mental health issues than other adults in the country.

Around 40 per cent of female students and 28 per cent of male students in Finland have said that they feel depressed or anxious.

However, nothing can beat the stress levels of students in Japan, with the study revealing that 84.0 per cent of male students and 95.1 per cent of female students experience stress during their studies in the country.

Regarding the most popular degrees in Finland, the study shows that Information Technology and International Business Logistics are the most sought-after fields.

The study further reveals that Finland’s top college acceptance rate stands at 17 per cent and that around 40 per cent of people in the country hold tertiary education qualifications.

In addition to Finland,’s list consists of nine other countries that have the toughest education systems in the world. The full list is as follows:

  • South Korea
  • Finland
  • Singapore
  • China
  • Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • South Africa
  • United States
  • Russia

In South Korea, which is also amongst the countries with the toughest education systems in the world, students are reported to study around 16 hours a day to pass the college entry test, Suneung, which is considered to be one of the hardest.

Part of the list is also Singapore, which has an impressive 91 per cent rate of people with tertiary education and a national IQ score of 105.9.


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