Education in Turku
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This page contains information on studying and education for children and adults in Turku. Further important information is available on the Education website.
Early childhood education is arranged in both Finnish and Swedish in Turku. Early childhood education is intended for all children a year prior to starting at school. Early childhood education groups exist at both daycare centres and schools. Early childhood education commences in August with the application period taking place in January. Applications for early childhood education are submitted either electronically or by handing in an enrolment application at the daycare centre tentatively to be attended by the child.
Further information on early childhood education is available on the City of Turku website. You may also contact the head of the daycare centre for further information.
Of the schools in Turku, basic education is offered by 33 schools in Finnish, five schools in Swedish, and at Turku International School in English. Further to schools owned by the City of Turku, Turun normaalikoulu (Turku Teacher Training School) and Turun Steiner-koulu (Turku Steiner School) are located in Turku. There are also schools in Turku where pupils can partially study in Russian, German, French and English.
The school one attends is determined by the home address of the pupil, and the child usually attends the school closest to their home.
You can register a child to attend the first class of elementary school by submitting an electronic form. The enrolment period begins each year in January. At the same time and to complement their basic education, it is possible to register the child for additional teaching offered in the native language of the pupil. Enrolling in additional classes is arranged by directly contacting the principal or head of the school.
In cases where the child has moved to Finland from abroad and does not possess Finnish skills, they will first participate in classes aimed at preparing the child for basic education. Pupils enrolled in these classes study Finnish and other required skills for approximately one year prior to transfer to their local school.
If the pupil’s native language is not Finnish or Swedish or they otherwise have a multilingual background, they may select between two curricula: Finnish as a second language and literature, or Swedish as a second language and literature. In Turku, further to basic education, additional studies in the pupil’s native language are offered, based on a selection of over 20 languages.
If a pupil requires support in developing their skills in their primary language of study and other study-related skills, the schools may also offer teaching in one’s own language or remedial teaching in Finnish.
Teaching and teaching support for immigrants:
For further information and help, elementary schools can be directly contacted.
Families relocating to Finland and with children of an age qualified for basic education who do not yet possess Finnish language skills may directly contact the co-educator responsible for preparatory education (tel. +358 44 9075 431).
Basic education for
If a youth or adult has not attended school or they have not completed their basic education, they may complete their studies as basic education. If a youth relocates to Finland when they are 14-16 years of age, they may participate in a preparatory education group prior to transitioning to basic education. Youths and adults who are older than the age range for compulsory education can complete the studies on a partial basis or apply to enrol in the introductory or final stages of basic education for adults.
If a child or youth is under 17 years old and does not possess Finnish language skills, they will first be required to attend preparatory education. During preparatory education, they will study Finnish and other subjects as part of a small group for approximately one year. Preparatory education groups are hosted by a selection of schools in Turku.
Pupils are accepted based on their year of birth and a pupil beginning their studies during the autumn semester must be under 17 years old. If the youth reaches 17 years of age during the spring semester, they may continue as part of the group until the end of the school year, and transfer to a group for basic education for adults only at the beginning of the autumn semester.
Education in preparation for vocational studies and native language teaching for immigrants
Preparatory education for programmes leading to an upper secondary qualification (TUVA)
Vocational education or upper secondary school education can be preceded by preparatory education for programmes leading to an upper secondary qualification (termed TUVA in Finnish). The objective of the education is to improve pupil opportunities to enrol in further studies. As part of the curriculum, one may improve their study and life skills, language proficiency, consider their own career, and familiarise oneself with various professions. Applying for TUVA is possible via a national joint application scheme and as part of continuous application schemes hosted by schools. A personal plan is devised for each pupil, during which the breadth and duration (maximum one year) of the programme are also agreed upon. Pupils participating in TUVA are eligible for pupil allowances and school travel benefits.
In Turku, TUVA education is organised by the Turku Vocational Institute, Turun Iltalukio (Evening High School of Turku), the Turku Adult Education Centre, and Turun kristillinen opisto (Turku Christian Institute).
Vocational education in Turku is provided by several vocational schools. Taken as a whole, education is provided for over 30 different fields. You can apply for vocational education via a national joint application scheme or as part of continuous application schemes hosted by schools. Applications for vocational labour market training are submitted via the Employment and Economic (TE) Employment Service. Employment is a prerequisite for apprenticeship training. Applications for training are submitted via an Apprenticeship Office.
Vocational education includes learning by participating in working life, contact teaching and remote studies. The pupil is provided with the required support and guidance during their studies, including planning for the future. The breadth and duration of the training are determined by the pupil’s progress, earlier studies and work experience. A vocational degree grants pupils eligibility to progress into higher education.
Upper secondary school
There are nine daytime upper secondary schools in Turku, and a single upper secondary school for adults that primarily operates in the evenings. The evening upper secondary school also provides immigrants with tailored teaching.
One of the upper secondary schools in Turku focuses on teaching in Swedish. It is also possible to undertake upper secondary school studies in English by completing the International Baccalaureate (IB) qualification at Turun Normaalikoulu / upper secondary school or at Turku International School / upper secondary school.
Adult Education Centre Turku
Adult Education Centre Turku is an education centre specialising in adult education, where it is possible to complete vocational studies spanning various fields. It is also possible to complete professional certifications at Adult Education Centre Turku. The Centre also offers Finnish-language teaching and training designed especially for immigrants.
Adult Education Centre Turku runs its activities in Artukainen and Kärsämäki.
Adult Education Centre TurkuTurku Vocational Adult Education Centre Turku AKKLink redirects to another website
In Turku, higher education is offered across a wide range of fields. Turku has a university, Åbo Akademi, which focuses on studies in Swedish, and four universities of applied sciences, of which one offers teaching in Swedish. Most higher education is provided in Finnish. Almost all higher education institutions, however, also offer teaching in English.
The University of Turku has a guidance service for immigrants that offers assistance concerning higher education for immigrants and related questions on working life.
Further information about institutes of higher education and studying in Turku:
Other education opportunities
Turku offers many opportunities for education that are open to all. These studies typically incur a fee.
One may complete studies at the Open University and by participating in Turku University of Applied Sciences-based Open Studies courses.
The Finnish Adult Education Centre of Turku, The Swedish Adult Education Centre of Turku and Auralan kansalaisopisto (Aurala Adult Education Centre) offer Finnish and Swedish language teaching, as well as opportunities to study and participate in art and skills-related subjects, dance and physical education, culture and history, and IT.
The Finnish Adult Education Centre of Turku also organises Youth Guarantee training for immigrants who are 16–29 years old and who do not possess a secondary education diploma completed in Finland.