24.8.2017

Teaching continues to be an attractive profession

The number of applicants to teacher education continues to be very high. In the last ten years it has become increasingly difficult to gain access particularly to primary teacher education programmes.

In Finland primary or class teachers are the generalist teachers who teach most subjects in grades 1-6 in primary education. Since 2007 it has become more difficult to be gain access to class teacher education programmes. The proportion of applicants admitted to the programmes in Finnish was 15 per cent in 2007. Since 2011 the corresponding figure has varied between 10-11 per cent.

Proportion of applicants admitted to class teacher education programmes in Finnish 2007-2016

Figure1: Proportion of applicants admitted to class teacher education programmes in Finnish 2007-2016.

The slight fluctuation in the intake figures are mainly due to policies related to admission principles and intake quotas.

Gaining access to class teacher education programmes in Swedish is considerably easier than into programmes in Finnish. The proportion of applicants admitted has varied between 23 to 26 per cent in the last few years. Similarly to Finnish programmes, the trend has been a tightening competition for study places. In 2008 ca 46 per cent of the applicants were admitted.

Subject teacher education is organised in different ways

Teachers at lower secondary level are subject specialists. Generally they teach one or several subjects. There is no joint data collection on admission to subject teacher education in universities. These programmes can be organised by the higher education in many ways. There are programmes for subject teacher education that students apply for from the start, but there are also programmes where the student first applies to subject studies and 1-2 years later to a teacher education programme within that subject. Looking at the universities’ own data, it would seem that in general the selection is most competitive in languages teacher programmes.

Access to vocational teacher education has become harder in the last ten years

In the last ten years the number of applicants to vocational teacher education has fluctuated between 3 000 to 4 600 applicants. Since 2012 the number of applicants has been more than 4 000. The intake has varied between 30- 40 per cent of the qualified applicants. To be qualified as an applicant to vocational teacher education, the candidate must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree and three years’ work experience.

The number of applicants to teacher education continues to be very high. In the last ten years it has become increasingly difficult to gain access particularly to primary teacher education programmes.