Finnish School Concepts

Are you seeking to have your school validated as Finnish-Enriched or Finnish International School?

Education Finland is happy to help you, and this website provides you with information about the validation process. Please read and observe carefully the process description on this website.

Why is a validation process needed?

The need for a validation process arises from the global education sector's complexity and the appeal of the Finnish education model. Many educational entities abroad claim to offer "Finnish" education, yet they lack genuine connections to the Finnish education system and do not possess the necessary expertise to deliver education in the Finnish style. Such institutions may only be Finnish in name, without embodying the principles and practices that make Finnish education respected worldwide.

To distinguish authentic efforts from superficial claims, the validation process serves as a quality assurance mechanism. It reassures local and international stakeholders that the education provider is earnestly incorporating the Finnish approach to education. While some schools have been founded with the support of Finnish educational export companies and experts, ensuring the application of Finnish educational methods and ethos, others have been set up on much weaker foundations, with little to no real grounding in the Finnish approach. Thus, validation acts as a safeguard, affirming that a school is truly aligned with the high standards and values of Finnish education.

Triangle with Finnish school concepts; Finnish-Enriched School in the bottom, Finnish International School in the middle and Fully Accredited K12 International School on the top


In Finland, while direct accreditation of K12 schools by government bodies like the Ministry of Education and Culture or EDUFI is not available, there exists a pathway for international schools to gain recognition and validation for adopting the Finnish educational approach. This validation is centred around the school's academic plan and curriculum, emphasizing the Finnish way of organizing teaching and cultivating a specific operating culture. Key aspects such as the scope of teaching, subjects offered, assessment methods, both internal and external evaluations, the school calendar structure, staff composition and qualifications, as well as the administrative framework are scrutinized. Moreover, it's essential for the school's teaching and administrative staff to demonstrate familiarity with Finnish primary and lower secondary education systems through relevant training in Finnish educational methodologies and pedagogy. 

Following the submission of necessary documentation and evidence supporting these aspects, the school may receive a Letter of Assessment. Based on this assessment, the institution has the option to be designated as a "Finnish-Enriched School" for a two-year term. Alternatively, upon receiving the assessment letter, schools can express their interest in undergoing a more thorough audit within the two-year period to achieve the status of a "Finnish International School," further solidifying their commitment to Finnish educational principles. The school needs the Letter of Assessment prior commencing with the audit process. 

STEPS for validation and recognition

The following steps are stages on the way to becoming a validated Finnish International School.

Summary of the process

Steps of the process: feasibility for school validation; assessment of school documentation upon which a letter of assessment is issued; and audit performed by an audit operator such as FINEEC, upon which a certificate of audit is assigned.

Key partners in the validation process

  • Education Finland logo

    Education Finland is a governmental cluster programme supporting the best education providers in their growth on the international market. A school provider seeking for validation needs to be member of the Education Finland programme OR have an agreement with an Education Finland member who will provide necessary services in regard to the school to adhere Finnish approach and ethos in the education. 

  • EDUFI logo

    The Finnish National Agency for Education (EDUFI) is responsible for developing education and training, early childhood education and lifelong learning and promoting internationalisation in Finland. In the school validation process, it's role is to give Letters of Assessment to schools that have requested for curriculum and documentation validation, to become Finnish Inspired Schools, and whose application fulfills the criteria.

  • Finnish Education Evaluation Centre

    The Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC) is responsible for the national evaluation of education and early childhood education and care in Finland. In the validation process, they are offering auditing services to schools that request to be validated as Finnish International Schools.