The University of Helsinki is a large, thriving university. Originally founded in Turku in 1640, the university transferred to Helsinki in 1828. Presently, the university serves 37,000 degree students and 30,000 continuing education and Open University students on four campuses in Helsinki and 17 other locations. Each year, a total of 5,000 students graduate from a variety of faculties with BAs, MAs and Phds.
Since OECD PISA studies of 15 year olds have placed Finland at the top or near the top in the last several studies of maths, science and literacy, education in Finland has fascinated educators and policy makers. While there are a number of factors for Finland’s success, one important factor is the quality, depth and length of teacher education which a certain policy maker, Mr Gove, has decided should be adapted in the UK. Clearly the Finns have a thirst and a knack for teaching and learning and what works for them is that all university tuition is free. Too bad Mr Gove hasn’t decided to borrow that little factor.