A1 Journal article (refereed)
Changing the heart and soul? Inequalities in Finland’s current pursuit of a narrow education policy (2020)

Tervasmäki, T., Okkolin, M.-A., & Kauppinen, I. (2020). Changing the heart and soul? Inequalities in Finland’s current pursuit of a narrow education policy. Policy Futures in Education, 18(5), 648-661. https://doi.org/10.1177/1478210318811031

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Tervasmäki, Tuomas; Okkolin, Mari-Anne; Kauppinen, Ilkka

Journal or series: Policy Futures in Education

ISSN: 1478-2103

eISSN: 1478-2103

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 18

Issue number: 5

Pages range: 648-661

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1478210318811031

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73998


The Finnish educational system is well known for its excellent learning results, highly trained teachers and egalitarian values. However, when the political leanings of the government change, its policies are usually altered as well. In this policy report we give an account of the recent changes and current trends in Finnish education policy. We analyse the characteristics of the Sipilä Government’s current education policy since 2015 and compare it to the Nordic welfare-state ideals of universalism, equality and social justice which have traditionally been the key building blocks of the Finnish education system. The Government’s policy appears to be narrow-minded and ignorant of issues related to educational equality, stressing instead the importance of a flexible workforce and national competitiveness. We will reflect on the characteristics of Finnish education policy in light of the debate regarding academic capitalism and as part of an overarching trend of social inequality in Europe.

Keywords: education policy; equality (values); competitive strength; welfare policy; inequality; welfare state

Free keywords: Finland; competitiveness

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2021-17-09 at 16:13