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Poll: Most Finns want free books in secondary schools

Two out of three Finns think that secondary education should be entirely free of charge, according to a survey out Tuesday.

Ammattikoulun kokkiopiskelijan veitsisetti
Cooking school students must pay for their own equipment. Image: Yle / Mikael Kokkola

Nearly two-thirds of Finns surveyed say that secondary education should be completely free of charge. That is according to a poll published on Tuesday by the Uutissuomalainen newspaper consortium.

In the survey, people were asked whether they thought that secondary education should be truly cost-free. Sixty-five percent said yes, with 28 percent saying no.

Books and supplies can cost thousands

Secondary education is primarily free, although there are fees for some professional or specialised vocational training. However most students must pay for educational equipment and books, which can cost thousands of euros over several years.

Secondary education at an academic high school or vocational school usually takes 3-4 years in Finland. Most pupils progress to one or the other after compulsory basic education, around the age of 16.

Pollster Tietoykkönen interviewed about 1,000 Finns on the issue in December. It places the margin of error at three percentage points in either direction.

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