SYL’s comments on the Report on organising the Finnish matriculation examination in English

The National Union of University Students in Finland (SYL) is in favour of organising the matriculation examination in English. We see this as serving many different groups, for instance Finns returning from abroad and children of foreign diplomats living in Finland. It would also make secondary education studies more flexible and diverse. We find it important that when the availability of upper secondary education in English expands there is also sufficient teaching and learning material as well as teachers who have sufficient language skills.

In our opinion, the structure of the English matriculation examination as well as the options of exams should by default correspond to the current matriculation examination. We also find that the English matriculation examination should include some form of test on one of the national languages. Promoting education export has been defined as one of the objectives of the reform, but we would like to underline that since the matriculation examination is a product of Finnish culture and irrevocably linked to it, we do not see promoting eventual education export as a central objective. It is also extremely important that equality between students is ensured when applying to higher education, among other things. Persons who take the matriculation examination in English must be granted sufficient study guidance counselling and support in order for them to be on a par with others to apply to Finnish higher education institutions.