Certificate-based admission to universities will be overhauled in 2026 – vice-rectors for education have presented a proposal for a new scoring model for certificate-based admission

The proposed scoring model would ease the pressures on general upper secondary students and allow them to focus on subjects interesting them. The new scoring model for certificate-based admission will be published in autumn 2023
Photo: Aalto University/Mikko Raskinen

Vice-rectors for education of the Rectors’ Council of Finnish Universities (UNIFI) have submitted a proposal for a new scoring model for certificate-based admission, which would be used in student admission from 2026 onwards. Universities will decide on the scoring model during the summer and will announce their decision in autumn 2023.

In the new scoring model, native language would give more points than at present because proficiency in the native language is a key requirement in all university studies. Some of the differences in scoring between humanities and natural sciences subjects have also been eliminated, while languages would give higher scores. This has been done to give general upper secondary students better opportunities to select subjects for matriculation examination according to their own preferences.

Mathematics would also in the future give high scores for all fields because studying mathematics improves problem-solving and other skills required in university studies. However, weighting of mathematics syllabuses would more clearly depend on how important the mastering of advanced mathematics syllabus would be for the field in question.

'From 2026 onwards, certificate-based admission scoring would be more clearly based on which general upper secondary subjects demonstrate proficiency in the field for which student is applying. At the same time, it is also recognised that multi-sectoral proficiency is useful in many fields,' says Marja-Leena Laakso, who chaired the meetings of vice-rectors for education at UNIFI last spring.

The new scoring model responds to the concerns expressed by general upper secondary schools

The draft scoring model for certificate-based admission was publicly circulated for comments in the service between 31 March and 21 April 2023. Based on the comments, universities and key stakeholders consider the scoring model balanced and well-prepared in many respects. The important comments presented by these parties have been taken into account in the final proposal. 

The organisations representing Finland’s guidance counsellors, principals of general upper secondary schools and general upper secondary students were particularly pleased with the fact that the scoring model would ease pressures on general upper secondary students and allow them to focus on subjects interesting them.

The comments contain about 50 proposals for change most of which concern minor issues.

'We have reviewed all comments and assessed the change needs on the basis of how much support they have among universities and stakeholders and the impacts the changes would have on overall scoring, especially from the applicants’ perspective,' Laakso explains.

The new scoring model for certificate-based admission will be published on the website in autumn 2023. Young people will thus already know at the start of their general upper secondary studies how their matriculation examination certificates would be scored. Until 2025, matriculation examination certificates will be scored in accordance with the current system.

The proposal for the new scoring model for certificate-based admission presented by the meetings of vice-rectors for education at UNIFI can be viewed in the blog discussing the development of student admission (the blog is in Finnish). 

Tanja Juurus
Project manager
National project to develop university admissions 2022–2025
Tel. +358 50 311 2583
[email protected]

Marja-Leena Laakso
Rector of the University of Jyväskylä
Chair of the meetings of vice-rectors for education at UNIFI in spring 2023
Tel. +358 40 805 4024
[email protected]

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