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Vocational general upper secondary school

Did you know that you can complete both general upper secondary school studies and an initial vocational qualification at the same time?
Photo: Jefunne Gimpel

Completing two qualifications at the same time

  • requires you to have the motivation and commitment as well as good basic knowledge of the school subjects at general upper secondary school
  • increases your general knowledge
  • prepares you for further studies in higher education or for challenging work responsibilities in your chosen profession.

  • complete the general upper secondary school syllabus that is mandatory for the matriculation examination
  • take the matriculation examination tests
  • receive a matriculation examination certificate along with an initial vocational qualification.
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  • you take general upper secondary school courses on two days a week
  • you study towards an initial vocational qualification on three days a week
  • your vocational studies include training agreement periods and working life demonstrations
  • you take some of the matriculation examination tests in the autumn of your third year of study and the rest the following spring, and if necessary, in the autumn of your fourth year.
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  • Students of Stadin AO, The Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute do not have to pay a separate fee for general upper secondary school education.
  • The tests included in the matriculation examination are subject to a fee.
  • Students must purchase their own textbooks or subject-specific licences and study supplies.
  • Students must have a laptop for their general upper secondary studies.

For more information on the supplies you will need to buy, please contact Helsinki Upper Secondary School for Adults (page in Finnish).

The Finnish Act on Compulsory Education entered into force on 1 August 2021. It requires upper secondary education to be provided free of charge. At the start of their studies, students will receive more information on the materials and other purchases required for their studies. They will also learn more about the eligibility for free general upper secondary education.

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Helsinki Upper Secondary School for Adults provides students of Stadin AO, the Helsinki Vocational College and Adult Institute with general upper secondary education that prepares them to take the matriculation examination. Starting from spring 2022, the matriculation examination will cover at least five tests. You can take the tests once you have completed at least 90 competence points or demonstrated an equivalent competence level. You will receive a matriculation examination certificate once you have taken the matriculation examination and earned an initial vocational qualification. Learn more about matriculation examination.

A personal competence development plan is drawn up for every student. General upper secondary studies can replace some of the shared units included in a vocational qualification.

You can also complete general upper secondary studies independently as evening studies. General upper secondary studies usually take roughly 3.5 years to complete. At the general upper secondary school for adults, you can not only earn a matriculation examination certificate but also complete the full general upper secondary school syllabus.

You can also enrol to vocational general upper secondary school later during your studies. If you are interested in enrolling, get in touch with your teacher or guidance counsellor first. Find out more on the Stadin AO's Admissions Office page (in Finnish)  and from a vocational general upper secondary school coordinator.