Highest graduation rate for two vocational programmes

For the larger educational programmes leading to professional degrees followed up to and including the 2015/16 academic year, the graduation rate was highest in programmes of midwifery and medicine. 89 per cent of those students received the intended professional degree.

Students in programmes leading to a degree in architecture had the lowest graduation rate; 43 per cent received the intended degree. 32 per cent of the students in this programme received another degree, which overall results in a relatively high degree of exams.

Women had a higher graduation rate

Women had a higher graduation rate than men in all the larger vocational areas. The differences were greatest in the old programmes for teachers by about 20 percentage points (including other degrees than professional qualifications) higher for women than for men. Educational programmes for specialist teachers and biomedical analysts also had major differences, with 20 and 19 percentage points higher rates among women.

The requirements for degrees mainly apply to professions that require a degree to obtain licensing or special authorisation. Examples are programmes within health and social care and medicine. Within many areas, a qualification certificate is not required to obtain employment. This affects the students’ inclination to apply for a degree, and can explain the differences in the graduation rate among the different programmes.

However, during the studied period it was unusual that students in programmes leading to a professional degree had all credits, but had not received a degree. Among those working towards a bachelor degree in engineering who were followed up in the 2015/16 academic year, this applied to 3 per cent; the corresponding figure for those studying towards a degree in special education or a degree in law. It was also unusual to be almost finished with the courses of the training. This was most common among those working for a bachelor degree in engineering, where 12 per cent lacked less than one semester of studies from having all credits.

Continued low graduation rate on general programmes

In the general programmes leading to a Higher Education Diploma, a Degree of Bachelor or a Degree of Master who were followed up to and including the 2015/16 academic year, low proportions of these students received the intended degree. Among students in Higher Education Diploma programmes, 26 per cent received a degree. The corresponding percentages were 46 percent in the bachelor’s programmes, 51 per cent in the 60-credit master's programmes and 54 per cent in the 120-credit master's programmes.

The share of students in Higher Education Diploma programmes who have not received their degrees despite having acquired higher education credits corresponding to the scope of the programme was 9 percent. The corresponding percentages were 2 per cent in the bachelor's programmes, 5 per cent in the 60-credit master's programmes and 3 per cent in the 120-credit master's programmes.

Highest performance indicator in professional degree programmes

The performance indicator (the number of acquired higher education credits converted to annual performance divided by the number of full-time students) was 83 percent in the 2014/15 academic year. This is an increase compared with previous academic years and an increase of 3 percentage points since the 2006/07 academic year.

The performance indicator in the 2014/15 academic year was higher for students in programmes leading to professional degrees at 90 percent, compared to 85 percent for programmes leading to general degrees. The performance indicator for students in freestanding courses was 65 percent. Seen over the entire period 2006/07-2014/15, the performance indicator has been unchanged for programmes leading to professional degrees, while it has increased 2 percentage points for programmes leading to general degrees and decreased 2 percentage points for freestanding courses.

The differences in motives for studies can partly explain the different performance indicators between the students in programmes and those in courses. Students in programmes often intend to take an examination for credits and finally receive a degree, while the students in courses do not always aim for a degree and thus do not always receive credits.

The performance indicator for women was 85 percent while the men’s indicator was 79 percent in the 2014/15 academic year. The women's performance indicator was higher than men’s indicator regardless of age, programme/course or if the studies were distance education or conducted on campus.

Lower performance indicator for distance students

The performance indicator for freestanding courses was 71 percent for campus students and 53 percent for distance students in the 2014/15 academic year. Since the 2006/07 academic year, the performance indicator for freestanding courses has been unchanged for distance students and increased by 2 percentage points for campus students.

There was a big difference in the performance indicator between campus students and distance students even in the general programmes, 87 percent compared to 71 percent.

The performance indicator for students in professional degree programmes was also higher for campus studies than for distance studies, but the difference was smaller, 90 and 87 percent respectively.