FSD3484 Vocational School Student Survey 2019

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  • Research Foundation for Studies and Education (Otus)
  • National Union of Vocational Students in Finland (SAKKI)


education, educational guidance, educational institutions, expectation, labour and employment, leisure time, living conditions, occupational life, occupational training, students, teaching, upper secondary education, vocational education, well-being (society)


The Vocational School Student Survey (VET Student Survey) 2019 is a total study charting experiences of young people studying in Finnish vocational education institutions. The survey was conducted by the Research Foundation for Studies and Education (Otus) in collaboration with the National Union of Vocational Students in Finland (SAKKI), which also funded the study with funding received from the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. Main themes of the survey included applying for studies, experiences relating to studies and teaching, financial circumstances, plans for the future and working life, and wellbeing and leisure time.

First, the respondents were asked about their studies at present with questions concerning, for instance, their field of education, how they financed their living costs during studies, and whether they were studying towards a dual or double degree. Questions also surveyed how the respondents had entered their studies (via the joint application system or continuous admission), whether their current field of education had been their first choice when applying, and whether they had began their studies straight away in the autumn after completing comprehensive school. The respondents' decision to apply for vocational studies was further examined with questions regarding, for instance, whether vocational studies had been discussed or recommended in their families or at school, whether their friends or siblings currently studied or had previously studied in a vocational institution, and how clear the decision to opt for vocational studies had been. The respondents were also asked whether they had worked or completed other studies before starting vocational studies, and how they had performed in earlier education.

The respondents' experiences of studies and teaching were examined with questions about the time spent on studies in a week, form and sufficiency of the teaching and guidance received, balancing and managing studies, and the atmosphere of their school and study community. Further questions focused on the respondents' opinions on the personalisation of studies and competence-based studying, including, for instance, whether they thought they were able to influence what and how they studied and whether their career plans had been taken into account in their study plan. Opinions were also charted regarding on-the-job learning. Possible learning difficulties and support received for these difficulties were surveyed next. With regard to study progress, satisfaction with studies and the institution itself was charted as well as feelings of studying the right field, prospects of graduating, things slowing down study progress, and views on the importance of vocational studies.

Working, housing and financial circumstances were investigated by asking about working during studies and in the summer, housing during the semesters, financial help from parents and relatives, and sufficiency of money for expenses. Concerning occupational life, opinions were probed on a number of statements about employment as well as employment prospects after graduation, and views on the importance of various things for a successful career. Future plans to study were surveyed. Well-being and leisure time were examined with questions about friends, social relationships, bullying and discrimination, sleep, hobbies, and Internet and social media use. Finally, the respondents' values and attitudes were examined with a set of statements including, for example, whether they thought income differences should be reduced, environmental protection should be the first priority, and Finland's EU membership was a good thing.

Background variables included the respondent's year of birth, gender, and mother tongue. The time the respondent had lived in Finland was further charted, along with languages spoken with parents, and parents' employment status and education level.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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