The education system in Åland

Utbildningssystemet på Åland
Here you can read about the education system in Åland, which consists of pre-primary, comprehensive, upper secondary, higher education (vocational education and courses) and folk high school education.

In addition, you will also find direct links to all schools in Åland providing post-comprehensive education. You can also find information on Swedish language courses for persons with a mother tongue other than Swedish. Swedish is the language of instruction at all schools in Åland. Adult education is provided at the upper secondary and higher education level.

Pre-school education

In Åland, pre-primary education is part of day care for  6-year-olds. You can get information on pre-primary education from the municipality where you live in Åland. Besides the municipal day care centres there are also other alternatives. For example, the Waldorf school has a kindergarten with a pre-school  and St. Mårten’s day care centre is run by Mariehamn parish.

Basic education

Education is compulsory for all children in Åland. Compulsory education begins in the year the child turns seven. Comprehensive education is free of charge, meaning that teaching materials, pupil welfare, meals, teaching, and in some cases school transport are provided at no cost. Basic education is provided in all municipalities in Åland. The schools generally consist of grades 1-6 or grades 1-9.  Under the law, the school year has at least 188 working days and starts  approximately in mid-August and ends in the first week of June each year. 

Higher education

The Åland University of Applied Sciences is a higher education institution providing education leading to a vocational degree. 


Upper secondary schools

Åland Upper Secondary School provides basic upper secondary education or basic vocational post-comprehensive education. Anyone who has successfully completed basic education in a Nordic country is entitled to apply for upper secondary education in Åland via the Åland combined student admissions system.

Other education

The Åland Institute of Music provides education in music and dance. Studies at the Institute of Music provide the basic skills in music for further studies at a conservatory or music academy.

The Open University offers courses at university and higher education level. The courses are open to all and there are no formal requirements of previous education or work experience.

The Citizens’ Institute (Medis) is an education centre offering a wide range of educational services.

Bel Canto organises courses in the summer and autumn. Applications are made via their website.

Bild- och Formskolan is a non-profit parents’ association which, with financial assistance from the Government of Åland, provides creative activities mostly for children of pre-school age, comprehensive school pupils and young people.

Åland Apprenticeship Centre runs apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are practical education at the workplace alternating with theoretical studies.

Swedish for immigrants

In order e.g. to prepare for further studies in a Swedish-language school, the Citizens’ Institute (Medis) offers language courses for persons with a mother tongue other than Swedish.


Nordic agreement on admission to higher education

The Nordic agreement on admission to higher education guarantees all Nordic residents the opportunity to apply for public higher education in another Nordic country on the same or equivalent conditions as the country’s own inhabitants. Under the agreement, equivalent education completed in another Nordic country is credited in the Finnish higher education degree. Completed courses are evaluated by the receiving educational institution. It is recommended that you find out in advance what documents higher education institutions in Finland need to credit studies.

More information

Contact the authority

If you have questions about the Åland education system, you can contact Education and Learning at the Government of Åland

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