The number of secondary school students in Finland is expected to continue to significantly decrease over the coming years, prompted by Finland’s dwindling population, and without enough students enrolling, the institutions’ future is at stake, YLE writes.
In a bid to prevent the closure of rural schools and to create global growth through super connecting programs in the area of Education, Entrepreneurship, and Entertainment, the Finnish and Vietnamese-based consulting group Finest Future recently helped bring 15 high school students to Finland, seven from Vietnam and eight from Uzbekistan.
Founded in 2020 by Vietnamese and Finnish entrepreneurs, Finest Future has agreements with seven Finnish municipalities for this academic year with plans to bring about a hundred foreign students to Finnish schools next year.
According to co-founder and Finnish business leader Peter Vesterbacka, the number of students has halved over the years and Finland has 20,000 vacancies in high schools every year.
As high school student numbers continue to decline, Finland is also faced with a labor shortage and Finest Future’s aim is also to alleviate the latter problem by bringing students to Finland from abroad, with the hope that they will stay in Finland after graduation.
Peter Vesterbacka points out that to attract international students to Finnish universities, you need to reach them when they are young. “Students in China and India, for example, make plans to study abroad much earlier than when they’re ready to start university,” he explains.
Finest Future writes on their website that the seven Vietnamese students in the Finest Future High School Program 2021 arrived in Salla, Finland from Saigon at the end of July. The group is learning Finnish directly with the local Finnish teacher while also getting a chance to nurture their entrepreneurial spirit while presenting their Startup Project ideas.
In addition, the group has also dived straight into Finnish culture by visiting some of the country’s famous attractions such as the Santa village and Oodi library, tried the renowned traditional Finnish sauna, and played Frisbee golf for the first time.