Supported education

You can receive an adult education allowance for the duration of education that enhances and maintains your professional competence, such as a full or partial degree or qualification from a university, a university of applied sciences or a vocational college, as well as supplementary or refresher vocational education. Your education must last at least two months or at least 43 days in total.

You must study full-time during the allowance period, so your studies must encompass at least three credits or competence points or two study weeks per month. If the scope of your studies is not defined in terms of credits, competence points or study weeks, the scope of the studies as defined by the educational institution must average at least 20 hours per week.

Your education may take place in the daytime or evening and it may also be multiform or distance learning. Full-time work on a final project or internship included in the studies also fall within the scope of the allowance. You must be registered as an attending student at the educational institution during the allowance period.

The allowance is granted for studies at an educational institution operating in Finland and subject to public supervision. Education that is not subject to public supervision is not covered by the allowance.

The forms of education covered by the adult education allowance are:

  • Education leading to the completion of all or part of a vocational upper secondary qualification, further vocational qualification and specialist vocational qualification, as well as other vocational education and training completed at vocational institutions
  • Education leading to a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a university of applied sciences
  • Education leading to a bachelor’s, master’s, licentiate or doctoral degree from a university
  • Completing parts of a degree at a university or university of applied sciences, such as basic, intermediate and advanced studies, as well as path studies at an open university or a vocational institution
  • Specialisation education completed at a university or university of applied sciences or other supplementary or refresher vocational education
  • Supplementary or refresher vocational education completed at an open university or university of applied sciences
  • Non-formal adult education that enhances the person’s vocational expertise and competence and that is arranged at folk high schools, adult education centres, summer universities and sports education centres
  • Military, police or emergency services education or other vocational education if the party arranging the education has been granted an operating permit by the relevant administrative authorising body
  • Education referred to in the Basic Education Act and the Act on General Upper Secondary Education if lack of education hinders professional development

Studying aboard

Studies at educational institutions in foreign countries are not covered by the adult education allowance. However, you may receive an allowance if you are registered at a Finnish educational institution and the studies abroad are accredited as part of the degree or training at the educational institution. An allowance can be granted for postgraduate scientific studies at a foreign educational institution if you are registered as a postgraduate student at a Finnish university and the studies abroad are related to your postgraduate studies. Studies abroad must also be publicly supervised.

Studies during the summer

It is possible to receive an allowance for periods of full-time study completed in the summer. If you do not yet know the precise plan for your summer studies when you send your first application, you can apply for an allowance in the summer at a later date by sending a further application. You can apply for an allowance for a paid internship in the form of an adjusted adult education allowance retrospectively each month.

If you apply for an allowance for the summer, you should first check with your employer whether you will receive any holiday bonus even though you are on study leave. Your employer may also require you to take your annual leave during the summer. Therefore, it is possible that the summer will not be entirely unpaid due to your holiday bonus or annual holiday. In this case, the correct form of allowance is an adjusted adult education allowance.

Evaluating the vocational nature of studies

A prerequisite for an adult education allowance to be granted is that the studies are vocational in nature. Such studies include supplementary or refresher vocational education at universities and universities of applied sciences, individual study units completed at open universities, and the completion of vocational education leading to the completion of all or part of a degree or qualification that is not vocational in nature. Non-formal adult education arranged at folk high schools, adult education centres, summer universities and sports education centres is also required to be vocational in nature.

For these types of education, the vocational nature of studies is evaluated in relation to your current job and your previous educational background. You can explain the vocational nature of studies in more detail in your application. You can also append a statement from your employer regarding the vocational nature of the studies. Allowances cannot be paid for general education or education as a hobby or with no fixed targets.

Full-time study

You must study full-time while you are receiving an adult education allowance. Full-time studies encompass an average of at least three credits or competence points or two study weeks per month. If the scope of your studies is not defined in terms of credits or study weeks, the scope of the studies as defined by the educational institution must average at least 20 hours per week.

Studies completed and registered before the allowance period began will not be counted as studies completed during the allowance period. Previous studies or accredited work experience will also not be counted as studies completed during the allowance period even if the completion is recognised on the register of studies during the allowance period. Note that an adult education allowance is granted on the basis of the studies you declare on your application, and the completion of these studies.

Your completed studies must be entered into the register of studies during the allowance period or immediately thereafter. Studies completed towards an extensive thesis may be registered later but the work must progress at a rate of 3 credits per allowance month.

Example

During a five-month allowance period from 1 September to 31 January, you must complete studies corresponding to at least 15 credits. You can only receive an allowance for the period when your entitlement to study is valid.

Graduation and discontinuation of studies

If you complete your studies earlier than anticipated, inform us by email or phone as soon as possible – preferably well in advance of the allowance payment date. The adult education allowance will end on the date when you graduate, even if your study leave is continuing. The graduation date is the date stated on your degree certificate.

Also inform us if your studies are discontinued or if you notice that you are no longer studying full-time.

Remember to inform us of changes in good time to avoid having to repay allowances.

Example

You have been granted an adult education allowance until 31 December but you graduate on 18 December. You cannot receive the allowance for the period from 19 to 31 December because your entitlement to study has ended. You must inform the Employment Fund that your studies have ended.

Following up on studies

We will monitor how you complete your studies via your educational institution retrospectively every academic year. We will also request information if your education ends during the allowance period.

If no studies have been completed or very little has been completed, we will ask you for an explanation. Benefits that have been paid without grounds will be recovered.

If the completed studies relating to your final project have not yet been registered when the monitoring phase takes place, be prepared to provide the Employment Fund with an explanation of the progress of your work during the allowance period if we so request. The explanation may be a statement from your thesis supervisor. The work must progress at a rate corresponding to at least three credits per month.

Page updated: 12/12/2018