EUR 7.7 billion budget proposal for the Ministry of Education and Culture for 2023
The budget proposal for 2023 of Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Government will continue to invest in education and culture. The budget proposal helps implement the key objectives in the Government Programme of raising the level of education and competence, bridging learning gaps and increasing educational equality. Arts and culture will be used to boost conditions and strengthen engagement in creative work. Investments in youth work will improve young people’s capabilities for acting in society and their independence, sense of community and ability to acquire related knowledge and skills. The proposed appropriations in the budget proposal for the Ministry of Education and Culture total EUR 7.7 billion.
Early childhood education and care and primary and lower secondary education
The budget proposal includes investments in early childhood education and care and in language instruction. It is proposed that fees in early childhood education and care be reduced permanently by EUR 70 million. This will be compensated to local government through the apportioned share of corporation tax revenue.
Language instruction in primary and lower secondary education will be increased. An extra weekly lesson per year will be added to the second compulsory language (B1 language) starting in grade six, which for most pupils is Swedish or Finnish. Altogether EUR 1 million is reserved for planning the curriculum for it.
The national binding model whereby school communities work collaboratively will become an established system. Altogether EUR 8 million is proposed for this purpose.
To support Ukrainians fleeing the war, EUR 60 million will be allocated to early childhood education and care and the appropriation for preparatory education for primary and lower secondary education will grow by EUR 120 million from its current level.
The funding for vocational education and training will grow by EUR 55.5 million and the funding for general upper secondary education by EUR 64 million, including an increase in both central and local government funding contributions. EUR 50 million in permanent funding is proposed for vocational education and training. This will ensure sufficient instruction and guidance for students in the future after the fixed-term additional funding expires. The gradual implementation of the extension of compulsory education and free upper secondary education will continue, with EUR 102 million being reserved for this purpose next year. Based on an earlier decision, EUR 30 million is proposed for the training of new practical nurses to respond to the staffing level for nurses, and EUR 5 million for a trial to restructure the training compensation for apprenticeship training.
Investments are proposed in the budget proposal for ensuring the availability of skilled labour in sectors such as the care sector, for example. An increase of approximately EUR 10.8 million is proposed for care assistant training funded by the Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment (Jotpa). This appropriation will make it possible to train 1,000 new care assistants in 2023–2025. The objective is to train altogether 1,500 new care assistants with funding from the Service Centre over the course of 2022–2025.
An increase of EUR 7.8 million is proposed for labour market training funded by central government transfers with a view to training 700 new care assistants in 2023–2024. The objective is to train altogether 1,000 new care assistants with funding from the Service Centre over the course of 2022–2024. In addition, the need for appropriations to train care assistants will be assessed as part of the preparation of the autumn supplementary budget proposal. The need for appropriations to provide education for Ukrainian refugees in upper secondary education will also be examined in the same connection.
An increase of EUR 5.5 million is also proposed for the operating expenses of the Service Centre for Continuous Learning and Employment to be used for education and training designed for Ukrainians.
“In the last budget of the parliamentary term, we will continue restoring the integrity of education implemented by this Government by allocating additional funding for education once more. Investments in early childhood education and care, primary, lower secondary and upper secondary education will help children and young people recover and bridge the learning gap in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic years. Every single child and young person has the right to high-quality education,” says Minister of Education Li Andersson.
Efforts will be made to improve the financial situation of students and their everyday life. Income thresholds for student financial aid will be raised by 50 per cent. Thanks to a higher income threshold in financial aid for students, students will be able to work more without a cut in their student financial aid. The meal allowance for students will be raised by 25 cents per meal. An increase of EUR 10 per month is proposed for the family provider increment to the study grant for 2023. EUR 6 million will be reserved for the regional student loan compensation scheme.
Higher education institutions and research and development
Investments in research and development will continue. Finland aims to increase research and development expenditure to 4 per cent of GDP by 2030. The overall amount of central government R&D funding for research and development is estimated at EUR 2.4 billion in 2023. This sum includes significant investments in universities, universities of applied sciences and the Academy of Finland that were decided on earlier in the government term.
A budget authority of EUR 10 million will be reserved for national co-financing of research projects for the EuroHPC supercomputer and for utilising it, EUR 5 million for boosting R&D activities in universities of applied sciences, and EUR 7.5 million for keeping research infrastructures for scientific data management and computing up to date.
Altogether EUR 10 million will be allocated to eastern Finland in 2023 for more student intake in higher education institutions, bolstering research infrastructures and helping higher education institutions attract international students.
“In challenging times, the Government relies on the power of knowledge and research. These are the tools with which we will continue to build Finland. The Government’s policy signals a strong regional political will once again. Eastern Finland, which requires support measures, will be given a boost by means of education too,” says Minister of Science and Culture
Arts and culture
A total of EUR 599 million is proposed to the appropriations for arts and culture. Altogether EUR 4 million is proposed for renovating Turku Cathedral. The Ministry proposes EUR 0.6 million for project preparation and planning of the Finnish Museum of Architecture and Design and EUR 2 million for the capitalisation of the foundation for the Museum of Architecture and Design.
A one-off increase of EUR 0.35 million is proposed for the relocation and equipment costs of the National Audiovisual Institute.
Based on earlier decisions, central government has made provision to fund the European Capital of Culture 2026 project by a total of EUR 20 million, of which EUR 1.6 million is allocated for 2023.
The appropriation for compensating for the reproduction of works for private use will remain at the 2022 level in 2023, i.e. at EUR 11 million.
Sports and physical education
Around EUR 154 million is proposed in appropriations for sports and physical activities, which is approximately EUR 0.5 million more than in the 2022 Budget. Physical activity and elite sports will continue to be promoted, as outlined in the Government Programme and in the implementation of the Report on Sports Policy
A sum of EUR 77 million is proposed to the appropriations for youth work, which is EUR 4.2 million less than in the 2022 Budget. In line with earlier decisions, EUR 14.5 million is proposed for recreational activities for children and young people. The Finnish model of recreational activities brings more recreational activities to children’s and young people’s school days. The activities are selected based on the wishes expressed by the students. This promotes the wellbeing, equality and non-discrimination of children and young people.
The compensation for the reduction in the proceeds of the beneficiaries of gambling activities will be implemented at the same level as in 2022.
The Government submitted its budget proposal for 2023 to Parliament on 19 September.
Link to the Government proposal (in Finnish)
Government proposals submitted in connection with the budget proposal:
• Government proposal for an act amending the Act on the Financing of Education and Culture
It is proposed that a new section (section 46) be included in the Act on the Financing of Education and Culture. This section would contain provisions on a special discretionary government grant for early childhood education and care for children in need of international or temporary protection or for undocumented children.
• Government proposal for an act amending section 26 of the Basic Education Act
It is proposed that the provision on monitoring absences under section 26 of the Basic Education Act be specified so that education providers would, besides monitoring absences by pupils participating in primary and lower secondary education, also prevent and intervene systematically in absences.
• Government proposal for an act amending the Act on Financial Aid for Students
It is proposed that the students’ own income thresholds that affect financial aid for students be raised by 50%.
• Government proposal on amending the Act on the Financing of Education and Culture and the Act on Liberal Adult Education
The Act on the Financing of Education and Culture and the Act on Liberal Adult Education will be amended so that the reduction in the volume and costs of activities resulting from the COVID-19 epidemic will not have a lowering effect on the level and distribution of funding in the coming years.
• Government proposal for acts amending section 29 of the Act on Central Government Funding for National Art Institutions and the National Gallery
Provisions on statutory central government funding to national art institutions (National Gallery, National Opera and Ballet, National Theatre).
• Government proposal for acts amending the Act on the National Registers of Education Records, Qualifications and Degrees and the Act on Basic Education in the Arts
Amendments are proposed to the Act on National Registers of Education Records, Qualifications and Degrees.
• Government proposal for an act amending the Act on the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre
The government proposal lays down provisions on a digital quality assessment system for early childhood education and care
• Anita Lehikoinen, Permanent Secretary, tel. +358 295 330 182
• Eeva-Riitta Pirhonen, Director General (primary and lower secondary education, early childhood education and care, liberal adult education), tel. +358 295 330 258
• Petri Lempinen, Director General (vocational education and training, general upper secondary education), tel. + 358 295 330 180
• Atte Jääskeläinen, Director General, (higher education and science), tel. +358 295 330 309
• Riitta Kaivosoja, Director General (culture and arts policy and basic education in the arts), tel. +358 295 330 129
• Esko Ranto, Director General (youth and sport policy, student financial aid), tel. +358 295 330 115
• Pasi Rentola, Director of Finance (general financial planning), tel. +358 295 330 211
• Timo Ertola, Ministerial Adviser (general financial planning), tel. +358 295 330 083