Comparative analysis of the finnish and portuguese education systems

  • Rui Miguel Monteiro Machado (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Education has a prominent role in contemporary society, ensuring the development of individuals into adulthood and preparing them for the workplace. Several studies highlight the impact of school on the future earnings of individuals, from class size to the quality of teachers to the quality of classmates. Additionally, there is increasing academic consensus about the role of individual education in the economic growth of countries. Thus, it matters which education systems prepare their students most effectively. The Finnish education system has performed impressively well in PISA tests and its education is clearly defined by equity among students. Portugal, on the other hand, has managed to increase the levels of school attainment among its population and to considerably improve its results on the PISA tests. However, it still does not present results at the same level as Finland. The aim of this dissertation is to conduct a comparative analysis between the two education systems and to understand the reasons for the persistence of differences either in the grades themselves between the two countries or in inequalities between students. To this end, we conducted a research investigation using quantitative methods, through the processing, analysis and interpretation of data, and qualitative methods, through the treatment of documentary, interpretative, exploratory, and descriptive information. Ultimately, we conclude that the Finnish education system provides students with improved preparation for university and working life, and promotes greater social mobility.
Date of Award13 Jul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorSandra Cristina Lima Coelho (Supervisor)


  • Education
  • Education system
  • Portugal
  • Finland


  • Mestrado em Economia Empresarial

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