What do study centres do?


Study centres provide a comprehensive and diverse range of adult education throughout Finland. They represent the interests of a very broad spectrum of NGOs, political parties and trade unions. If, for example, you have ever taken part in an educational or training course or programme in Finland provided by the scouts, a volunteer fire-brigade, a political party, trade union or other professional or trade association, or even your local parish church, you have probably received study centre education.

Study centres are liberal adult education institutions. This means that the instruction is non-formal, is provided in the learner’s own locality, and does not lead to a qualification. Studies are based on self-motivation, participation and collaborative learning. The centres meet learners’ needs in the following areas:
·     self-development, e.g., communication skills, handicraft and IT skills
·     active citizenship: support in participating in and influencing society
·     organizational skills, e.g. meeting and negotiation skills, organizational activity and operational management and planning
·     cultural skills such as writing, handicrafts and understanding the influence of culture on thought and action
·     studies related to member organizations’ core ideals and objectives, such as ideological, cultural or spiritual goals and values.
Common to all studies and activities is the desire to promote certain goals or principles within society.
The function of the study centres is regulated by the Liberal Adult Education Act. For more information, see the study centre Mission.
Civic organizations - the force behind the study centres
Finland’s 11 study centres are correspondingly maintained by 11 civic organizations. The members of these organizations include political party organizations, trade unions and other NGOs. These civic organizations and their respective study centres promote civic activity from very diverse perspectives. For further information, see the Study Centres section.