Post-Secondary Vocational Education: A Comparison of Finland and Taiwan
Both Finland and Taiwan have gone through large scale of vocational education reforms in the 1990s. Finnish polytechnic education has shown great success. The study firstly identities characteristics of Finnish polytechnic education in curriculum. It further makes comparison between Finland and Taiwan of 4-year post-secondary vocational education in curriculum. Five primary differences are found. (1) The polytechnic sector in Finland has gone through several mergers, which makes polytechnics stronger and more effective. On the contrary, the number of post-secondary vocational institutions has dramatically increased in Taiwan. (2) While the labor market and regional development have been taken into account in the curriculum of Finnish polytechnic education, Taiwan needs to make closer connections with the industry and the business. (3) Internships and Bachelor’s theses are required for polytechnic Bachelor’s degrees in Finland, but not required in Taiwan. Internships and Bachelor’s theses play an important role in bridging training received at school and hands-on experience gained at workplaces. (4) Longer study hours are required for polytechnic Bachelor’s degree in Finland, but less than half of the study hours are needed in Taiwan. (5) Competence in foreign languages is highly emphasized and enhances the student mobility of Finnish students. On the contrary, incompetence in foreign languages delimits Taiwanese students’ participation in international activities.
Keywords: Polytechnics, Vocational Education, Finland, Taiwan
Yi-Fen Rosa Tang
PhD Student, Department of Comparative Education, National Chi Nan University
Affiliation not supplied