Before the OECD PISA studies and Finnish students’ success in them, Finland has been a fairly unknown country except for our neighbour countries Sweden and Russia. Older generations might still remember Finland as the small and brave nation who successfully fought for its independence against the Soviet Union in two wars between 1939 and 1944, and then built up a solid industrial base for the country to pay the heavy war indemnities which in turn led to the construction of a prosperous Nordic welfare state during the latter part of the 2000th century.
To complement the reporting and analyses of Finnish students’ performance in the OECD PISA-studies on the previous pages, we have collected in this section an array of miscellaneous information regarding Finland. The objective is to offer some background information on the country whose students have written Finnish education on the global scene through PISA. Even if the selection by necessity offers only a glimpse into this country of 5.3 million inhabitants, we hope it will encourage you to search for more information elsewhere.