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Education and cooperation at the border of Finland and Karelian Federation. The challenges of upper secondary education in East Finland and the Republic of Karelia
Funded by Euregio Karelia Neighbourhood Programme 2001-2006

Objective of the project

The purpose of the project was to strengthen the Finnish-Russian research cooperation and expand it in the field of education research by jointly compiling reports about the situation of the education sector and its pressures to change in East Finland and the Republic of Karelia.

Main activities

• Assessing the state and the needs of school systems and educational institutions by Finnish and Russian researchers, • Gathering research material through surveys and interviews and by utilizing newspapers, documents, statistical data and plans of the officials of the Russian educational authority and the Finnish National Board of Education. • Research on development outlooks, challenges and operational prerequisites of cooperative opportunities


The project reviewed various educational systems and needs with the help of Finnish and Russian researchers. The researched surveyed, in particular, the state of upper secondary education and institutes – high schools and vocational training – and the requirements for cooperation. In the border district, data were collected with questionnaires and interviews and by utilising documents, statistics and plans of the Finnish National Board of Education and newspaper material. Locally, on the other hand, development outlooks, challenges and operational prerequisites were researched with case studies and examples of educational institutes. The focus of attention was in cooperative opportunities between East Finland and the Republic of Karelia, experiences on cooperation, the advantages and disadvantages as well as future challenges. In Russia, the educational domain was surveyed, along with document and statistical data, by interviewing officials of the educational authority. Work was undertaken in case studies both in Petrozavodsk and in the border cities of Sortavala and Kostomuksha. The Karelian Research Centre and the Petrozavodsk State University participated jointly with the Ministry of Education and Youth Affairs of the Republic of Karelia in the implementation of the survey in Russia. The research laid out an overview on the education network and institutes of upper secondary education in the Republic of Karelia. The education and curriculum plans were compared with the economical outlook of the border area and possibilities made available by the new kind of cross-border cooperation. By researching and publicising the outlooks of the Russian educational system, the project helped in laying foundations for the development of a new type of Finnish-Russian educational cooperation. The Karelian Institute of the Joensuu University and the Department of Sociology were in charge of the Finnish part of the research. The most important transformation needs of education were researched by interviewing the responsible authorities and key figures in education as well as by utilising education discussions in the newspapers. At the same time, special attention was paid on occupational education, its present state and future outlook in light of statistics. In East Finland, an extensive survey was also carried out about the Russian cooperation of upper secondary education institutions and the present state of Russian language studies. The book Oppia rajalla (Learning on the Border) was published as a result of the project in Finnish and Russian.

Basic information



2005-06-01 - 2007-03-31

Total Budget / Programme funding

165 307 € / 153 956 €

Lead partner

Joensuu University, Karelian Institute
Lead partner web-site


Petrozavodsk State University
Karelian Research Centre
The Department of Sociology at Joensuu University