General upper secondary education

General upper secondary education provides students with extensive general knowledge and readiness to begin studies at university, university of applied sciences or vocational training.

A student should have completed the comprehensive school to apply. Studies are based on courses with no specified year-classes. However, the syllabus covers three years of studies and is based on national Finnish core curriculum. At the completion, students take the Finnish national matriculation examination.

Education is free of charge. However, some fees may be applied, and textbooks and teaching materials are not free of charge.

Joensuu has five daytime general upper secondary schools and one school for adults.

Schools in Joensuu

Lyseon lukio, “Lyska”

Lyseon lukio, “Lyska”

Yhteiskoulun lukio, “JYK”

Yhteiskoulun lukio, “JYK”

Applying to general upper secondary schools

Applying to general upper secondary schools

The application to the general upper secondary schools in Joensuu follows the national application process. Application form can be found and filled in here: 

The next application period is in February-March 2022. 

General admission criterium is the completed syllabus of comprehensive school. The students are selected based on the average note of the theoretic subjects in the comprehensive school’s certificate. In addition, special programmes in Joensuu schools organise entrance exams and tests. These are: 

  • language exam in Finnish and Russian at the School of Eastern Finland 
  • entrance exam to the IB-programme (international baccalaureate) of “Lyseon lukio”
  • entrance exam to music and expression programmes of “Yhteiskoulun lukio”
  • interviews for the sports programme of “Yhteiskoulun lukio”

When applying, the student selects the priority order of schools. The choice is final and cannot be changed after the application period. The admission is according to the selected priority order. If the student is not selected to the 1st school option, (s)he will be considered for the 2nd option. 

Preparatory education for upper secondary school

Good language skills are necessary in upper secondary school. If the student’s native language is some other than Finnish and his or her language skills are not yet at the level required for upper secondary school studies, he or she can apply to preparatory education for upper secondary school (lukioon valmistava koulutus, LUVA). 

A comprehensive school-leaving certificate or the equivalent knowledge and skills are needed to apply for LUVA education. One must be able to speak and understand Finnish sufficiently well to be able to follow the instruction provided in preparatory education. LUVA education normally takes one year. During this year, one will study Finnish as well as studying skills. The study programme may also include other language studies and some upper secondary school courses. The programme is supported by study guidance.