The University in the Making of the Welfare State

The 1970s Degree Reform in Finland

by Marja Jalava (Author)
Monographs 210 Pages


In just a couple of decades, Finland evolved from one of Europe’s lowest educated countries to the top performer of the international PISA ranking. Behind this «success story», there was a conscious strategy to use educational policies for creating a more equal society. Tracing the development of Finnish higher education system after WWII, this book depicts the role of educational expansion in the making of the welfare state. It focuses on the 1970s degree reform and the challenges brought by the 1973 Oil Crisis, resulting in the rise of New Public Management. Though meticulously planned, the reform was a struggle between various actors with conflicting strategies and goals; between educational optimism and scarce resources, academic values and instrumentalism, social justice and elitism.


ISBN (Softcover)
Think Tanks PISA Surveys State planning Leftist student movement Higher Education Nordic Countries Human Capital Economic Growth Student Movement
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2012. 210 pp.

Biographical notes

Marja Jalava (Author)

Marja Jalava is Academy Research Fellow in the Department of Philosophy, History, Culture and Art Studies at the University of Helsinki. She has published widely on modern and contemporary Finnish and Nordic history, intellectual history, and the history of historiography.


Title: The University in the Making of the Welfare State