00:41 GMT27 January 2021
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    Finland's Ministry of Education, seeking to dispel rumors about widespread illiteracy among incoming refugees, has conducted a survey, according to which a majority of asylum seekers have "at least" basic education.

    Nearly 70 percent of the asylum seekers in Finland have gone to primary school for at least seven years, according to a study commissioned by the Finnish Ministry of Education.

    The survey found that 14 percent of the asylum seekers have undergone some form of vocational training. The level is rather low, which according to the investigators reflects the fact that a profession in the migrants' countries of origin is usually learned by working instead of learning.

    About half of the new arrivals have been to high school, a quarter have studied at college and one in six is said to have a college degree.

    The investigation also shows that seven percent of asylum seekers have no education whatsoever and can neither read nor write.

    About 90 percent of those interviewed have work experience. Many have worked in several industries, the most of them having experience in construction and transportation industries. Other common experience comes from trade, restaurant and hotel industries.

    The investigation has been carried out by the investigation institute Testipiste, evaluating immigrants' language skills. The report is based on interviews conducted in 14 refugee camps in the province of Uusimaa in Eastern Finland. It was conducted at the beginning of the year and 1,004 applicants from 32 countries were interviewed in the process.

    According to an investigation carried out by the broadcasting company SVT in Finland's neighboring country Sweden last year, the Nordic countries have never before experienced such an wave of well-educated specialists, such as doctors, civil engineers and economists. SVT's overoptimistic depiction of the situation as a "competence rain" has since been dismissed by a number of researchers. Among others the economist Tino Sanandaji, who has been a vocal opponent of what turned out to be an uncontrolled influx of refugees last year, pointed out that only 0.3 percent of the incoming migrants are actually trained scientists. He also noted that Scandinavian newspapers are deliberately manipulating the data, misrepresenting refugees with unfinished school education as competent specialists.

    According to Finland's Migration Board, a total of 32,476 refugees mostly from the Middle East and Northern Africa, were taken in last year.


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    asylum policy, higher education, education, refugees, Finland
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