Study in Kainuu!

In practice, all education in Finland is financed from tax revenue, and the system therefore offers everyone equal opportunities to study. Teachers are highly trained, with university-level degrees and their profession is held in high regard.

You may learn more about the Finnish education system for example following the links to the pages of:

On this page, we aim to give you a general view on schools and education in Kainuu region and to provide links to additional English information as available.

City of Kajaani/ International Info has also produced a comprehensive English introduction to early childhood care and compulsory schooling in Finland and in Kainuu. You’ll find the video on their You Tube channel.

My Own School!

Finnish municipalities are responsible for arranging education for all 6 – 15 years old (this includes pre-primary education). All the eight municipalities in Kainuu provide basic education according to national guidelines in their own comprehensive schools, which are listed below.

Our comprehensive schools mainly offer education in Finnish, but in Kajaani there also are some classes that are taught 50% in Finnish and 50% in English. There also is some support available to upkeep the mother tongue of students who don’t speak Finnish as their first language.


Comprehensive Schools in Kainuu

Hyrynsalmi (in Finnish): 2 comprehensive schools.
Kajaani (in Finnish): 14 comprehensive schools including the hospital school.
Kuhmo (in Finnish): 3 comprehensive schools.
Paltamo (in Finnish): 2 comprehensive schools.
Puolanka (in Finnish): 1 comprehensive school.
Ristijärvi (in Finnish): 1 comprehensive school.
Basic Education in Sotkamo (in English): 7  comprehensive schools.
Suomussalmi (n Finnish): 2 comprehensive schools.

General upper secondary education (senior high schools) provides students with extensive general knowledge and the readiness to begin further studies. At the completion of general upper secondary school studies, students take the Finnish national matriculation examination.

As basic education, also the general upper secondary education is free of charge.

Becoming a Professional

There is something interesting for everyone in the offerings of our nationally and internationally acclaimed educational institutions. We aim to meet the needs of working life in the region, but also to create something new and bring well-being to the whole of Kainuu. The unique degree programs, a global network of collaborations and a learning environment close to nature together guarantee a unique learning experience. Lifelong learning hasn’t be forgotten about either. Kainuu offers great opportunities to increase your skills and to throw yourself into your favorite hobbies, regardless of your age and life situation!


Vocational Education at KAO

Kainuu Vocational College (KAO) offers vocational upper secondary education for both youth and adults. In addition to training leading to a degree or part of a degree, KAO offers additional vocational training. The educational opportunities are wide, ranging from the fields of culture and well-being to technology. The educational competence of KAO with strong local roots is in demand and valued both nationally and internationally.

Learn More!


Sports as a Profession

Vuokatti Sports Academy offers vocational training in the fields of sports, massage and coaching in a unique environment. The college also acts as a training center for professional athletes, which means that also the competence available is world-class. It is also possible to study at the Sports Academy for the bachelor’s degree of physiotherapist, organized by Savonia University of Applied Sciences.

Visit the Vuokatti Sport Website

Kainuu doesn’t have its own university, but we cooperate with some universities in order to provide high level education and thereby trained professionals we need in the Kainuu region. In addition, we have a first-class university of applied sciences, offering both bachelor level and master’s level education.

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Future Experts are Made at KAMK

Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) offers high-quality educational services but also research, development and innovation services in the fields of well-being, technology, business and tourism. KAMK also has several bachelor’s and master’s level degrees available in English.

KAMK is a proactive, genuinely international university with a very strong reputation both regionally and nationally. The studies focus on practically integrating education with real working life, and train new professionals in response to current labour market needs.

Read More About KAMK


The Kajaani University Consortium (KUC) is a networked academic community focused on scientific research, university teaching and community relations. The objective is to intensify cooperation between the universities and to develop collaboration with regional universities of applied sciences, business and commerce.

The Kajaani University Consortium consists of four networked universities (Eastern Finland, Lapland, Jyväskylä and Oulu) that have units in Kajaani and Sotkamo. The Consortium is coordinated by University of Oulu.

Read More

Young in Kainuu Region

What’s it like to be a student in Kainuu and what kind of services are available for students? In addition to services provided by educational institutes, an extensive municipal network of youth activities offers easy access to services from leisure activities to support services. Here is some information you might be interested in!

Studying in Kajaani

Kajaanin Pietari apartments

Other Educational Institutes

There are also several community colleges operating in Kainuu municipalities, operating on the principle of lifelong learning and arranging a large variety of courses from sports to arts, languages and  so on. Just name a topic!

Kainuu Music Institute organizes basic art education with  extensive curriculum of music and dance in Kajaani, Hyrynsalmi, Paltamo, Puolanka, Ristijärvi, Suomussalmi, Vaala and Vuolijoki, Education is available for all age groups.

There are also open university courses available at Learning Centre Kainula and at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences.



Free libraries serve Kainuu residents in all the regions’s municipalities, with also some library buses that serve especially the more remote areas. Libraries may also host  events and exhibitions. Get to know the library services of your own municipality!

Hyrynsalmi (in Finnish)
Kajaani (in Finnish)
Kuhmo (in Finnish)
Paltamo (in Finnish)
Puolanka (in Finnish)
Ristijärvi (in Finnish)
Sotkamo (in English)
Suomussalmi (in Finnish)

Hossan lastenpäivä_Kuva Suomussalmen kunta_Kuvaaja Suvi Koskela

Kainuu Cultural Experiences

Kainuu flourishes with a rich and diverse culture, characterized by long traditions and strong expertise. Regardless of the form of culture  you enjoy, you will find it in Kainuu near you. Check out the cultural offer of the municipalities!

Hyrynsalmi (in Finnish)
Kajaani (in Finnish)
Kuhmo (in Finnish)
Paltamo (in Finnish)
Puolanka (in Finnish)
Ristijärvi (in Finnish)
Sotkamo (in English)
Suomussalmi (in Finnish)

Hossan avajaiset _Sup-lautailija_ Kuva Suomussalmen kunta


Kainuu is a paradise for sports enthusiasts, with specific sports for different seasons. In winter you will find snowy ski slopes with beautiful views and ski trail networks that extend to forests of every municipality. In summer, Finland’s most beautiful golf courses invite you to their greens and endless hiking trails await you. Sports services by municipality:

Hyrynsalmi (in Finnish)
Kajaani (in Finnish)
Kuhmo (in Finnish)
Paltamo (in Finnish)
Puolanka (in Finnish)
Ristijärvi (in Finnish)
Sotkamo (in English)
Suomussalmi (in Finnish)


Kainuun Liikunta, one of the fifteen regional sports organizations in Finland, promotes the sporty way of life of all people in Kainuu through development, training, influence, guidance and events.

Read More About Kainuun Liikunta

Nature Experiences

In Kainuu, you can find nature experiences for every taste and season. The region is no less than a year-round paradise for active athletes and nature lovers. Be enchanted by bear watching and summer theater performances surrounded by nature or let the adrenaline flow on the ski slopes and wake board track. The surrounding nature can be easily accessed in any way you like: hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, skiing, snowshoeing, sup-boarding, snowmobiling or even husky sledding. 

There are four national parks in Kainuu. Find these and other national parks at:

Explore more possibilities via a national site:

Finland, Naturally Experiences frontpage