The Finnish way to the information society: expanding engineer education
In a European context Finland is, measured in many dimensions, the most developed information society. In Finnish exports the share of the IT sector is onethird. In the 1990s the number of Internet-connected computers grew to be the highest in Europe and now half of the population uses a mobile phone. One of the most important factors behind this massive change is the activity and flexibility of engineer education. The number of student places in education in information and telecommunication (IT) technology was, in 1999, five times higher than in the middle of the decade. The success of the IT sector has assumed and implied the extension of higher education as a whole. At the end of the 20th century there were student places at universities and polytechnics for four-fifths of that age group in Finland. Engineering education also has an important role in ensuring the preconditions of the production of IT industry,and in generating the demand for IT equipment. In education Finns have become familiar with the IT equipment and technologies.