National data warehouse for higher education

VIRTA higher education achievement register and VIRTA publication information service form the National data warehouse for higher education. The services are owned by the Ministry of Education and Culture and operated by CSC - IT Centre for Science. 



VIRTA higher education achievement register

Using the VIRTA higher education achievement register

The VIRTA register is mainly used in the application process for higher education, when Finnish National Board of Education uses it to access student achievement records, and when the Ministry of Education and Culture and Statistics Finland collect data. We are continuously working on enhancing the use of VIRTA so that the VIRTA register could be used by as many authorities or other organisations as possible: either by accessing the register contents via the interface directly, or through file transfer. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland - KELA, the National Supervisory Official for Welfare and Health - Valvira, and the Finnish Student Health Service - YTHS has joined the register in 2016.  In addition to the abovementioned, higher education institutions may use the data resource in their other activities, such as in the student annual registration service OILI.

Data contents

The VIRTA register includes data about higher education degrees, study records and grades from both degree programs and other programs. Additionally, the data resource contains student identification information. This means their personal information, their eligibility for studies and their enrollment information. This information is collected all students participating in degree programs and in teacher education, and students enrolled in extension studies in the universities of applied sciences.

Implementation and launch

The VIRTA higher education achievement register was launched in the spring of 2014. The data contents and the use of the data resources of the VIRTA register is regulated by the Act on student selection register, the national data resource for higher education and student selection register (1058/1998). All higher education institutions under the governance of the Ministry of Education and Culture use the VIRTA register to store a copy of a part of their student register. The Police University College has  joined the VIRTA register in the summer of 2016 and the National Defense University is espected to join in 2017. Additional information (in Finnish).



VIRTA publication information service

Using the VIRTA publication information service

The VIRTA publication information service compiles metadata about all publications from all Finnish research organisations. The information is useful in various services and process concerning researchers. The information can be transferred to other organisations, such as research funders, publication or research data repositories, research infrastructure services, or other services used by researchers in order to avoid manual input. The VIRTA publication information service will provide the higher education institutions and other research organisations with up-to-date, comparative data on their own publications, as well as those of other institutions.

Data contents

The VIRTA publication information service includes all information on the scholarly publications by the Finnish higher education institutions, research institutes and the university hospital districts. It enables the research organisations to present, correct and complete the data online. The metadata have been gathered by the Ministry of Education and Culture since 2011. Eventually the VIRTA service will contain up-to-date information on all the publications produced by the Finnish research organisations, including, within reasonable limits, all past publications. The contents of the VIRTA service will be accessible via open APIs by any system or service.

Implementation and launch

The VIRTA publication information service has been launched in the spring 2016. Any higher education institution, research institute and university hospital have thereafter been invited to join. The pilot was conducted in March 2016 through the collection of publication information by the Ministry of Education and Culture. In the spring 2017, the Ministry’s entire collection of publication information will be executed through the VIRTA publication information service. The Academy of Finland will pilot using VIRTA in its reporting service in the spring 2016. Additional information (in Finnish).

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