The history of the FinEd Network begins with the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Education and Learning.

The roots of the FinEd Network lie in the Finnish Doctoral Programme in Education and Learning (KASVA, Kasvatusalan valtakunnallisen tutkijakoulu), which was founded in 1995. KASVA was one of the national doctoral programmes financed by the Academy of Finland and the Ministry of Education and Culture. These doctoral programmes were launched to enhance doctoral training in Finland. The fixed‑period programmes offered doctoral students the opportunity to study for a doctoral degree within a four-year full-time paid researcher post.

KASVA’s founding member units came from six Finnish universities (the Universities of Turku, Oulu, Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Joensuu, and Tampere). The first coordinating unit was the University of Oulu, and the Head of the doctoral programme was Professor Leena Syrjälä. From 2003, coordination was transferred to the University of Turku, where Professor Risto Rinne led the programme. The doctoral programme was divided into four sub-programmes with parallel research and research training themes: the Sub-programme on Education, Knowledge and Culture (EKC / KTK), the Sub-programme of Comparative Research on Educational Policy, Economy and Assessment (CREPEA / KAVE), the Sub-programme on Learning, Learning Contexts and Teacher Education (LCTE / OPPIKO), and the Sub‑programme on Developmental Work Research and Adult Education (DWRAE / KEHTY).

In connection with the reform of national doctoral training, the earmarked financing for the national doctoral programmes ended in 2012. However, the Academy of Finland continued to finance the operations of the national doctoral programmes until the end of 2015. Subsequent changes have required significant reforms in the financing and operations of the doctoral programmes. KASVA continued its work between 2012 and 2015, and in 2014 the University of Lapland and Åbo Akademi University joined the programme. At the same time, negotiations began on the national cooperation of researcher education.

The agreement concerning the Finnish Multidisciplinary Doctoral Training Network on Educational Sciences (FinEd) was signed in the autumn of 2015. The member units of the new network are the University of Oulu, the University of Jyväskylä, the University of Eastern Finland, the University of Lapland, the University of Tampere, the University of Turku, and Åbo Akademi University. The University of Turku continued to act as a coordinating unit of the network until the end of 2017, after which coordination of the network was transferred to the University of Tampere (2018–2019). In 2020-2021, the activities of the network were coordinated by the University of Lapland. In 2021, also the agreement of collaboration among the member units was updated, and signed in 2022, when the University of Helsinki was in charge of coordinating FinEd activities (2022–2023). In 2024, the coordinating responsibility moved on to the University of Eastern Finland.