Educational personnel in schools at upper secondary and tertiary level

0. Registration entry for subjects

0.1 Name

Educational personnel in schools at upper secondary and tertiary level

0.2 Subject area


0.3 Responsible authority; office, division, person etc.

Department of Wages, income and education
Ásta M. Urbancic, phone +354 528 1041, e-mail:

0.4 Purpose and history

Statistics Iceland has since 1998 collected statistical information on personnel at the upper secondary and tertiary levels. The data collection takes place each autumn and the reference period is November. For public schools, raw data are retrieved from the State Accounting Office, which are then sent to the relevant schools for examination and vetting. Data on private schools are received directly from the relevant schools.The purpose of these reports is to gather data on the staff of upper secondary and tertiary educational institutions, especially the educational personnel, their number, professional education and full time equivalence (FTE). Also the amount of teaching and research carried out where applicable. These data are used for the production of statistics, both for domestic and international use.

0.5 Users and application

Data on the educational personnel of upper secondary and tertiary educational institutions are used to supply information to international institutions as well as for all publications of Statistics Iceland regarding educational matters. The results are used by the Ministry of Education, scholars, directors and the personnel of educational institutions, for both policy making and research.

0.6 Sources

The principal sources of data for public schools are reports from the State Accounting Office. The principal data source for private schools are the individual schools themselves. Data are collected in the autumn with November as the reference month. Information is collected about individual employees of each school (ID number), their job titles, education, full time equivalents (FTE), proportion of teaching, proportion of research when applicable and the proportion of licensed teachers, where appropriate.

0.7 Legal basis for official statistics

Act on Statistics Iceland No. 163/2007. Act on upper secondary schools No. 92/2008 and Act on universities No. 63/2006. An agreement between Statistics Iceland and the Ministry of Education from the year 1997 about collecting and reporting statistics on education. A clause in special agreements between the Ministry of Education and schools about delivering data to Statistics Iceland.

0.8 Response burden

For most schools the response burden is minimal and is decreasing since a lot of preparative work has been done at Statistics Iceland. The Education and Culture department of Statistics Iceland has prepared documents for the schools in a near-complete form and has sent questionnaires to them with the bulk of the information already filled in. The schools are required to proofread and verify the information entered. The response burden is higher for private schools since information about them cannot be retrieved from the State Accounting Office and they must therefore supply all data themselves.

0.9 EEA and EU obligations

The data collection on personnel of upper secondary and tertiary level institutions is in accordance with European standards and in collaboration with Eurostat. Data are delivered to Eurostat and other international organisations.

1. Contents

1.1 Description of content

The reporting covers the following points which pertain to personnel at the upper secondary and tertiary levels:
Employee: Employees who have received salary from a school in the month of November each year. The number of employees is determined from the ID number, received either from the State Accounting Office or directly from each school. Information regarding gender and domicile of each employee is collected by a linkup to the National Population Register on December 1st each year.
Job title: Job title is coded according to the ÍSTARF 95 classification system, which is based on the international classification system ISCO-88. Each school is asked to classify and label each employee with an ÍSTARF code according to his or her employment contract.
Education: Information is requested on the highest educational degree that an employee has obtained. This education is classified according to the international classification system ISCED97. Type of college or university degree is listed, e.g. Ph.D., Diploma, B.Sc. or any additional education.
Teaching license: Information on teaching licenses is gathered where applicable, which is only for teachers at the upper secondary level.
Full time equivalents (FTE): FTE is calculated by the State Accounting Office for each employee of public schools that has received a salary in November each year. FTE is based on information from the offices man-year database. FTE can be higher than 1.0 when the total number of working hours of an employee, including overtime, has been counted. FTE of substitute or part time teachers or other personnel on hourly contracts is calculated thus: Number of paid hours/number of hours for 100% employment. FTE for private schools is based on the same premises as stated above but is calculated by the individual schools themselves but not The State Accounting Office.
Teaching ratio: The calculated ratio of teaching hours to the total of FTE. For upper secondary school teachers the amount of teaching is reported per week and 24 teaching hours per week is seen as an FTE of 1.0. In this way a teacher with an FTE of 1.3 who teaches 31.2 hours per week has a 100% amount of teaching according to (31.2/24)=1.3.For tertiary level teachers the reference is the teaching obligation ratio according to the individual employment contract and job title. A professor will normally have a teaching obligation of 48% for each FTE but an associate professor will have 65%.
Research ratio: The research ratio only applies to the tertiary level and then only to those employees who have some contractual research obligations. Just as with the teaching ratio the research ratio is based on employment contract and job title. Professors usually have a 40% research obligation but associate professors only 30%. If other rules apply to the research ratios then the individual schools will fill in this information, proof and correct the data.

1.2 Statistical concepts

School/educational institution: A school is defined here as a separate entity or place where education is carried out. A school does not necessarily have to be confined to a building or a particular place. Most often, however, a school has the traditional meaning of an educational institution which is confined to a particular building or a place.
Employee: An individual who has received a salary from any given school during the reference month (November).
Teaching employee: An employee who has received salary from any given school during the reference month (November) and has done any teaching. The employee may have another job as his principal employment.
Employee turnover: Ratio of employees who have worked at an upper secondary or tertiary level institution for one year and do not appear on the employee list a year later but have not died during the year. Also known as dropout rate from work.

2. Time

2.1 Reference periods

Reports are requested from the schools once a year, in November. The personnel comprises all employees of the school who received salary in the month of November.

2.2 Process time

The processing time of the data is 9 10 months. The processing is done in three steps.1. Raw data are prepared and sent to the schools. This takes approximately one month.2. The schools are given one to two months to check and correct the data. Some schools need a considerable amount of time for this step.3. The data are proofed and coordinated after they are received from the schools. Schools are questioned on any uncertainties before the data are saved to a database.

2.3 Punctuality

The main results from the autumn data gathering on employees of upper secondary and tertiary level schools are published on the Statistics Iceland website early in September.An advance release calendar detailing which date what material will be published in final form is put on the Statistics Iceland website in October each year.

2.4 Frequency of releases

Results of the data collection are published annually.

3. Reliability and security

3.1 Accuracy and reliability

Statistics Iceland requests data from the upper secondary schools and universities covered by this data collection as well as data from the State Accounting Office. The response rate so far has been 100%.

3.2 Sources of errors

The goal is to keep errors to an absolute minimum. This is achieved through comparison to reports from previous years, queries to individual institutions and linkups to other databases of Statistics Iceland, such as the National Population Register and data sets from previous data collections. Databases and registers searched include, amongst others, old employee records, the Register of Graduations of Statistics Iceland and listings of teachers held by The Association of Local Authorities. Errors can usually be traced to inaccurate entries of original data within the schools. Information is primarily lacking on education and/or teaching licenses. Also, the reliability of the schools classification of employees and assignment of ÍSTARF 95 code is somewhat variable. Some schools have the tendency to classify employees according to education, respect or salary rather than actual job description (e.g. job title doctor rather than lecturer). Schools sometimes have limited information about their "part time teachers" and can therefore sometimes not include information regarding their education.
The number of employees in November is thought to reflect the number of employees for the entire school year. The number of employees in the spring semester is not necessarily the same as in the autumn semester which can cause errors when conclusions are drawn from the autumn numbers alone. In addition, employees who only work for a short time during the school year are not always included in the data collection.

3.3 Measures on confidence limits/accuracy

During the data collection on employees of upper secondary and tertiary level, data are collected from all institutions that fall under this coverage. Since the data are population statistics, rather than sampling statistics, measures on confidence limits or accuracy are not relevant and therefore not done.

4. Comparison

4.1 Comparison between periods

This data collection has been uninterrupted since 1998 but has not been carried out in the same fashion for the entire time, or with the same reference time. In 1998 statistics on personnel were collected in February but the ID number for each employee was not collected. Since 1999 employee data have been collected for each individual based on his or hers ID number. February was the reference month until 2001 when the data collection was moved to March since it turned out that overtime hours for the December exam period were sometimes being compiled in February. In the autumn of 2004 the data collection was again moved and now to the month of November to improve comparability to student records. The data are therefore not fully comparable from year to year. The changes in the data collection are all aimed to improve the reliability and accuracy of the data.

4.2 Comparison with other statistics

Figures on the employees of upper secondary and tertiary schools are published on a per-school basis so that each school is said to be at one educational level even if it offers courses on both upper secondary and tertiary levels. Usually a school is said to be at the same level as the majority of its pupils. Results from these reports are compared to other sources and statistical figures as appropriate, such as the National Population Register, student records and graduation records as well as figures from other countries, e.g. in international publications. The coverage of the data on personnel is not as extensive as the coverage of the Student Register because employees of music schools are not included in the data collection, with the exception of The Reykjavík Music School, and The Reykjavík Academy of Singing and Vocal Arts. Additionally many small specialised educational institutions outside the conventional school system are not included.

4.3 Coherence between preliminary and final statistics

No preliminary or provisional statistics are published.

5. Access to information

5.1 Forms of dissemination

News, released on Statistics Icelands website
Statistics, categorised statistical web tables
Statistical Series, Hagtíðindi
Statistical Yearbook of Iceland, Landshagir
Data from the Statistics Iceland database on employees of upper secondary and tertiary level educational institutions is published by international organizations, such as Key data on Education in Europe which is published biannually (published by Eurydice), Education at a Glance (annual publication by OECD) and Global Education Digest (annual publication by UNESCO).

5.2 Basic data; storage and usability

The data are preserved in a computeris format by Statistics Iceland. All data which concern individuals are treated as confidential. Access to individual data is restricted and normally not allowed. When responding to enquiries data can not be traced to individuals. Scientists can apply for access to individual data if they meet certain requirements.

5.3 Reports

5.4 Other information

More information can be obtained from the individual responsible for the data on personnel in upper secondary and tertiary education and from other staff in the Department on Education and Culture Statistics.

© Hagstofa �slands, �ann 7-2-2014