The number of students at levels above compulsory education decreased by 1.7%
There were 45,418 students at levels above compulsory education in Iceland in the autumn of 2012, a decrease of 799 students from the previous year (-1.7%), mostly due to fewer students at the upper secondary level. There were 20,546 males in education and 24,872 females. The number of males decreased by 242 from the previous year (-1.9%) and the number of females decreased by 451 (-3.4%).

There were 25,460 students at the upper secondary level, a decrease of 2.6% from the previous year. The increase in the number of students at the upper secondary level between 2010 and 2011 has mostly been reversed to the number of students in 2010. There were 869 students at the post-secondary non-tertiary level, a decrease of 9.9%. There were 19,089 students at the tertiary level as a whole, a 0.1% decrease from the autumn of 2011.

Fewer 19 and 20 year olds in education in the autumn of 2012 than in 2011
A total of 73.5% of 19 year olds attended school, and 53.6% of 20 year olds, a considerable reduction from the previous year. In the autumn of 2011 75.2% of 19 year olds and 58.0% of 20 year olds attended school, so attendance decreased by 1.7 percentage points for 19 year olds and by 4.4 percentage points for 20 year olds. The drop in attendance was observed both for males and females.

The enrolment rate of 16 year olds in Iceland in the autumn of 2012 was 95.5%, an increase of 0.3 percentage points from the autumn of 2011. The enrolment rate of females increased by one percentage point, while the rate for males decreased by 0.3 percentage points. The enrolment rate for 16 year olds was highest in the East, 99.5%, but lowest in the Southwest, 92.5%.

One out of every three students at the upper secondary level was enrolled in vocational programmes, never fewer since 1997
More than two out of every three students at the upper secondary level were enrolled in general programmes in the autumn of 2012, while 33.0% were enrolled in vocational programmes. The share of students in vocational programmes dropped from the previous year when it was 33.6%, and has not been lower since the adoption of the current classification of education in 1997.

The proportion of students in vocational education was higher among males than females, or 38.2% for male students and 27.8% for female students.

 


Almost one out of four doctoral students is a foreigner
The number of male students at the tertiary level increased by 47 (0.7%) from the autumn of 2011, while the number of females decreased by 57 (-0.5%). There were 4.167 students preparing for a master’s degree in the autumn of 2012. Their number increased annually until the autumn of 2011 when their number dropped by 59, and their number decreased again by 9 (-0.2%) between 2011 and 2012.

There were 470 students at the doctorate level in the autumn of 2012. Their number increased by 18 (4.0%) from the autumn of 2011. Almost one out of four (24.0%) doctoral students was a foreigner, mainly coming from other European countries. Foreign doctoral students were almost one-half (48.5%) of doctoral students in the sciences and more than one out of three (35.5%) students in engineering.

Most tertiary level students study social sciences, business and law
By far the largest number of students at the tertiary level studied the fields of social sciences, business and law, 36.6% of students. The second largest field was humanities and arts, with 15.2% of students. For comparison, 10.3% of students at the tertiary level studied science, mathematics and computing and 8.7% studied engineering, manufacturing and construction.

Five years ago, in 2007, education was the second most studied field, with 17.1% of students. In 2012 the share of students in education had dropped to 11.9% of students at the tertiary level. During this five year period the share of students in sciences, mathematics and computing had increased from 7.6% of students in 2007 to 10.3%.

Women were 62.2% of students at the tertiary level in the autumn of 2012. They were more numerous than males in all fields of study with the exception of engineering and the sciences. Women were 31.1% of students in engineering, manufacturing and construction and 36.8% in science, mathematics and computing. The field with the largest proportion of women was health and welfare where 86.1% of students were female. In education women were 79.3% of all students.


About the data
Information is gathered directly from the schools and from the computer programme INNA used by schools at the upper secondary level, and refers to the number of students in the middle of October. Each student is only counted once even if he is studying in two schools. The enrolment rate is computed by classifying students by age and domicile on December 1 each year and computing their proportion of the relevant age group.

Statistics:
    Upper secondary schools
    Universities
    Overview