There were 3,965 graduates from 35 schools with a matriculation exam during the 2017-2018 school year, 785 more than in the previous year. Women were 59.2% of those completing the matriculation exam. The ratio of all students graduating with the matriculation exam to 20 year olds in the population was 86.3% and has never been higher. This large increase can be explained by changes in the requirements which shorten the time needed to complete this examination from four years to three, and in 2017-2018 some upper secondary schools were graduating the last students from the four year programme and the first students from the three year programme.

A total of 41.3% of graduates with a matriculation exam were 19 years old or younger, but 33.6% were 20 years old. The proportion of graduates under the age of 20 increased sharply from the previous year, when it was 24.6%.

Students passing the matriculation exam by age 2001-2018

More graduates with the journeyman’s exam and masters of a certified trade
In 2017-2018 there were 642 graduations with the journeyman’s exam, 18 more than in the previous year (2.9%). Graduated masters of a certified trade were 235, or 81 more than in the previous school year (52.6%). Males were more than four out of every five of those completing the journeyman’s exam (81.8%), and graduated certified trade masters (80.4%).

Fewer graduates from tertiary education
There were 4,380 graduates with 4,411 graduations at the tertiary level of education, 2.3% fewer than in the previous year. Females were two out of three (66.6%) of all graduates with a tertiary degree but 59.0% of graduates completing the Ph.D. There were 2,543 graduations with a first tertiary degree and 452 graduations with a diploma after a Bachelor degree. There were 1,252 graduations with a master’s degree and 61 completed the Ph.D.

Graduations at the tertiary level 2001-2018

Two out of three new entrants have graduated from tertiary education within ten years
In the autumn of 2008 there were 3,667 new entrants in tertiary education in Iceland. Ten years later 66.5% of those entrants had graduated from tertiary education, which is the same proportion as two years earlier, when these data were last published. However, the difference between the genders has increased, as 70.3% of females who started university studies in 2008 had graduated but 60.9% of male students. Comparable numbers for new entrants in 2006 were 69.2% for females and 62.2% for males.

Upper secondary schools - graduations
Universities - graduations