There were 4,370 graduates with 4,408 graduations at the tertiary level of education during the 2018-2019 school year, a similar number as in the previous year. Never before have more students graduated with a Ph.D. degree in one school year, or 101 graduates, 40 more than in the previous year. Around four out of every ten Ph.D. graduates are classified as immigrants, as they were born abroad and have parents who were born abroad. Some of the Ph.D. graduates have graduated from Icelandic universities in cooperation with foreign universities.
There were 2,442 graduations with a first tertiary degree, 466 graduations with a diploma after a Bachelor degree and 1,323 graduations with a master’s degree (figure 1). As in recent years, females were around two out of three of all graduates with a tertiary degree, or 65.8%, in 2018-2019.
More young students completed the matriculation examination in 2018-2019
There were 3,819 graduates from 35 schools with a matriculation exam during the 2018-2019 school year, 146 fewer than in the previous year. In 2018-2019, some upper secondary schools with a system organised by grades were graduating the last students from the four-year programme and the first students from the three-year programme after changes were made in the requirements which shorten the time needed to complete this examination from four years to three.
Almost 52% of graduates with a matriculation exam were 19 years old or younger, but 21.7% were 20 years old. The proportion of graduates under the age of 20 has increased sharply in recent years (figure 2).
Women were 60.1% of those completing the matriculation exam. The ratio of all students graduating with the matriculation exam to 20 year olds in the population was 84.6%, a little lower than in the previous year when it was the highest it has even been.
Fewer graduates with the journeyman’s exam but more with other vocational certificates at the upper secondary level
In 2018-2019, there were 625 graduations with the journeyman’s exam, 17 fewer than in the previous year (-2.6%). On the other hand, the number of graduations with a school certificate from the certified trades increased from 696 to 743, or by 6.8%. In addition, there were 651 graduations with various other vocational certificates at the upper secondary level, almost 17% more than in the previous year. Graduations of masters of a certified trade were 220, 15 fewer than in the previous school year. Four out of every five of those completing the journeyman’s exam and certified trade masters were males but females were one-half of those obtaining other vocational certificates at the upper secondary level.
A total of 5,652 students graduated with 6,512 graduations from the upper secondary level of education during the school year 2018-2019, around 200 fewer than in the previous year.