Increased completion rate



Almost 3 out of 4 pupils complete upper secondary school and qualify for university or obtain vocational competence within five years. Since the introduction of the Knowledge Promotion Reform in 2006, there has been an increase of 5 percentage points

Around 66 000 pupils started their upper secondary education for the first time in the autumn of 2012, and these are included in the 2017 statistics on completion in upper secondary education. A total of 74.5 per cent1 of these pupils completed their upper secondary education and qualified for university or obtained vocational competence within five years. This is an increase of 1.4 percentage points compared with the 2011 cohort.

Figure 1. Completion rates of pupils in upper secondary education, 2012-2017

Per cent
Completed according to normativ length of study 59.4
Completed beyond normativ length of study 15.0
Completed planned basic competence 2.2
Still inn upper secondary education after five years 5.3
Enrolled in final year but failed exams 5.7
Not completed 12.4

Education programme

For pupils starting their upper secondary education in one of the vocational education programmes, the completion rate increased from 59.4 per cent for the 2011 cohort to 60.3 per cent for the 2012 cohort. The corresponding figures for pupils on one of the programmes for General Studies were 85.9 and 87.5 per cent.

Figure 2. Completion rates of pupils in upper secondary education. Share of pupils completed within five years after enrolment

2006-2011 2007-2012 2008-2013 2009-2014 2010-2015 2011-2016 2012-2017
All fields of study 69.6 69.2 70.6 70.8 72.6 73.0 74.4
General studies 83.0 82.7 83.4 83.0 85.8 85.9 87.5
Vocational studies 55.6 55.4 57.5 57.9 58.9 59.4 60.3

Drop-out in upper secondary education

The statistics for completion rates of pupils in upper secondary education show the completion status for the pupils/apprentices five years after enrolment. It is important to note that these statistics do not show the final extent of drop-out, which is difficult to calculate.

Many pupils complete their upper secondary education more than five years after enrolment. Figures for the 2007 cohort, which is the latest cohort with available completion status 10 years after enrolment, show that 30.8 per cent of the pupils had not completed their upper secondary education after 5 years; either the pupils had dropped out, failed one or more exams or they were still in upper secondary education. After 10 years, this rate was reduced to 20.9 per cent. With an even longer time horizon than 10 years, this drop-out rate is expected to fall further.

1 The figure was corrected 29 May 2018 at 3.30 pm.