Post-secondary vocational education

Updated: 13 December 2022


Next update: Not yet determined

Number of students in post-secondary vocational education
Number of students in post-secondary vocational education
26 641

About the statistics

The statistics cover all students in post-secondary vocational education as of 1 October and completed programmes during the period 1 October-30 September. Completion rates are calculated by combining multiple years of ongoing and completed post-secondary vocational education.

Enrolled students: Students registered at an approved institution post-secondary vocational education as of 1 October.

Completed education: An education activity is recognized as completed when the institution the students are attending, awards them a diploma or provides some other evidence that they have met the full requirements for completion.

Highest educational attainment of parents: Parental educational attainment is divided into four categories: (1) Primary and lower secondary education, (2) Upper secondary education, (3) Higher education, short (at least two years, but also 4 years or less), and (4) Higher education, long (more than four years). Parental educational attainment is defined by that of the parents with the highest level of education. For example, if the parental educational attainment of a student is “(3) Higher education, short,” it implies that at least one of the parents has education at this level. Cases where there is no information on the level of education of any of the parents falls into the “Unspecified” group. See also the definitions of educational level.

Immigrants: Persons born abroad of two foreign-born parents and four foreign-born grandparents.

Norwegian-born to immigrant parents: Persons who are born in Norway of two parents born abroad, and in addition have four grandparents born abroad.

School county: The county where the institution is located.

Ownership: Schools are classified as either public or private.

Age: Estimated as of December 31.

Educational activities are grouped by the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education which was established in 1970 by Statistics Norway and later revised in 1973, 1989 and 2000. Educational institutions are classified as being higher education by the Standard Industrial Classification.

For international purposes, ISCED 2011 (International Standard Classification of Education) is used.

Name: Post-secondary vocational education.

Topic: Education

Not yet determined

Division for education and culture statistics.

Figures are presented at national level and county level. Data includes information that makes it possible to provide figures at other regional levels.

Figures are published annually in April.

Data is reported to UNESCO, OECD and Eurostat (U-O-E).

Statistics Norway stores all data in a proper, standardised manner in consultation with the Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

Statistics Norway can deliver supplementary data and tables related to these statistics. To order supplementary data and tables, please contact Statistics Norway: The price will depend on the size of the order.

There is a high demand for the collection of official statistics on education. Official education statistics are individually based and document all educational activities for current students at post-secondary vocational education in Norway.

Norway’s education statistics went through a structural readjustment in the beginning of the 1970’s. All statistics on higher education were previously available through a census. The data is now individually based, where all educational activities are attached to each individual’s personal ID-number. The data is contained in the National Education Database (NUDB), in a format that allows the production of different kinds of education statistics and alignment with other types of individually based statistics where necessary (e.g. income, social-welfare).

The purpose of these statistics is to collect data on all post-secondary vocational education in Norway

Important users of the education statistics are the Ministry of Education and Research, public administration, researchers, special interest organisations, international organisations (Eurostat, OECD and UNESCO), media, business and industry. In addition, data is used internally in Statistics Norway in publications and in assignments.

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on at 8:00 AM. Prior to this, a minimum of three months’ advance notice is given in the Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Data from post-secondary vocational education is combined with data from lower- and upper secondary and higher education when revision processes are complete. Data is then stored as single annual files in the National Education Database (NUDB). Statistics Norway uses a similar system for all individually based statistics, making it easy to combine education statistics with other areas. Labour market statistics, health statistics, living conditions statistics and income and wage statistics are examples of other individually based statistics compiled by Statistics Norway.

Act of 21 June 2019 No. 32 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway § 10.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 88/2011 of 2 February 2011 implementing Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the production and development of statistics on education and lifelong learning, as regards statistics on education and training systems.

The statistics cover all students in post-secondary vocational education as of 1 October. There are several criteria for how a student’s educational activity is recorded. Each student can be registered as active in only one educational activity, although he/she may be registered for several educational activities or educational institutions at the same time. If a student is registered for several activities or several institutions at the same time, education at the highest level is maintained above others, educational activity at a Specialised University Institution is chosen over education at other types of school, and full-time activity is chosen over part-time activities. If a student is enrolled in several part-time educational activities, the one with highest level is chosen.

The statistics cover all completed programmes registered during the period 1 October- 30 September (the year after). Completion rates of students is calculated by combining multiple years of ongoing and completed education.

Pursuant to the Statistical Act, Statistics Norway collects student data from Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH) and the administrative systems of various higher education institutions.

Surveys are not employed to collect education statistics. All data is obtained from institutions’ databases.

Data collection: Pursuant to the Statistical Act (June 1989, No.54), Statistics Norway collects student data from Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH) and the administrative systems of various educational institutions.

Editing: Editing includes both control and revision and is performed on all educational data collected. It encompasses deletion of duplicate records, a control for correct and valid values for each variable, comparisons with last year’s data and checks for missing information. Several variables are re-coded to comply with control programs run by Statistics Norway. Personal ID-numbers are referenced against Statistics Norway’s population database to check for errors. At last, duplicate students within post-secondary vocational educationare are deleted, which implies that a student can only be counted once although the student may be registered for several educational activities or educational institutions at the same time at this level.

Estimation: No estimation is performed. The statistics are based data obtained from university and college databases.

Not relevant.

Data is not released where there are less than three units within a single cell in a table if there is a risk of identification, i.e. the data can be traced back to an identifiable person.

Individually based data on students has been published annually since it was first collected in 1974. Most variables are comparable, but some have changed. The Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000) has been revised to secure comparability over time. While educational variables are reasonably comparable over time, other variables, e.g. various institution types, cannot be re-coded and thus not comparable over time.

Statistical investigations may encounter various sources of error. The errors can occur either during data collection (in this case, registration of student information) or during data processing (control and revision processes performed by Statistics Norway).

It is difficult to estimate the extent of error in student registers. A person may be wrongly registered as being a student, especially for individual institutions that use a different enumeration date than Statistics Norway (October 1). There could be an overestimation of enrolled students since student registration occur with payment of registration fees rather than enrolment in courses. In addition, some students could remain as enrolled students in the system even after graduating. There is also the possibility of students reporting inaccurate information about themselves in registration. Personal responsible for reporting student data at institutions could also make errors during data processing.

See general principles for revisions in Statistics Norway.