Credits and graduations from higher education

Updated: 23 April 2021

Next update: Not yet determined

Share of professional programmes attained by women
Share of professional programmes attained by women
2019-2020
73.4
%

Selected tables and figures from this statistics

Graduations in selected programmes and immigration category
Graduations in selected programmes and immigration category
2019-2020
NumbersPer cent
Number of graduatesImmigrantsNorwegian-born to immigrant parentsOther population
Males
Bachelor's studies12 4549.04.386.7
Of these
Bachelor degree, pre-school-/kindergarten teacher training3068.23.987.9
Bachelor degree,vocational teacher, foundation programme2363.41.794.9
Bachelor degree, engineering, foundation programme2 08310.74.385.1
Bachelor degree, nursing, foundation programme46617.01.581.5
Bachelor degree, Business and Administration subjects2 9369.06.284.7
Master's studies1 6 30116.92.980.3
Of these
Master degree, law3163.54.192.4
Master degree, pharmacy2445.829.225.0
Master degree, odontology2725.914.859.3
Business and economics graduate/Master degree, economics and administration5647.65.586.9
Master degree, teacher training1416.42.191.5
Master degree, primary and lower secondary teacher education551.80.098.2
Master of Technologi/Graduate engineering degree1 53111.53.385.2
Professional education2535.57.986.6
Cand.med. degree1657.310.981.8
Cand.theol. degree1010.0-90.0
Cand.psychol. degree701.42.995.7
Cand.med.vet. degree (Veterinary Science)8--100.0
Doctoral degrees78542.21.056.8
Females
Bachelor's studies19 2889.83.786.6
Of these
Bachelor degree, pre-school-/kindergarten teacher training1 7778.93.188.0
Bachelor degree,vocational teacher, foundation programme1902.12.695.3
Bachelor degree, engineering, foundation programme55213.04.982.1
Bachelor degree, nursing, foundation programme3 5739.82.288.0
Bachelor degree, Business and Administration subjects3 18311.24.084.8
Master's studies1 8 31813.92.683.5
Of these
Master degree, law5964.24.291.6
Master degree, pharmacy9125.322.052.7
Master degree, odontology8211.014.674.4
Business and economics graduate/Master degree, economics and administration4627.47.884.8
Master degree, teacher training3105.21.093.9
Master degree, primary and lower secondary teacher education1161.70.098.3
Master of Technologi/Graduate engineering degree75511.02.386.8
Professional education6995.05.289.8
Cand.med. degree4005.36.588.3
Cand.theol. degree156.7-93.3
Cand.psychol. degree2153.74.791.6
Cand.med.vet. degree (Veterinary Science)697.2-92.8
Doctoral degrees75037.10.462.5
1Include both 2-year and 5-year master's degrees.
Explanation of symbols
Field of education and level for graduations in higher education
Field of education and level for graduations in higher education
2009-20102019-2020
TotalPercentage womenTotalPercentage women
Level of degree and field of education
Total38 00460.953 95959.8
Tertiary education, short and medium1 25 98664.336 35261.3
Humanities and arts2 25563.12 81961.1
Education5 95673.57 35871.8
Social sciences and law2 44462.94 02964.1
Business and administration4 30954.66 27151.7
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects3 29729.25 21529.1
Health, welfare and sport6 84384.18 84581.0
Primary industries11649.127250.7
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services70930.91 43739.4
Unspecified field of study5750.910651.9
Tertiary education, long2 10 81654.416 06957.6
Humanities and arts1 30360.51 43160.7
Education73480.71 75676.5
Social sciences and law2 24259.42 68664.9
Business and administration2 00844.52 92251.4
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects2 63036.24 41238.8
Health, welfare and sport1 73471.72 48777.9
Primary industries9558.911760.7
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services7034.325831.8
Unspecified field of study-.-.
Doctoral studies3 1 20244.81 53849.0
Humanities and arts8549.411355.8
Education10.03265.6
Social sciences and law8742.516559.4
Business and administration2236.47350.7
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects44432.259333.1
Health, welfare and sport47156.153860.8
Primary industries-.887.5
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services-.1010.0
Unspecified field of study9247.8650.0
1Including graduations from programmes 4 years or less but also 2 years or longer.
2Including graduations from programmes longer than 4 years. Awarded doctoral degrees are not included.
3Doctoral degrees
Explanation of symbols
Immigration category and field of education for graduations in higher education
Immigration category and field of education for graduations in higher education
TotalImmigrantsNorwegian-born to immigrant parentsOther population
2019-2020
Total53 9596 2631 78645 910
Humanities and arts4 363698923 573
Education9 1467062458 195
Social sciences and law6 8806992485 933
Business and administration9 2669454157 906
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects10 2201 7263758 119
Health, welfare and sport11 8701 30338210 185
Primary industries397372358
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services1 705134251 546
Unspecified field of study11215295
Per cent
Total100.0100.0100.0100.0
Humanities and arts8.111.15.27.8
Education16.911.313.717.9
Social sciences and law12.811.213.912.9
Business and administration17.215.123.217.2
Natural sciences, vocational and technical subjects18.927.621.017.7
Health, welfare and sport22.020.821.422.2
Primary industries0.70.60.10.8
Transport and communications, safety and security and other services3.22.11.43.4
Unspecified field of study0.20.20.10.2
Explanation of symbols
Age groups and level of degree for graduations in higher education
Age groups and level of degree for graduations in higher education
2009-20102018-20192019-2020
GraduatesPercentage womenGraduatesPercentage womenGraduatesPercentage women
Level and age
Total38 00460.953 97460.053 95959.8
Tertiary education, short and medium1 25 98664.336 28461.436 35261.3
19-24 years13 03667.120 69162.920 98662.6
25-29 years6 63857.18 54455.08 59055.2
30-34 years2 27062.32 93160.42 92462.0
35-39 years1 55868.51 61766.91 56166.1
40-44 years1 23571.31 12268.11 03468.6
45-49 years75368.377772.671168.4
50-54 years36061.442868.537567.2
55-59 years10552.414066.413357.1
60 years or older3141.93447.13847.4
Tertiary education, long2 10 81654.416 09557.716 06957.6
19-24 years2 04151.23 58258.63 55359.4
25-29 years5 39251.77 66954.67 66153.7
30-34 years1 24054.41 82453.71 85056.4
35-39 years68156.591861.094062.3
40-44 years52763.972466.475764.5
45-49 years44170.367473.664473.1
50-54 years30271.243174.043967.2
55-59 years13770.121266.518170.2
60 years or older5552.76152.54454.5
Second stage of tertiary education3 1 20244.81 59549.31 53849.0
25-29 years17632.425342.327339.2
30-34 years37244.155545.951243.9
35-39 years27644.632347.129850.3
40-44 years14647.921054.316954.4
45-49 years9652.111560.912665.1
50-54 years7554.76669.77459.5
55-59 years3666.74271.45261.5
60 years or older2536.03141.93461.8
1Including graduations from programmes 4 years or less but also 2 years or longer.
2Including graduations from programmes longer than 4 years. Awarded doctoral degrees are not included.
3Doctoral degrees
Explanation of symbols
Parents’ level of education and level of degree for graduations in higher education
Parents’ level of education and level of degree for graduations in higher education
2009-20102014-20152019-2020
TotalTotalTotal
Level and parents´level of education
Total38 00445 80053 959
Tertiary education, 4 years or less1 25 98631 07436 352
Mother or father has long tertiary education3 2913 7955 297
Mother or father has short tertiary education8 45011 11613 736
Mother or father has upper secondary education10 79312 35412 701
Mother or father has primary and lower secondary education1 8662 0891 984
Not stated1 5861 7202 634
Tertiary education, more than 4 years2 10 81613 31916 069
Mother or father has long tertiary education2 3852 7333 593
Mother or father has short tertiary education3 4054 5085 612
Mother or father has upper secondary education3 0133 4834 095
Mother or father has primary and lower secondary education431508550
Not stated1 5822 0872 219
Doctoral studies3 1 2021 4071 538
Mother or father has long tertiary education302325332
Mother or father has short tertiary education267294291
Mother or father has upper secondary education256251247
Mother or father has primary and lower secondary education324230
Not stated345495638
1Including graduations from programmes 4 years or less but also 2 years or longer.
2Including graduations from programmes longer than 4 years. Awarded doctoral degrees are not included
3Doctoral degrees.
Explanation of symbols
Credits awarded to ordinary full-time students
Credits awarded to ordinary full-time students
2009-20102019-2020
WomenMenWomenMen
Total number of ordinary full-time students1 85 63360 794118 66286 088
Credits awarded, per cent100,0100,0100,0100,0
0 credits8.811.15.48.4
1-29 credits8.710.76.18.3
30-59 credits27.428.828.129.6
60 credits or more55.149.460.353.7
1Ordinary students er students who are not in continuing education. Read more under "About the statistics" below.
Explanation of symbols

About the statistics

The statistics on graduations and credits from higher education include all completed degrees and credits attained during the period 1 October-30 September. Completed degrees and credits attained from abroad are not included.

Completed education: A student is considered to have completed an education when the educational institution has issued a diploma or somehow approved that he/she has fulfilled the requirements for completing the education in question.

Credits points: Students are awarded with credits when they have met the requirements for passing a course.

Ordinary students: Ordinary students are students who are not on “continuing education.”

Continuing education: By “continuing education” we mean shorter courses that do not provide formal competence, in addition to courses/subjects that do provide formal qualifications and credits, but which often is a specialization/supplement to a basic education.

Full/part-time students: A student is considered to be a full-time student if the percentage of planned study progression reported in the fall semester is over 70 per cent. If the percentage of planned study progression is below 70 per cent, the student is considered to be part-time.

Academic year: A full academic year corresponds to 60 credits at universities and colleges in Norway.

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.

Educational activity: According to the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000). Programmes are classified according to their level and field of study.

Type of institution: According to the Standard Industrial Classification of 2007. The institutions are classified as Universities, Specialized University Institutions, and University Colleges, where University Colleges are again divided into three main groups: State University Colleges, Military Colleges and “other university colleges.”

Ownership: Educational institutions are classified as either public or private.

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.

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, the ISCED 2011 is used (International Standard Classification of Education).

Name: Credits and graduations from higher education

Topic: Education

Not yet determined

360 Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Figures are presented at national level, at municipal level and by educational institution. Data on enrolment in higher education include information that makes it possible to provide figures at other regional levels.

Figures are published annually in April. As of 2015 data on credit points was merged with data on graduations from universities and colleges. Prior to 2015 data on credit points was published separately.

The data is provided for 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: oppdragutdanning@ssb.no. 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 the educational activities of all Norwegian residents from completion of lower secondary school to completion of all higher education including doctoral/PhD studies.

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 the statistics is to present individually based statistics of graduates and attained credit points in higher 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 ssb.no 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 higher education is combined with data from lower- and upper secondary 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 statistics. 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 on graduations and credits from higher education institutions include all completed degrees and credits attained during the period 1 October-30 September. Completed degrees and credits attained from abroad are not included.

Only educational institutions classified by the Standard Industrial Classification as a higher education institution are included. Educational institutions are grouped as Universities, Specialised University Institutions and University Colleges.

In recent years, a number of institutions in higher education has been merged into larger units, see changes in educational institutions (in Norwegian).

As some University Colleges were merged in 2016 into larger units, there was a decrease in the number of students in University Colleges, as well as a corresponding increase in the number of students in Universities and in Specialized University Institutions.

Pursuant to the Statistical Act, Statistics Norway collects data on attained credit points and graduations from Database for Statistics on Higher Education (DBH) and the administrative systems of various higher education institutions. Information on completed doctoral degrees/PhD is included.

Surveys are not employed to collect education statistics.

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 higher 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 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.

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 completed education has been published annually since it was first collected in the academic year 1973/74. 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. Credit points variables are complete from the academic year 2004/05 onwards.

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

Overestimation of student numbers could occur for universities where registration occurs with payment of registration fees rather than enrolment in subjects. An overestimation of student numbers leads to an overestimation of the proportion of students who do not complete any credit points during the academic year. Students themselves can also provide inaccurate information to the registers.

Inaccuracies in graduation statistics may occur when administrative registers wrongly define a student as meeting the requirements for completing a degree. In some cases, the diploma could be issued later than the actual time of completion, which leads to the degree being registered at an inaccurate time.

Regarding the registration of credit points, there may be cases of institutions or study programs where credits are only registered when the entire program is completed. In this case, a student could be registered with zero credits in the first years and registered with total credits (for example 180 credits) in the last year.

See general principles for revisions in Statistics Norway.





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