Credit point production at universities and colleges2012/2013

As from 2015 the statistics is published with Credit points and graduations from universities and colleges.


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Credit point production at universities and colleges
Topic: Education

Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Regular student: a student who is "ordinary" in the sense that he or she is not in continuing education. Students in distance education are not an ordinary student either.

Full time / part time: Students' overall course registrations form the basis for calculation, regardless of whether the student has an individual education plan or not. "Academic burden" is calculated as a percentage of the number of points that make up a full-time study, which is 30 credit points each semester. A student who has enrolled on courses that are designed to provide 20 credit points, will have a load of 66.6 percent. To be counted as a full-time student, the student must be registered for courses that provide at least 70 per cent of 60 credits. There are a few exemptions. This applies to any educational institutions where Statistics Norway receives information that a course is full-time or part-time study.

Completed credit points: When a study passes their examinations for a given subject, they are rewarded a certain amount of credit points towards their degree. One year full-time tertiary study is equivalent to 60 credit points. A four year undergraduate degree therefore requires 240 credit points for completion.

Educational Activity: According to the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education (NUS2000). Courses are grouped by level and field of study.

Field of Study: Courses are divided into 8 different broad fields of education.

Type of institution: according to the Standard Industrial Classification of 1994.

School County/Municipality: where the institution is located.

Age: per 31 December during the school year.

Standard classifications

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 tertiary by the Standard Industrial Classification

Administrative information

Regional level

Figures are presented at national level. Data does, however, include information that makes it possible to provide figures for the municipal and county level.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

The data is delivered to OECD, UNESCO and Eurostat.


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


Background and purpose

The purpose of these statistics is to present a basic analysis of completed credit points at tertiary institutions in Norway, thereby providing an indication of the productivity of tertiary students. These individually based statistics will be published for the first time in 2006 where credit points completed during the 2004/05 school year will be reported.

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 tertiary education including doctoral 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, with all educational activities being 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 connection with other types of individually based statistics where necessary (e.g. income, social-welfare).

Users and applications

Important users of the education statistics are public administration, special interest organisations, media, researchers, business and industry. Key users amongst the ministries are the Ministry of Education and Research, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Ministry of Children and Equality and the Ministry of Finance. The statistics are also used by international organisations such as EU, OECD and UNESCO.

Coherence with other statistics

Tertiary education data is combined with secondary school data after the revision processes are complete. The data is thereby stored as single yearly files of completed secondary and tertiary education 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.

Legal authority

Statistics Act sections 2.1 and 3.2 and the Ministry of Finance's delegation letter on 13 February 1990.

EEA reference

Regulation (EC) No 452/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 concerning the production and development of statistics on education and learning.

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.



Credit point statistics includes all individuals who are registered as a student per 1 October the previous year, and are registered as producing credit points during the following 12 month period (1 October &– 30 September). Norwegian students abroad are not included in the statistics as it is not yet possible to obtain information about completed credit points abroad.

The statistics includes students of educational institutions classified by the Standard Industrial Classification as a tertiary institution:

Universities in Norway: University of Oslo, University of Bergen, University of Tromsø (including the Norwegian College of Fishery and Science), University of Stavanger (previously Stavanger University College &– classified as a university from 01.01.2005), Norwegian University of Life Sciences (previously Agricultural University of Norway &– classified as university from 01.01.2005), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (established in 1996 through amalgamation of the University of Trondheim, The Norwegian Institute of Technology, The College of Arts and Sciences, the Museum of Natural History and Archaeology and the Faculty of Medicine), University of Agder (classified as university from the study year 2007/2008) and University of Nordland (previously Bodø University College - classified as university from 1.1.2011).

Specialised university institutions: Molde University College - specialised university of logistics (from 1st of january 2010), MF Norwegian School of Theology, Norwegian School of Veterinary Science, Oslo School of Architecture, Norwegian Academy of Music, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration, Norwegian School of Management and School of Mission and Theology.

University colleges are grouped into state, military and other colleges. The last group includes Oslo and Bergen’s National Academy of the Arts, Norwegian Police University College and all private university colleges.

Data sources and sampling

Pursuant to the Statistical Act, Statistics Norway collects student data from the administrative systems of the various tertiary institutions. The most common administrative systems are M-STAS, used primarily by university colleges and FS, used primarily by universities. Tertiary institutions that don’t use M-STAS or FS must use their own administrative systems to create data files in the format specified by Statistics Norway.

Surveys are not employed to collect education statistics. All data is obtained from university and college databases.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Pursuant to the Statistical Act (June 1989, No.54), Statistics Norway collects student data from the administrative systems of the various tertiary institutions.

Control and revision is performed on all data received from educational institutions. It encompasses deletion of duplicate records, a control for correct and valid values for each variable and checks for missing information. Several variables are re-coded to comply with control programs run by Statistics Norway and Personal ID-numbers are referenced against Statistics Norway's population database to check for errors.

No estimation is performed. The statistics are based on enumeration of students and completed credit points in tertiary education.


To prevent identification of individuals within the statistics, data is not released where there are less than three students within a single cell in a table.

Comparability over time and space

Individually based data on competed education has been published annually since it was first collected in the 1973/74 school year. Most variables are comparable, but some have changed. The revised Norwegian Standard Classification of Education recoded education courses to enable comparison of newer and older data. While education courses are reasonably comparable over time, other variables are not (e.g. coding of institution types). Credit point variables are complete from the 2004/05 study year onwards.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Educational statistics comprise of data collected from the administrative systems of the various tertiary institutions. Errors in the data can occur upon registration at the tertiary institutions, or during the control and revision processes performed by Statistics Norway. It is difficult to know the extent of the errors made in the registers. A person may be wrongly registered as being a student. Overestimation of student numbers is common for universities where registration occurs with payment of registration fees rather than enrolment in subjects. Overestimation of student numbers leads to an overestimation of the proportion of students who don’t complete any credit points during the study year.

Credit point statistics are further limited by inconsistent practices by the institutions in regards to registration of credit points. It appears that for certain courses, some institutions do not register completed credit points at the end of each year, but rather at the end of the final year. These students are therefore wrongly registered as completing 0 credit points for the first 2 or 3 years, and then 180 or 240 credit points in their final year.