Immigrants take tertiary education
utelstud, Pupils and studentsTertiary education, Upper secondary schools, Education

Pupils and students1 October 2003



Immigrants take tertiary education

Many immigrants are in tertiary education. There is a significant difference between people who have migrated to Norway and people who were born in Norway to immigrant parents.

7 500 students with immigrant background were registered at Norwegian universities and colleges in 2003. This represents 3.6 per cent of the student population. The majority were first generation immigrants. However, the proportion of first generation immigrants in tertiary education is much lower than for people born in Norway to immigrant parents. 27 per cent of all 19-24 year olds born in Norway to immigrant parents were in tertiary education, compared with 18 per cent for first generation immigrants. The corresponding figure for all 19-24 year olds in Norway irrespective of background was 29 per cent.

First generation immigrants in education statistics

The statistics have been produced on the basis of information on individuals and parents' country of birth. A first generation immigrant is defined as a person born abroad to parents who were also born abroad. Statistics Norway does not produce statistics on immigrants and their reason for residence. This means that foreigners who are here to study are treated as first generation immigrants.

Stable student numbers

At 1 October 2003 the number of students in tertiary education was 210 000, up by almost 1 000 from 2002. The universities recorded a decline in student numbers from 2002 to 2003, however this was offset by a small increase in student numbers at university colleges. The gender distribution of students is almost the same as in the previous three years. There are approximately 60 per cent women and 40 per cent men in tertiary education. 70 per cent of the men were aged between 19 and 24, while 63 per cent of the women were in this age group. About 26 per cent of the women and 18 per cent of the men were aged over 35.

A total of 14 1001Norwegian students were studying abroad in 2003. This is almost double the figure in 1993, when 7 200 Norwegian students were abroad. About 55 per cent of the students are women. Almost1 than 3 500 students from Norway are registered at education institutions in Australia. Other popular study countries are the United Kingdom, Denmark and the USA. There has been a significant increase in the number of Norwegian students in Australia, the United Kingdom, Poland and other European countries, while there has been a decline in the number of students in the USA and Germany.

Upper secondary education almost "compulsory"

Approximately 90 per cent of 16-18 year olds were in upper secondary education in 2003, and about 95 per cent of all 16 year olds continued their education after completing lower secondary education.

Approximately 179 000 pupils were registered in upper secondary education in 2003, an increase of more than 8 500 compared with 2002. This increase is higher than the increase between 2001 and 2002, partly because more pupils in specialised adult education programmes are included in the figures. The pupils are equally distributed between vocational and general studies, however vocational studies are becoming more popular. The proportion of pupils in vocational studies was 43 per cent in 2001 and 47 per cent in 2002.

There are still differences between men and women when it comes to type of study. Approximately 46 per cent of women and 52 per cent of men chose vocational studies. The corresponding figures in 2002 were 44 and 50 per cent respectively.

The number of apprentices fell by 760, or almost 3 per cent, from 2002 to 2003.

Many adults in upper secondary education

The right to upper secondary education for adults was introduced in 2000. Approximately 36 000 adult pupils were registered in upper secondary education, 27 000 pupils were in ordinary programmes and 9 000 were in specialised courses for adults. About 42 per cent of the adults were 25 or older and women were in the majority, at 64 per cent.

1  Corrected 20 September 2004.