3.1 Pupils in upper secondary education and training

Upper secondary education and training

Upper secondary education and training is non-compulsory. However, every pupil who has completed the lower secondary level is entitled to upper secondary education or training leading to university and college admissions certification or to a vocational qualification.

191,100 pupils were enrolled in upper secondary education and training in autumn 2015. In addition, there are 39,000 apprentices and 2,000 training candidates. 59 per cent of pupils are enrolled in general study programmes and 41 per cent are enrolled in vocational study programmes. 92 per cent of all 16 to 18-year-olds were enrolled in upper secondary education or training in autumn 2015 (Statistics Norway).

Most pupils enrol on the programme for specialisation in general studies

Pupils can choose between 12 different study programmes: 3 general study programmes and 9 vocational programmes. Specialisation in general studies is the most popular of all the study programmes, accounting for 41 per cent of all pupils at the Vg1 level. The last two years have seen an increase in the per cent of pupils pursuing general study programmes.

10,800 pupils at Vg3 level follow supplementary studies to qualify for higher education (Table 3.1). Four times as many pupils choose supplementary studies after completing Vg2 level as after completing their full vocational qualification. In the autumn 2015, 600 more pupils than in the previous year chose supplementary studies after completing their vocational qualifications.

Table 3.1 Pupils and apprentices in upper secondary education and training*. 2015. Numbers.

Vg1 Vg2 Vg3 Apprentices and training candidates Total
General study programmes (3 programmes) 37 200 33 100 34 600 104 900
Supplementary Studies after Vg2 (vocational programmes) 8 700 8 700
Supplementary Studies after gaining a vocational qualification 2 100 2 100
Vocational study programmes (9 programmes) 37 900 31 700 5 800 75 400
Apprentices and training candidates 41 000 41 000
Total 75 100 64 800 51 200 41 000 232 100

Source: Directorate for Education and Training, preliminary figures

* Vg3 includes vocational training in school

Almost 1 out of 4 vocational pupils study healthcare, childhood and youth development

Healthcare, Childhood and Youth Development is the most popular vocational study programme at Vg1 level, attracting almost a quarter of all vocational pupils in autumn 2015 (see table 3.2). This is also where we find the greatest relative increase in pupils at almost 8 per cent on the previous year. Technical and industrial production and Electrical and Electronic Engineering are the second and third most popular programmes with 17 and 13 per cent respectively of all vocational pupils at Vg1 level.

Table 3.2 Pupils and apprentices by study programme and level. 2015-16. Numbers.

Vg1 Vg2  Vg3 Apprentices and training candidates
Specialisation in General Studies 30 594 27 440 28 825
Supplementary Studies 10 832
Sports and Physical Education 4 236 3 743 3 816
Music, Dance and Drama  2 323 1 927 1 950
Building and Construction 4 336 3 384 128 8 371
Design, Arts and Crafts 2 165 1 482 287 2 009
Electrical and Electronic Engineering 5 117 4 414 1 128 7 893
Healthcare, Childhood and Youth Development 8 902 7 245 899 6 583
Media and Communication 3 194 2 811 1 975 169
Agriculture, Fishing and Forestry 1 835 1 515 751 1 043
Restaurant Management and Food Processing 2 321 1 450 26 2 176
Services and Transport 3 515 3 859 162 4 515
Technical and Industrial Production 6 564 5 530 424 8 214

Source: Directorate for Education and Training, preliminary figures

Significant gender variations between vocational study programmes

There are significant differences between boys and girls in terms of the study programmes they choose. Girls make up 87 per cent of all pupils on Design, Arts and Crafts 1 Vg3 includes vocational training in school and 85 per cent on Helthcare, Childhood and Youth Development. 96 per cent of pupils following the Building and Construction programme are boys, and boys make up 94 per cent of pupils on the Electrical and Electronic Engineering programme (Figure 3.1). The gender differences are slightly less conspicuous on the general study programmes, although girls are in a significant majority on the Music, Dance and Drama programme.

Figure 3.1 Pupils on vocational study programmes by gender. 2015-16. Per cent.

figure-3-1-pupils-on-vocational-study-programmes-by-gender-2015-16-per-cent

Source: Directorate for Education and Training, preliminary figures