We usually measure completion five or ten years after enrolment at Vg1 level or within the theoretical duration plus two years. In the statistics, within the theoretical duration plus two years (N+2) means after five years on general study programmes and after six years on vocational study programmes.
Within theoretical duration plus 2 years is the measure that best represents the pupils’ entitlement to upper secondary education and training (cf. the Education Act Section 3-1).
This chapter uses the term completed to describe pupils and apprentices who have passed every year of their upper secondary education or training leading to a diploma or a trade or journeyman’s certificate.
Completed but not passed is used in some contexts to describe pupils who have completed Vg3 level and apprentices who have completed their training period but who have failed to obtain grades in one or more subjects. It also applies to those who have completed their planned pathway to a basic qualification.
One important educational policy goal is that more pupils and apprentices should complete upper secondary education or training. Completing upper secondary plays a part in preparing to meet employment criteria and improving the chances of actively participating in the labour market.
73 per cent of pupils complete upper secondary within the theoretical duration plus two years
73 per cent of pupils who enrolled in upper secondary education or training in 2008 (the 2008 cohort) completed their education and obtained a diploma, trade certificate or journeyman’s certificate within the theoretical duration plus two years. This percentage has remained stable at between 70 and 74 per cent since the 1998 cohort.
Completion rates are higher on general study programmes than on vocational study programmes. 83 per cent of pupils enrolling on a general study programme in 2008 completed within five years, while 63 per cent of those enrolling on a vocational study programme completed within six years. There are also significant differences between the different vocational study programmes. 74 per cent of those studying Electrical and Electronic Engineering complete their studies and obtain university and college admissions certification or a vocational qualification within six years. On the Restaurant Management and Food Processing programme the figure is 47 per cent.
Low completion rates on the Restaurant Management and Food Processing programme
There may be a variety of explanations for the low completion rates on the Restaurant Management and Food Processing programme. Pupils who enter this programme have poor grades from lower secondary school, and there is a large proportion of pupils with special needs. The programme also has weak links to the labour market, especially the food industry, and there is little hope of gaining an apprenticeship place. Furthermore, few pupils apply to for the Supplementary Studies to Qualify for Higher Education programme (Andersen and Andresen 2016).
Good opportunities for completing upper secondary education or training
Norway offers good opportunities for enrolling in upper secondary education or training even after failing to do so immediately after compulsory education. When measuring completion rates ten years later we can therefore see an increase of 6 percentage points in the proportion of pupils who complete upper secondary.
Pupils on vocational study programmes account for the biggest increase in completion rates within ten years. 89 per cent of the 2008 cohort enrolling on a general study programme and 69 per cent enrolling on a vocational study programme had completed within ten years. The increase in completion rates is higher for boys than for girls on both general and vocational study programmes. Overall, almost 80 per cent obtained a vocational qualification or university and college admissions certification within ten years.
With a completion rate of 73 per cent within the theoretical duration (N+2), Norway is one of the countries with the lowest completion rates in upper secondary education and training. An average of 87 per cent of pupils across the OECD complete their studies the theoretical duration plus 2 years (OECD 2014). Completion rates in Norway are particularly low on vocational study programmes with 63 per cent, while the OECD average is 79 per cent. However, there are variations in what countries report to the OECD. Many countries report two-year pathways as being upper secondary programmes. Norway does not have a two-year pathway. As you will see, the proportion of 20 to 24-yearolds in Norway who are not in education or employment is much lower than the OECD average.
Figure 7.1 Completed upper secondary education or training within the theoretical duration plus two years – by study programme. 1998 cohort to the 2008 cohort. Per cent.
Source: Statistics Norway
Figure 7.2 Completed upper secondary education or training within the theoretical duration plus two years – by study programme. 2008 cohort. Per cent.
Source: Statistics Norway