Fewer Immigrants Graduate from Upper Secondary Schools Skip to content
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Photo: Golli. Students at Reykjavík junior college MR.

Fewer Immigrants Graduate from Upper Secondary Schools

New data published by Statistics Iceland shows that graduation rates among students in Iceland’s upper secondary schools vary depending on student’s origin.

According to the report, “[w]hen examining all graduates at the upper secondary level in 2016-2017, as a share of the population aged 18-22, then almost 24% of the population with Icelandic background graduated this year. On the other hand, 16.5% of those born abroad with one parent born abroad graduated this year, and just over 8% of immigrants.” Immigrants, in this study, are people who were born abroad and have both parents of foreign origin.

There were 5,098 graduates at the upper secondary and tertiary levels combined in 2016-2017, which is 617 fewer graduates overall than the previous year. Of these, 5,630 were graduates from upper secondary school, which is 645 fewer upper secondary graduates than the year before. The study coordinators say that this can partially be credited to the fact that there were changes to the curriculum at the upper secondary level which led to fewer students graduating from two-year business certificate programs.

The study also found that fewer students graduated at the tertiary, or university level: 4,479 graduates, which is 2.3% fewer than the year before. Of these, 2,664 received undergraduate degrees, 1, 275 received master’s degrees, and 62 received PhDs. Women comprised 66.3% of university graduates.


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