Friday - 23 November 2007
Survival rate at the tertiary level in 2006
Statistics Iceland has computed the survival rate in tertiary education in 2006. The survival rate depicts the proportion of new entrants at the tertiary level who graduate within a certain number of years, in this case within 10 years of the start of their studies. In 1996 a total of 2,031 students started tertiary education in Iceland for the first time. Of this group of new entrants, 1,426 had graduated from a programme at the tertiary level in 2006. Therefore the survival rate is 70.2%.
The survival rate is higher among females than among males. A total of 73.8% of female new entrants completed their studies in this 10 year period and 65.0% of males. Five years after the start of their studies 1,106 of the new entrants (54.5%) had graduated, 49.5% of males and 57.9% of females. In the remaining 5 years 320 additional students graduated, or 15.8% of the group of new entrants.
The recent OECD publication "Education at a Glance 2007, OECD Indicators" contains information on the survival rate of the OECD countries in 2004. In 2004 the survival rate in Iceland was 68.8%, which was just under the OECD average of 70%. OECD data depict that the survival rate is usually higher in countries where a first tertiary degree can be obtained after a short programme, while the rate is lower in countries where longer studies are required for a first degree. The rate is higher in tertiary type-A programmes than in type-B programmes, or 71% as opposed to 67%.
Only two other OECD countries (France and Switzerland) compute the survival rate based on individual data, as Iceland does. That can influence the comparison between the survival rates of OECD countries. Other countries compute the rate by comparing the number of graduates in a particular year to the number of new entrants x years before, where x is the duration of a first tertiary degree. That method is not suitable when the number of students at the tertiary level is increasing, as has been the case in Iceland and in some of the other OECD countries.
Statistics (see Survival rates in tertiary education 2004 and 2006)