There were 5,214 graduates with 5,248 graduations at the tertiary level of education during the 2020-2021 school year, 700 more than in the previous year (15.5%). Thereof, the number of graduations with a master’s degree had increased by more than 300, an increase of 21.7%.
There were 2,774 graduations with a first tertiary degree, 592 graduations with a diploma after a bachelor’s degree, 1,721 graduations with a master’s degree and 86 completed the Ph.D. degree. As in recent years, females were around two out of three graduates with a tertiary degree, or 68.0%.
The greatest increase in the field of education
The number of graduations increased most in the field of education, where the number of graduations increased by almost 34%. The second largest increase was in the field of engineering, manufacturing and construction, or 20.4%.
Just over 17% of graduations at the tertiary level in 2020-2021 were in the so-called STEM fields, i.e. in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In many countries the emphasis has been on increasing the number of graduates in these fields. The increase from the previous year was 8.5% in Iceland, which is less than the average increase in the number of graduations at the tertiary level.
More than half of students completing the matriculation exam under twenty years of age
There were 3,717 graduates from 35 upper secondary schools with a matriculation exam during the 2020-2021 school year, 270 more than in the previous year (7.8%). More than one-half (57.9%) of graduates with a matriculation exam were 19 years old or younger, but 12.8% were 20 years old. The proportion of graduates under the age of 20 has increased sharply in recent years while the proportion of graduates who finish when they are 20 years old has fallen, due to changes in the requirements which shorten the time needed to complete this examination from four years to three.
More graduates with the journeyman’s exam and diplomas of competence at the upper secondary level
In 2020-2021, there was a considerable increase in the number of graduations at the upper secondary level among those who completed a diploma of competence, which are diplomas that don’t give the right to work in a particular occupation. There were 628 graduations with a diploma of competence, an increase of more than 20% from the previous year. Examples of these programmes are various art programmes, school assistants and programmes in the fishing industry at the upper secondary level.
In total, there were 657 graduations with the journeyman’s exam, around 30 more than in the previous year. On the other hand, the number of graduations with a school certificate from the certified trades decreased from 868 to 842. Graduated masters of a certified trade were 259, slightly more than in the previous school year.
A total of 5,548 students graduated with 6,497 graduations from the upper secondary level of education during the school year 2020-2021, 245 more than in the previous year (4.6%). In addition, 806 students graduated from the post-secondary non-tertiary level of education.