90 per cent male pupils on some programmes


Men and women differ in their choice of upper secondary education. Women outnumber men in general study programmes, while men dominate in vocational programmes. Most pupils attend state schools, but the number of pupils in private schools has doubled since 2001.

About 200 700 pupils attended upper secondary school in October 2016. Almost 62 per cent were enrolled in programmes for general studies, a small increase compared with the previous year.

Figure 4

Figure 4. Pupils, by education programs

A skewed gender distribution in the different upper secondary programmes

With the exception of Sports and physical studies, women are in the majority in the different programmes for general studies. Fifty-six per cent of pupils in these programmes are female.

Figure 3

Figure 3. Pupils, by education programs and gender

In the vocational programmes, the gender balance is reversed, with a male majority in most programmes. In Building and construction, Electricity and electronics and Technical and industrial production, as much as 90 to 95 per cent of the pupils are men.

Figure 5

Figure 5. Apprentices, by gender

As in previous years, about 70 per cent of the 40 700 apprentices and 2 000 trainees in upper secondary education were men as of 1 October 2016. About half of all the female apprentices were on the Healthcare, childhood and youth development programme. 

Increase in private school enrolment over the last fifteen years

Figure 1

Figure 1. Share of upper secondary students enrolled in private schools

Ninety-two per cent of pupils in upper secondary education in Norway in 2016 attended a state school. However, there has been an increase in private school pupils over the past fifteen years, from 8 300 to 16 400. This has increased the share of pupils in private schools from 5 to 8 per cent between 2001 and 2016.

Figure 2

Figure 2. Share of upper secondary students enrolled in private schools, by county. 2016