Adult education, accredited web-based schools2018/2019


About the statistics


Name and topic

Name: Adult education, accredited web-based schools
Topic: Education

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Education and Culture Statistics

Definitions of the main concepts and variables

Accredited web-based schools: Online schools accredited according to Norwegian Adult Education Act

Subject: The courses are grouped by school subjects in accordance with Norwegian educational terms.

Level: The online schools can offer tuition at primary, secondary and tertiary education level. The schools also offer a range of courses that are not ranked according to level.

Completion: Used for students who have attained a qualification or in some other way met the requirements for students undertaking the relevant education.

Adult education: Education specially aimed at adults.

Distance education: Education with a high degree of flexibility that enables teachers and students to correspond independently in terms of time and space. Tuition is arranged in different ways; for example by mail, telephone, fax, TV, video, data conferences or via the Internet, and often as a combination of these alternatives.

Standard classifications

The educational activity is grouped according to the Norwegian Standard Classification of Education, which was created by Statistics Norway in 1970. The standard has been revised, most recently in 2000.

Administrative information

Regional level

The figures are given on national and county level.

Frequency and timeliness


International reporting

Not relevant


All distance education statistics in Statistics Norway are properly stored and treated in a safe and secure manner in consultation with the Data Inspectorate of Norway.


Background and purpose

The main purpose of the statistics is to show different aspects of education arranged by accredited web-based schools. The aim is to show the scope of course activities, course levels and choice of subjects broken down by age and gender.

The statistics are individually based, and most educational activities are connected to a personal ID number.

The statistics on online schools were introduced in 2011. The statistics on course activities for independent distance teaching institutions were introduced in 1998 and discontinued in 2011.

Users and applications

Users are the Ministry of Education and Research, other public services, research institutions, the media, Skills Norway, the Fleksibel utdanning  and the accredited web-based schools themselves.

Equal treatment of users

Not relevant

Coherence with other statistics

These statistics are a part of the statistics on adult education in Norway.

Legal authority

Section 2-2 of Act no. 54 relating to official statistics and Statistics Norway of 16 June 1989, Act no. 95 relating to adult education of 19 June 2009, and Chapter 3, Section 14 of Regulation no. 1661 on adult education associations and online schools of 18 December 2009.

EEA reference

Not relevant



All accredite web-based schools are required to report activities to Statistics Norway. The data are reported at individual level with the associated information on the education offer to the individual pupil/student. Reported data relate to pupils/students attending an education programme on 1 October (discontinued from 2018) in the scholastic year and their results from the educational programmes the previous year.

Data sources and sampling

Statistics Norway receives the data directly from each of the accredited schools.

Full count.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

The data is sent electronically by the online schools and collected once a year after the count day .

All data files received are subject to various controls, such as deleting duplicates and checking variables for valid values. Where errors are discovered, the online school will be contacted to ascertain the correct details.


Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


The general rule is not to publish data if less than 3 pupils are found within a cell or unit in a table. This is to prevent identification of individuals within the statistics.

Comparability over time and space

Statistics Norway has published statistics on distance learning institutions since 1998. The statistics from 1998 are comparable with data up to 2011.

From 2011, individually-based data and tables are available, which are not comparable with the earlier statistics published on distance learning. The statistics on online schools place a greater focus on number of participants and participants’ results than on the educational offers. New tables were introduced in 2012.

From the scholastic year 2017-2018 the Reference period for the statistics was changed from 1.10-30.9 to 1.7-30.6.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

Errors can mostly be traced back to the statistics source. Coding errors may arise because the institutions do not use administrative data systems, or because of problems determining what the correct subject code should be.

Registration errors can occur due to erroneous reporting from data providers. Some of the errors can be detected during control and revision procedures.


Not relevant