Terms A-Z

This glossary contains definitions of the terms from the topic areas Education, Science, Research and Innovation, and is regularly updated. The glossary terms are alphabetically ordered.

ISCED 2011 – International Standard Classification of Education

ISCED was developed by UNESCO in the early 1970s to provide a consistent framework for collecting and presenting educational statistics, thus enabling or facilitating national and international comparisons. The classification was updated in 1997 (ISCED 97) and in 2011 (ISCED 2011) and reflects all organized learning processes (see table at the end of the glossary). Since 2015, the new ISCED 2011 is used in the education reports of interntional organisations (UNESCO, OECD, Eurostat).

Assignment of national education programmes to the ISCED 2011
ISCED level CategorySubcategoryEducation programmes

1) At grammar schools and integrated comprehensive schools leading to a school-leaving certificate after grade 12, upper secondary level begins at grade 10 instead of 11.).

2) Fully qualifying vocational programmes after obtaining a higher education entrance qualification or fully qualifying vocational programmes that additionally lead to a higher education entrance qualification get allocated to ISCED 454 pursuant to Eurostat definition. Last adjusted to the school year 2012/2013.

3) The allocation is based on the subject field of the preparation courses.

Notes on sub-categories

241
Insufficient for level completion or partial level completion, without direct access to upper secondary education.
244,254
351
Level completion, with direct access to upper secondary education.
Insufficient for level completion or partial level completion, without direct access to tertiary education.
353
Level completion, without direct access to first tertiary programmes (but may give direct access to postsecondary non-tertiary education).
344,354
Level completion, with direct access to first tertiary programmes (may also give direct access to postsecondary non-tertiary education).
453
Level completion, without direct access to first tertiary programmes.
444,454
Level completion, with direct access to first tertiary programmes.

Source: Federal Statistical Office, Bildungsfinanzbericht 2015, Anhang A3

ISCED 0 Early childhood education
ISCED 01
Early childhood educational development for children younger than three years
010
  • Crèches
ISCED 02
Pre-primary education for children from the age of three years to the start of primary education
020
  • Kindergartens
020
  • Pre-school classes
020
  • School kindergartens
ISCED 1 Primary education
ISCED 10 general education 100
  • Primary schools
100
  • Comprehensive schools (grades 1-4)
100
  • Waldorf schools (grades 1-4)
100
  • Special needs schools (grades 1-4)
ISCED 2 Lower secondary education
ISCED 24 general education 241
  • Orientation stages (grades 5/6)
244
  • Secondary general schools
244
  • Intermediate schools
244
  • Special needs schools (grades 5-10)
244
  • Schools with different courses of education
244
  • Grammar schools (grades 5-9/10)1
244
  • Comprehensive schools (grades 5-9/10)1
244
  • Waldorf schools (grades 5-10)
244
  • Evening secondary general schools
244
  • Evening intermediate schools
244
  • Catch up on lower secondary school degrees and fulfilment of compulsory education at vocational schools
244
  • Vocational schools that lead to intermediate degrees
ISCED 25 vocational education 254
  • Pre-vocational training year (and other vocational preparation programmes, e.g. at part-time or fulltime vocational schools)
ISCED 3 Upper secondary education
ISCED 34 general education 344
  • Grammar schools (grades 10-12/11-13)1
344
  • Comprehensive schools (grades 10-12/11-13)1
344
  • Waldorf Schools (grades 11-13)
344
  • Special needs schools (grades 11-13)
344
  • Specialised upper secondary schools – two-years (without previous vocational education)
344
  • Specialised grammar schools
344
  • Full-time vocational schools that lead to higher education entry qualification
ISCED 35 vocational education 351
  • Basic vocational training year (and other basic vocational programmes that are taken into account to the first year of apprenticeship)
353
  • One-year programmes at training institutions/schools for health care and social professions
353
  • Civil service trainees in the middle grade of civil service
354
  • Part-time vocational schools (dual system)
354
  • Full-time vocational schools that lead to a vocational certificate (excluding health care and social professions and educator training)
ISCED 4 Post-secondary non-tertiary education
ISCED 44 general education 444
  • Evening grammar schools, adult education colleges
444
  • Specialised upper secondary schools – one-year (after previous vocational education)
444
  • Two-year full-time vocational schools
ISCED 45 vocational education 453
  • Two- and three-year programmes at training institutions/schools for health care and social professions
454
  • Part-time vocational schools (dual system) (second education after obtaining a higher education entrance qualification)2
454
  • Full-time vocational schools that lead to a vocational certificate (second education after obtaining a higher education entrance qualification)2
454
  • Vocational programmes that lead to a higher education entry qualification as well as to a vocational certificate (simultaneously or successively)2
454
  • Part-time vocational schools (dual system) (second education, vocational)
454
  • Part-time vocational schools (dual system) – retrainees
ISCED 5 Short-cycle tertiary education
ISCED 54 general education -
ISCED 55 vocational education 554 Master craftsman training (very short preparation courses only that last less than 880 hours)3
ISCED 6 Bachelor’s or equivalent level
ISCED 64 academic 645
  • Bachelor's programme at
    • Universities (scientific institutions of higher education including colleges of education, colleges of theology, and colleges of art and music)
    • Universities of applied sciences (including schools of engineering), Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University
    • Colleges of public administration
    • Vocational academies
645
  • Diplom degree programme at universities of applied sciences
645
  • Diplom degree programme at colleges of public administration
645
  • Diplom degree programme at vocational academies
647
  • Second bachelor's programme
647
  • Second Diplom degree programme at universities of applied sciences
ISCED 65 professional 655
  • Trade and technical schools (excluding health care and social professions and educator training) including master craftsman training (preparation courses lasting 880 hours or more)3, business economist, business administrator
655
  • Training institutions/schools for educators
655
  • Specialised academies (Bavaria)
ISCED 7 Master’s or equivalent level
ISCED 74 academic 746
  • Diplom degree programme at university (including teacher training, state examination, Magister programme, artistic and comparable programmes)
747
  • Master's programme at
    • Universities (scientific institutions of higher education including colleges of education, colleges of theology, and colleges of art and music)
    • Universities of applied sciences (including schools of engineering), Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University
    • Colleges of public administration
    • Vocational academies
748
  • Second master's programme
748
  • Second Diplom degree programme at university
ISCED 8 Doctoral or equivalent level
ISCED 8 academic 844
  • Doctoral studies
ISCED 9 No other classification
ISCED 99
No other classification
999 Mainly mentally handicapped pupils at special needs schools that cannot be assigned to an education area