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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures


6.Upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary Education

6.10Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures

Last update: 27 November 2023

Upper secondary educational institutions in Iceland have more freedom than the primary and lower secondary schools to provide organisational variations and alternative structures. The framework allowing for those variations and alternative structures is set with the National Curriculum Guide for Upper Secondary Schools, of 2011. Approved independent upper secondary schools may, among others, provide education programmes on an international basis or provide upper secondary education in combination with top-level arts or music or another subject profile. 

Out of around 50 schools offering upper secondary education in Iceland in 2021. Around 30 offer a comprehensive education leading to matriculation, which normally lasts three years, although many need up to one more year. Other paths or programs within upper secondary schools lead to VET or a mix of matriculation and VET. Matriculation is needed for HEI studies.

In the school year 2020-2021, one upper secondary school offered international IB programme, taught in English.  See link to the school in question here.

Pupils with special needs or pupils that ar hospitalised or admitted to an institution for a longer period of time are facilitated with their needs met on individual bases and in cooperation with the pupil’s municipality and the health authorities.