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Statistics on educational institutions


2.Organisation and governance

2.8Statistics on educational institutions

Last update: 27 November 2023

This section provides the most recent available data on the number of educational institutions from pre-primary to post-secondary non-tertiary education level (ISCED levels 0-4).

Statistics on numbers and characteristics of higher education institutions can be found in the European Tertiary Education Register. A general overview of institutions providing adult education from public sources can be found in the chapter on adult education. The notes below the tables provide methodological explanations necessary for a good interpretation of data.

Statistics on educational institutions providing regular education

Type of educational institution in English (and in national language)

ISCED levels provided Main orientation of the programmes provided​ Number of educational institutions


Public Government-dependent private Private independent

Pre-school centres


0 (-) 254 254 (-) (-)

Compulsory school


1,2 G 169 169 (-) (-)

Upper secondary school


3,4 G,V 33 33 (-) (-)


Statistics Iceland (Hagstofa Íslands): Figures for Pre-school centres:  Leikskólar, fjöldi barna og barngildi eftir rekstraraðilum 1998-2018  (latest firgures from 18.10.2019) 

Statistics Iceland (Hagstofa Íslands): Figures for Compulsory schools: Einsetning skóla eftir landssvæðum 1998-2018 (latest figures from 10.04.2019)

Statistics Iceland (Hagstofa Íslands): Figures for Upper secondary schools: Starfstími framhaldsskóla (latest figures are from 06.09.2017)

ISCED= International Standard Classification of Education

G= General V= Vocational
(:) Data not available (-) Not applicable


The 2018 version of the Unesco/OECD/Eurostat Manual on concepts, definitions and classification can be consulted for the definitions of regular education (p.10); general and vocational programmes of education (p.19); as well as public institution, government-dependent private institution and private independent institution (pp. 24-26)


The tables above present numbers of legal entities (not local sites).

There are two types of upper secondary schools: class-bases schools for general education and credit-based schools for either general education or vocational educational programmes. In addition there are a few upper secondary schools that offer programmes for specialised VET and journeyman education (ISCED 4 levels)

Upper secondary education is funded and managed by the central government although a handful are government dependent private institutions.

There are only two compulsory schools in Iceland dedicated for special needs education. Both are in Reykjavík. All compulsory level schools (ISCED 1-2 levels) offer students support in case of specific learning difficulties, emotional or social difficulties or disabilities. 

There is no upper secondary school in Icelnad specially for pupils with learning disabilities but most upper secondary schools in Iceland offer pupils with learning disabilities either general or vocational programmes and some offer both.