English title: The application of the ISCED–97 to the UK’s educational qualifications

Author(s): Silke L. Schneider -

Language: English

Type: Book chapter

Year: 2008


This chapter covers the basic features of the educational systems of the UK, including major reforms since 1944, and the application of the ISCED-97 to the British qualifications. In a final step, a criterion validation is undertaken comparing the distributions of the ISCED-97 as found in the EU-LFS data sets and as derived from the UK's LFS. Is the ISCED-97 well suited to reflect the UK’s educational qualifications? It is shown that in order to achieve an adequate picture of the UK’s distribution of educational attainment, the sub-categories within ISCED levels (A, B and C) must be reported, and also some sub-sub-categories, namely vocational or general within 2A and 3A, and 1st/2nd degree at ISCED level 5A. On the other hand, ISCED levels 0, 1, 4 and 6 are not very common in the UK. Have the ISCED-97 categories been applied to the UK’s qualifications in such a way that the categories are comparable to other countries? Only to some extent: Firstly, the OECD’s coding is especially problematic in that it assigns GCSEs and equivalent qualifications to ISCED level 3 (even if C). In other countries, the first educational qualification, gained at the end of compulsory education, is always coded as ISCED 2. Secondly, vocational A-Levels, GNVQ advanced etc. might rather be coded as 3B than 3A, as they prepare for professional rather than academic higher education. These qualifications would then be on par with e.g. the French 'Bac professionel'.

From page no: 281

To page no: 300

Anthology: The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-97): An Evaluation of Content and Criterion Validity for 15 European Countries

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