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Levels of education

Within the framework of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED), levels of education are an ordered set of categories, intended to group educational programmes in relation to gradations of learning experiences and the knowledge, skills and competencies which each programme is designed to impart. Levels of education are therefore a construct based on the assumption that education programmes can be grouped into an ordered series of categories. These categories represent broad steps of educational progression in terms of the complexity of educational content. The more advanced the programme, the higher the level of education. The ISCED 2011 classification consists of nine levels of education, namely: early childhood education (level 0); primary education (level 1); lower secondary education (level 2); upper secondary education (level 3); postsecondary non-tertiary education (level 4); short-cycle tertiary education (level 5); bachelor’s or equivalent level (level 6); master’s or equivalent level (level 7); doctor or equivalent level (level 8). (Source: UIS 2012).

See also ‘ISCED’.

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