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Education in the Faroe Islands

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Title: Education in the Faroe Islands  
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Subject: Education, Sociology of education, Philosophy of education, Education in the Faroe Islands, Føroya Studentaskúli og HF-Skeið
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Education in the Faroe Islands

Education in the Faroe Islands
Ministry of Education Research and Culture
Minister Bjørn Kalsø
National education budget (2012)

1.1 billion DKK(public)

8.1% of GDP
General details
Primary languages Faroese, Danish
Total N/A, note - probably 99%, the same as Denmark proper
Attainment (2011)
Secondary diploma 69.9% 1
Post-secondary diploma 32.5% 1

The levels of education in the Faroe Islands are primary, secondary and higher education. Education is compulsory between the ages of 6 and 16. Compulsory education consists of seven years of primary and two years of lower secondary education. Upon completion of the third year of lower secondary education students can continue to the upper secondary education which consisting of several different types of schools. Higher education is offered at the University of the Faroe Islands while there are also several vocational and boarding schools. Education in the Faroe Islands is administered and regulated by the Ministry of Education, Research and Culture (Faroese: Mentamálaráðið).


  • Overview 1
  • Primary education 2
  • Secondary education 3
  • Other schools 4
  • Higher education 5
    • Research 5.1
  • See also 6
  • References 7


Of the 31,270 people aged 25 and above 1,717 (5.5%) have gained at least a Master's degree or a Ph.D., 8,428 (27%) have gained a B.Sc. or a Diploma, 11,706 (37.4%) have finished upper secondary education while 9,419 (30.1%) has finished primary scool.[1] There is no data on literacy in the Faroe Islands, but the CIA Factbook states that it is probably as high as in Denmark proper, i.e. 99%.[2] In 2012 the public spending on education was 8.1% of GDP.[3] In November 2013 1,615 people, or 6.8% of the total number of employees, were employed in the education sector.[3]

Primary education

Primary education in the Faroe Islands commences at the beginning of the school year, in the calendar year, in which the child has reached the age of seven years.[4] It is part of the compulsory education and it lasts seven years.[4] Primary education is provided by Fólkaskúli, that is available in any village, and three free schools.[5] In 2014 there were 10,154 students attending primary education in the Faroe Islands.[6]

Secondary education

Upon completion of the primary education students can continue their studies in lower secondary education. Lower secondary education lasts three years and, as with primary education, it is provided by Fólkaskúli.[4] The first two years are part of the compulsory education, while the third year is optional, though a prerequisite to continue to the upper high school.[4] In 2014 there were 3,864 students in lower secondary education. [6]

Upper secondary education is offered by eight schools that offer five different type of courses.[5] The Studentaskúli is an academically oriented three-year long school.[5] Upon completion students can apply for admission in higher education institutions.[5] This type of education is offered at three schools: Føroya Studentaskúli og HF-Skeið, Studentaskúlin og HF-skeiðið í Eysturoy in Fuglafjørður and Miðnámsskúlin í Suðuroy in Suðuroy.[5] Another type of upper secondary education is HF, which is a 2-year academically oriented course for adults, that is offered at Føroya Studentaskúli og HF-Skeið and Studentaskúlin og HF-skeiðið í Eysturoy.[5] The Business College (Faroese: Føroya Handilsskúli) offers a three-year curicullum and its completion allows its alumni to continue to higher education.[5] There are two Business Colleges, one in Tórshavn and one Kambsdalur.[5] The Technical college (Faroese: Tekniski skúlin) offers courses on several technical fields along with apprenticeship.[5] It is offered in two schools, one in Tórshavn and one in Klaksvík.[5] Its alumni can pursuit higher education in technical sciences or take higher education courses of the Technical College.[5] Lastly there is the Fisheries College (Faroese: Fiskivinnuskúlin ) in Vestmanna.[5] It focuses in the fishing industry and food science and upon its completion students can continue in higher education studies related to the fishing industry.[5]

Other schools

There are two vocational marine schools in the Faroe Islands: the Maritime School (Faroese: Sjónám) in Klaksvík and the Centre of Maritime Studies & Engineering (Faroese: Vinnuháskúlin) in Tórshavn.[5] The first offers an one and a half-year studies to become a captain and individual marine courses, while the latter offers three year studies to become a ship master or a marine engineer in addition to shorter versions of these.[5][7][8] The Public Health School is a vocational school offering one year and three month long healthcare courses, plus an additional year to become a health visitor.[5]

The Faroe Music School runs fourteen institutions that are responsible for teaching music in the Faroe Islands.[5][9] The Evening School (Faroese: Tórshavnar Kvøld- Ungdóms- og Listaskúla) offers a variety of courses for Tórshavn residents and Faroese language lessons for foreigners.[5][10] Additionally there are the School of Home Economics (Faroese: Húsarhaldsskúli Føroya) and the Folk High School (Faroese: Føroya Fólkaáskúli) offering half year courses in food and diet, hygiene, ,sowing, embroidering and humanities, arts and creative subjects respectively.[5]

Higher education

Higher education is offered by the University of the Faroe Islands (Faroese: Fróðskaparsetur Føroya).[5] It was founded in 1965, as Academia Færoensis, by members of the Faroese Academy of Sciences.[11] On 1 August 2008 the Faroese School of Education and the Faroese School of Nursing where incorporated into the University becoming its departments.[12] The university is divided in two faculties: the Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education and the Faculty of Natural and Health Sciences, offering several B.Sc. degrees, M.Sc. degrees and Ph.D.s.[5][13] It is publicly funded and in 2010 it received approximately 68 million DKK.[12]


Research in the Faroe Islands is administered by the Faroese Research Council (Faroese: Granskingarráðið).[5] Each year the Parliament of the Faroe Islands allocates money to the Faroese Research Foundation and it is the Faroese Research Council that decides its recipients.[14] From 2002 to 2012 the Research Foundation had received over 70 million DKK.[14] Research is conducted by several governmental institutions (i.e. museums, laboratories, hospitals, marine institutes) and the University of the Faroe Islands.[5][15]

See also


  1. ^ "CS 5.1.2 Population by country/place of education/training, educational attainment level, age and sex". Hagstova Føroya. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  2. ^ "The World Factbook - Literacy(%)". Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Faroe Islands in figures 2014". Hagstova Føroya. June 2014. Retrieved 20 November 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Primary and Lower Secondary Education". Ministry of Education Research and Culture. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "Education". Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  6. ^ a b "Public school, number of pupils by class and gender". Hagstova Føroya. 12 November 2014. Retrieved 21 November 2014. 
  7. ^ "Courses". Sjónám. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  8. ^ "About the School". Vinnuháskúlin. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  9. ^ "Musikkskúlar" (in Faroese). Faroe Music School. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  10. ^ "English". Evening School. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  11. ^ "The history". University of the Faroe Islands. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "About the University". University of the Faroe Islands. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  13. ^ "Organisation and structure". University of the Faroe Islands. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "The Council". Faroese Research Council. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 
  15. ^ "Research Institutions". Faroese Research Council. Retrieved 22 November 2014. 

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