The International Standard Classification of Education: An Evaluation of Content and Criterion Validity for 15 European Countries

Author: Silke Schneider (DPhil)

MZES, Jan 2008

The availability and validity of cross-nationally comparable measures of education-related concepts, especially educational attainment, are an important condition of international statistical reporting on education as well as cross-national social research. The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-97) is a cross-national classification framework for harmonising educational programmes and qualifications, the first version of which was developed by the UNESCO in the 1970s. It has been extensively used for international statistical reporting e.g. by the OECD and increasingly also for measuring educational attainment in cross-national surveys, e.g. the European Union Labour Force Survey (EU-LFS), the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the European Social Survey (ESS). Nevertheless, to date it has not yet been thoroughly evaluated.

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