Definition: International Standard Classification of Education
The International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) provides an integrated and consistent statistical framework for the collection and reporting of internationally comparable eductaion statistics. It contains two components:
- a statistical framework for the comprehensive statistical description of national education and learning systems along a set of variables that are of key interest to policy makers in international educational comparisons; and
- a methodology that translates national educational programmes into an internationally comparable set of categories for (i) the levels of education; and (ii) the fields of education.
ISCED rests on three components: (i) internationally agreed concepts and definitions, (ii) the classification systems, and (iii) an operational instructional manual and a well-defined implementation process.
The basic unit of classification in ISCED remains the educational programme. Educational programmes are defined on the basis of their educational content as an array or sequence of educational activities which are organized to accomplish a pre-determined objective or a specified set of educational tasks.
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), "International Standard Classification of Education - ISCED 1997", Paris, November 1997