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Literacy and numeracy skills

In her thesis, Kjersti Lundetræ examined how basic literacy and numeracy skills are related to drop-out rates in upper-secondary school and to unemployment rates among 16-24-year-olds.

A society undergoing rapid changes has resulted in an increased focus on the importance of basic skills and lifelong learning. There is a strong correlation between youths’ education and skills, and their access to the labor market. Therefore, dropout rates from upper-secondary school is considered a major challenge in the Norwegian as well as in an international context.

Based on data from the International Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, the thesis adds especially to the development of new knowledge on relationships between basic literacy and numeracy skills and dropout rates in upper-secondary education as well as unemployment among 16-24 year olds.

The results confirm, among other things, that youths with highly educated mothers are more likely to progress in education than other youths. However, when controlling for the basic literacy and numeracy skills amongst young people, the results show that the educational level of the students' parents have no impact on the completion of secondary education in Norway, unlike in the United States. The results also show that young people with low basic skills are far more vulnerable to unemployment, even when they have completed upper secondary education.


The thesis "16-24-åringers basisferdigheter. En studie av basisferdigheter relatert til selvoppfatning, frafall i videregående opplæring og arbeidsledighet" can be borrowed at the University Library.

Supervisor: Professor Egil Gabrielsen, UiS
Co-supervisor: Professor Reidar Mykletun, UiS