Support #1491

advice on constructing ISCED variable

Added by Clara Mascaro over 1 year ago. Updated over 1 year ago.

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Dear support team,

I am looking to construct an ISCED variable from UKHLS data (waves 2-9) for comparison with GSOEP data. I have seen that an w_isced11_dv variable exists for waves 6 and 9 although the online documentation shows it is coded as inapplicable for >90% of respondents. Do you know why that is the case?

I have also been searching the online documentation for information on how w_isced11_dv has been derived (so I can derive it myself for waves 2-9) but haven't been able to find it. Could you point me in the right direction please?

Many thanks,


FLOWCHART_GBR_2011_LL_ISCED_Structure.pdf (855 KB) FLOWCHART_GBR_2011_LL_ISCED_Structure.pdf Flowchart mapping UK ISCED Gundi Knies, 01/29/2021 06:40 PM

Updated by Alita Nandi over 1 year ago

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Many thanks for your inquiry. The Understanding Society team is looking into it and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
Best wishes,
Understanding Society User Support Team


Updated by Gundi Knies over 1 year ago

Hi Clara,
the variable isced11_dv is a recode of the variable w_qfhighoth. To understand the inapplicable -8, please see the question routing information for w_qfhighoth in the W6 and W9 questionnaires.

The data team are working on coding of ISCED for W9 which is when every respondent was asked for their qualifications in a principally ISCED compatible way. The intention is that this derived variable will be in the W11 release (Nov 2021). We will share look-ups / code as soon as possible.

We are not aware of solutions for the previous waves 1-8 (please see related queries regarding ISCED on this forum). You may find the uploaded flowchart useful to see how UK ISCED is structured and maps onto qualifications some of which we directly ask about in the UKHLS.

Best wishes,
Understanding Society User Support


Updated by Piotr Marzec over 1 year ago

  • Status changed from In Progress to Feedback
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Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team over 1 year ago

  • Assignee changed from Gundi Knies to Clara Mascaro

Updated by Clara Mascaro over 1 year ago

Dear Gundi,

Thanks for this answer - it seems that w_qfhighoth was only asked (in wave 9, it does not appear in the wave 6 questionnaire) of those who said they had obtained their highest qualification outside the UK (HIGHEDUK = 2), which would explain the high percentage of inapplicable (-8) for both i_qfhighoth and i_isced11_dv.

Thanks for attaching the flowchart. I think it will be useful to develop some very broad categories that can be somewhat comparable with an aggregate version of the ISCED.

Best wishes,


Updated by Gundi Knies over 1 year ago

We are glad to hear you find the flowchart useful.

Regarding f_qfhighoth, the IEMBS had a separate questionnaire as quite a large chunk of questions was different to the main sample this having been the first time the sample was interviewed. In the questionnaire section for wave 6 you will see three documents: mainstage , mainstage youth and iembs.

Hope this helps,


Updated by Clara Mascaro over 1 year ago

Hi Gundi,

Indeed I had only looked in the mainstage questionnaire for wave 6.

Thanks for your advice, it has been very helpful as always.



Updated by Understanding Society User Support Team over 1 year ago

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