"If we are to maintain and develop the Nordic welfare model in the face of demographic change, training programmes in health and social care must learn to work together,” says the Norwegian Minister of Research and Higher Education, Tora Aasland, who would also like to see more research conducted into the whole subject of welfare.
When people feel the need to seek care, social and health factors are often both involved. According to the minister, this makes it important that nurses know what social workers do so that all of the care workers involved in any given case work well together and are able to agree on the appropriate course of action.
Aasland, who was the keynote speaker at a discussion on education, research and the future of the Nordic welfare model during the meeting of the Council of Ministers for Education and Research (MR-U) in Copenhagen on November 2, notes that not enough research is conducted into the whole subject of welfare. "We know a great deal about health and disease, but not so much about social factors," she said.
"I would like to see research-based training programmes. In other words, I would like us to continually replenish our stock of knowledge and deploy it as the basis for training in social- and health care," the minister added.
The MR-U meeting also endorsed the framework for the education programme "Nordplus 2012-2016". Tora Aasland pointed out that Nordplus is in many ways prepared for the challenges ahead — both in care training and in drawing up guidelines to prevent young people dropping out of school.
The Baltic countries will now be able to participate in the Nordplus sub-programme Nordplus Nordic Languages for the first time. It will also be easier and less expensive to take part in the Nordplus Junior sub-programme.