Education co-operation more important than ever

31.10.18 | News
Nordplus 30 år

Nordplus celebrates 30 years. Jan Tore Sanner, Michael Tetzschner and Anna Ekstrøm.

Photographer
Sara Johannessen / norden
Thirty years of co-operation in the fields of education and language, and 8600 children, young people and adults who participate in Nordplus mobility activities each year, are not enough. People want more. This is cause for celebration.

OSLO: A number of parliamentarians, ministers, ambassadors and invited guests gathered in Stortinget’s assembly room, Vandrehallen, during the 70th Session of the Nordic Council to celebrate one of the Nordic co-operation’s most successful programmes - Nordplus, the Nordic Council of Ministers’ largest programme in the education area within lifelong learning.  In 2018, Nordplus celebrates 30 years of Nordic co-operation and 10 years of Nordic-Baltic co-operation. Approximately DKK 80 million are used every year on activities relating to education and language from all possible angles, and with target groups ranging from the very youngest to the very oldest. Key tools in the programme are mobility activities and networks through which experiences are shared, which together generate new knowledge in the form of joint development projects. In this way, Nordplus contributes to both the Nordic and the Nordic-Baltic co-operation.  “Nordplus represents Nordic neighbourliness. Without people-to-people co-operation and cross-border mobility, the Nordic region would not be the most integrated region in the world,” says Nordic Council President, Michael Tetzschner.

Nordplus represents Nordic neighbourliness. Without people-to-people co-operation and cross-border mobility, the Nordic region would not be the most integrated region in the world.

Michael Tetzschner, Nordic Council President

People want more.

In the report ‘Ett värdefullt samarbete’ (‘A valuable co-operation’) from 2017, 3000 citizens from the entire Nordic region gave their views on the Nordic co-operation. Education was regarded as being the most important area for collaboration within the framework of the formal Nordic co-operation. Among young people, over half say that mobility is the most important benefit of the co-operation. Consequently, it is encouraging that over 8600 participate in mobility activities, and between 3500 and 3900 educational institutions and organisations compete annually for funding. The proportion of new participants each year is very high.  Another positive result is that all countries, including the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland, are active in Nordplus. In 2019-2020, the Nordplus focus area will be ”Digital competences and computational thinking: preparing pupils, students and adults for a digitalised society”. This is good news for Sweden’s Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education and Training, Anna Ekström.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing how it can strengthen our educational programmes. Everyone - small children, upper secondary, adult and higher education students - will be better prepared for lifelong learning, where digitisation skills are necessary,” says Ekström.

I’m really looking forward to hearing how it can strengthen our educational programmes. Everyone - small children, upper secondary adult and higher education students - will be better prepared for lifelong learning, where digitisation skills are necessary.

Anna Ekström, Sweden’s Minister for Upper Secondary School and Adult Education and Training.

Preparing for the future

Nordplus finances people-to-people co-operation in many different themes, including themes that are high on the agenda in all Nordic and Baltic countries.  In 2017, one of the priority themes of the Norwegian presidency in the Nordic Council of Ministers was ‘The Nordic Region in Transition’. An example of the importance of Nordplus is that, this year, the programme granted approximately DKK 17 million to projects that concern how our societies can meet new challenges and adapt to a new everyday life. Themes include integration, environment and climate, digitisation and new technology.

“Through the programme, common challenges, such as transition, integration and digitisation, are highlighted. For 30 years, Nordplus has helped the exchange of ideas and experiences between the countries,” says the Norwegian Minister of Education and Integration, Jan Tore Sanner.