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Flexible and decentralised education at Norway vocational colleges, university colleges and universities

May 05, 2022

Original Article:

The green shift and digital transformation are among the biggest changes our society will face in the coming years. Together with other technological developments, these processes will result in the disappearance of many jobs, the emergence of new jobs and industries and changes to work tasks. Many of us, perhaps most of us, will need to supplement and further develop our skills at some point.

The Norwegian Government is seeking to open up the education system to a greater extent. Our goal is for education at vocational colleges, university colleges and universities to be available to all, regardless of where you reside in the country and what your current life situation is. The purpose of this strategy is to increase access to flexible and decentralised high-quality education programmes that are adapted to the various needs of the work force as a whole and of individuals.

This need for new skills has arisen for several reasons. Some people begin to work early on in life and later wish to have the education they missed out on when they were younger. Others do not have the opportunity nor the desire to move from their home place in order to obtain an education. Yet others need to be able to combine education with their working life and family life. Some people need to supplement their skills. This is just as true of the tourism entrepreneur and seafood producer in rural communities as it is of urban dwellers with small children who live near a campus.

In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all solution that can accommodate all needs.

Education must be made available to all. This is precisely the reason for this strategy for flexible and decentralised education and why it covers programmes at vocational colleges, university colleges and universities. A more accessible education system benefits both individuals and society at large. In order for the private and public sectors to deliver good products and services to inhabitants, it is important to have access to the skills required. Just as important are educational programmes of high quality so that individuals and employers can devote time and resources to skills development.

At present, flexible education is widely available throughout the country. The Government has prioritised various measures to accelerate this development in years to come. This strategy elevates and connects the work that has already been initiated and sets the course for how to proceed in coming years. I wish to thank everyone who has contributed to this strategy. I look forward to collaborating further to offer people even more opportunities to pursue the studies of their choice in the ways that best suit them.


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