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Higher Education in the Nordic Countries

Evaluation of the Nordic agreement on admission to higher education

image of Higher Education in the Nordic Countries

The Nordic agreement on admission to higher education aims to ensure that in all the Nordic countries applicants to higher education from another Nordic country should be considered for admission on the same or equivalent basis as local applicants. In 2014 the Nordic Institute of Studies in Innovation, Research and Education (NIFU) evaluated the agreement.  In the report the evaluators give a description and a mapping of Nordic student mobility in a European context, as well an evaluation how appropriate and effective the agreement is. It is concluded that the agreement and Nordic cooperation is largely taken for granted and that the agreement has both a practical and symbolic value for Nordic cooperation.  For the future development four possible scenarios and a set of general recommendations are given.

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Future outlooks and recommendations

There is little doubt that Nordic cooperation is viewed positively and valued amongst our respondents. What then is noticeable is the apparent lack of focus on Nordic cooperation in terms of instruments in national policies and general political focus, this was noted in many of the interviews. While the importance of networks and cooperation between institutions was highlighted in the interviews, this is merely one side of the story. Strategic focus on Nordic cooperation cannot rely on such networks and intra-institutional cooperation alone. Iceland is perhaps the country where the Nordic dimension is most prominent, but also there this focus is to a large extent implicit and dependent on path dependencies and mobility patterns that have developed over time and are taken for granted.

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