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.



National contexts for student mobility in the Nordic countries

In order to contextualize mobility patterns within the Nordic countries, we have examined the Nordic contextual factors in the Nordic countries. Nordic countries can be seen a region with a number of similarities that have developed in the last 50 years – including rapid expansion of systems in terms of student numbers as well as institutions, focus on educational investment and higher education as a core institution for the welfare state (Ahola, Hedmo, Thomsen, & Vabø, 2014). At the same time, this development has also led to some rather important differences – Denmark and Finland still have a much more strictly binary system, whereas the systems in the other Nordic countries show a more unified higher education sector, even if one can also find various types of institutions with varying professional profiles (Ahola et al., 2014). For the purposes of this evaluation, a comprehensive review of all aspects of the national systems would not be necessary – instead, we focus on key elements that are of relevance for this study.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error