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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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Nordic student mobility – historical and cultural roots

Nordic cultural and educational cooperation has long historical roots, and is also linked to the common history in the Nordic countries that has created strong ties between the countries. Regarding mobility within the region, it is in particular Norway and Iceland that have long traditions of sending students to other Nordic countries (Nyborg, 1996). For instance, in the 1930s, about 40% of Icelandic students studied abroad, and the number was still around 35% in 1990, largely enabled by the State Student Loan Fund (Maassen, Nokkala, & Uppstrøm, 2005).

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