Rethinking Nordic Co-operation in Higher Education

National and Institutional Case Studies

image of Rethinking Nordic Co-operation in Higher Education

This report contains the empirical data and case descriptions of a study on internationalisation in higher education in the Nordic countries. A special emphasis is made on the Nordic dimension in international co-operation. Nine higher education institutions in Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland make up the basis of the study. Funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the aims of the study have been to analyze how academic goals of higher education institutions in general and their internationalisation strategies in particular, are influenced by the growing “economization” and “marketization”. It also focuses on the factors that currently stimulate or hamper Nordic cooperation. Policy recommendations for further strengthening the Nordic cooperation in higher education are to be found in a separate report called “Rethinking Nordic Cooperation in Higher Education - Internationalization of Higher Education Institutions in Northern Europe in the Light of Bologna” (TemaNord 2005:520).




Within the Nordic area Iceland takes a rather unique position. In population size it is by far the smallest of the five Nordic countries with less than 300,000 inhabitants, even though in land area it is twice the size of Denmark. In addition, as an island it is lying in between the European and North American continents, at about two hour flying distance from the nearest Nordic neighbor. Finally, even though the Icelandic language is closer related to the ‘core Nordic languages’ (Danish, Norwegian, Swedish) than Finnish, it still is a language of its own which is not spoken or understood by many people outside Iceland, including other Nordic citizens.


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