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The Regionalization of Higher Education The case of Norway

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The Regionalization of Higher Education The case of Norway. NORPOL Project, Poznam September 2-4, 2009. Rómulo Pinheiro, Research Fellow University of Oslo [email protected] Setting the Stage . Population: 4.8 Mill. (09) – 6.9 Mill. by 2060* Geography: 323k km2

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slide1

The Regionalization of Higher Education

The case of Norway

NORPOL Project, Poznam

September 2-4, 2009

Rómulo Pinheiro, Research Fellow

University of Oslo

[email protected]

setting the stage
Setting the Stage
  • Population: 4.8 Mill. (09) – 6.9 Mill. by 2060*
  • Geography: 323k km2
  • Immigrants: 9.7%; 7.6% non-Western (08)
  • Inhabitants (per km2): 16 (08)
  • Population Growth: 1.3% (08)
  • GDP per capita: +/- 50K USD (07)
  • HE investments: 1% GDP (07)
  • R&D Investments (07):
    • 1.65% GDP (34K man years)
    • 11K man years (HEIs)
tertiary education
Tertiary Education
  • 7 universities
  • 6 specialised institutions (university level)
  • 26 university-colleges (2 private)
  • Tertiary Enrollments (08):
    • 225K (6K overseas)
    • 49% University level. 45% colleges. 9.3% Private (spes. univ.)
    • 61% female enrollment
    • Tertiary attainment (06)
      • (25-64 y.o.): 32.9%
      • (25-34 y.o.): 41.5%

Sources: Statistics Norway & OECD

regional landscape
Regional Landscape

434 Municipalities

79% population in urban areas

Decline 20-24 y.o. after 2015/25

(Northern Noway -12%)

Northern counties: Indigeneous

Minorities: Sami, Kverne.

regional policy he policy summary of main phases
Regional Policy/HE Policy (Summary of main phases)
  • Three main waves or phases (see slides for details):
    • Phase 1: Expansion (late 1960s- late 1980s)
      • Regional colleges + North most university at Tromsø
    • Phase 2: Integration/Consolidation (early 1990s-2003)
      • Notion of Network Norway
      • Mergers amongst colleges
      • Common legal framework
    • Phase 3: Differentiation (2003-today)
      • Quality Reform: Institutional ”Profiling”
      • Stjernø Commission’s report: 4 proposed models
      • Merger of Uiv. Tromsø w/ regional college (expected to play a key role in new High North strategy)
regional policy he policy 1 3 phase 1 expansion
Regional Policy/HE Policy (1/3)Phase 1: Expansion
  • Ottosen Commission (1965)
    • Creation of Regional Colleges across the country (Key words: Massification, democratisation, local relevancy/vocational)
    • System coordination via ’regional councils’ for HE
    • Regional colleges attracted primarily regional publics (Berglund 2004)
    • Reduce pressures on universities (resistance towards proposed reforms)
  • 1970s: Creation of Northern most university in the world (above Artic circle, at Tromsø)
    • Rationale: Train teachers and doctors for the region
    • Revert ’brain drain’ patterns to the South: Oslo/Bergen/Trondheim
    • Complacency after period of innovativeness. Drift process follows initial claim of distinctiveness – ”Not like Oslo or Bergen!”
regional policy he policy 2 3 phase 2 integration consolidation
Regional Policy/HE Policy (2/3)Phase 2: Integration/Consolidation
  • Early 1990s: Hernes Commission (1988). Notion of a ’Network Norway ’. Increased Ministerial supervision. Division labour by type HEI. Focus: Quality and Internationalisation. Studies indicate that policy impacted positively on public & private service sectors at the regional level (Sæther et al 2000).
  • Mid 1990s: Merger of small professional schools (teachers, nurses, etc.) w/ regional colleges. Emergence of binary system: 4 Universities vs. 26 Colleges (previously 98 vocational colleges).
  • 1996: Inclusion of state colleges in the same legal framework (Act) as universities. Changes in college governance (elected leaders) & graduate education/research (selected areas)
regional policy he policy 3 3 phase 3 differentiation
Regional Policy/HE Policy (3/3)Phase 3: Differentiation
  • 2003/4: Quality Reform in HE (Bologna++)
    • Colleges allowed to become universities; if 2/4 PhD programs have ”regional relevancy & national significance”
  • 2007: 2 new universities (Ås & Kristiansand/South East) – 2 new specialised university institutions.
  • 2008: Stjernø commission: Future outlook of the system. Integration models; Multi-campus, Big colleges, networks, mergers. Negative reactions but gradual adaptations
  • 2009: Univ. Tromsø merges w/ local College. Idea of a ”University of the North” rejected by Bodø (College). New UiT a key actor in Norway’s High North Strategy. Regional dimension being re-discovered – distinct research profile!
key lessons
Key Lessons (?)
  • Policy matter – for the good or worse!
  • Geography matters – regional publics of HE
  • Demographic trends matter – consolidation driven by decline in student numbers (pos-2015)
  • University matters – Tromsø seen as a huge success case of ’regional policy’. High North strategy impossible without Tromsø as a knowledge hub for the region.
  • Leadership matters (Marek) – Univ. Tromsø has engaged & pro-active Rector
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