Better cooperation with important countries

Traditionally Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa and Japan are not countries that Norway have cooperated extensively with in higher education and research. This is something the Government would like to change.

–These countries are responsible for an increasing part of the world's knowledge production. That is why it is important for Norwegian universities and university colleges to strengthen their ties with these countries, says Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

The Government has devised Panorama – a strategy for cooperation in higher education and research with these countries. It will be presented at the same time as the national budget. With the strategy, the Government follows up on its long-term plan for research and higher education and supports the plan's objectives of strengthening Norway's competitiveness and innovation ability, solving major challenges and developing excellent research communities.

– Countries such as China, India and Brazil are investing heavily in education and research as part of their national growth strategies. China will soon be spending more on research than the US, and Indian authorities are planning to increase the country's student population to more than the double by 2025. In addition, these countries are important markets for Norwegian industry. That is why we must establish a closer cooperative relationship, says Mr. Røe Isaksen.

The Government suggests targeted measures to strengthen our cooperation with these countries and will, among other things:

  • Establish better schemes through the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund for language training in non-English speaking countries. "We wish to lower the barriers for studying in countries where English is not the primary teaching language," says Mr. Røe isaksen.
  • Strengthen the UTFORSK Partnership Programme to support cooperation between universities and university colleges in Norway and universities in the strategy countries. The funds will, among other things go, to supporting educational activities connected to research cooperation and to support long-term cooperation between institutions.
  • Strengthen and further develop the INTPART Partnership Programme. The Programme is aimed at research institutes, universities and university colleges and supports projects that establishes or develops cooperation in higher education or research, networking activities and the exchange of knowledge between institutions. From 2016, there will be separate calls for proposals specifically directed towards the six strategy countries.