Investing in teachers, higher education and research

Continuing and further education of teachers is the government’s most significant investment in the field of education and research. In addition, the Research and Development sector and the universities are being strengthened.

Continuing and further education of teachers is the government’s most significant investment in the field of education and research. In addition, the Research and Development sector and the universities are being strengthened.

 

  • Tilleggsproposisjonen for statsbudsjettet 2014
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    – This budget is only the first step, however it is a clear indication that this government is prioritising education, says Minister of Education and Research Torbjørn Røe Isaksen.

     

    Investing in teachers

    As of the autumn 2014, the government wishes to increase the number of teachers in further and continuing education within the strategy Competence for Quality by 750, to a total of 2600. The increase emphasises the fields of mathematics and science. Additionally, will be established a new grant scheme for teachers in further education, preferably within the fields of mathematics and science. 450 teachers will be able to receive such grants starting in 2014. Universities and university colleges will receive an additional NOK 50 million in order to be able to offer more teachers continuing and further education in the years to come. 

    – There are many productive measures that may be taken in schools, but we are starting with the most important one. The teacher is the key element in ensuring that students learn more in school. Our greatest financial investment will therefore be aimed at making skilled Norwegian teachers even better, says Røe Isaksen.

     

    Strengthening vocational training

    Each year, around 6 000 students fail to get an apprenticeship-training place. The government proposes to increase funding for vocational training by NOK 114 million compared with the previous government’s budget proposal. This will allow for an increase in subsidies by NOK 3 500 per apprentice, while also establishing state subsidies for new training establishments.

     – We are increasing government subsidies for apprentices, thus making it easier for both private and public sector to hire apprentices, says Røe Isaksen.

      

    Improving the quality of day-care institutions

    The government proposes to allocate NOK 69 million in order to promote equal treatment of private and public day-care institutions. As of 1 August 2014, the government minimum funding for private day-care institutions will be increased from 96 to 98 per cent of the average government funding given to public day-care institutions. Good management is essential for the quality of day-care institutions. The government therefore proposes to increase funding for management training by NOK 10 million in 2014 for managers in day-care institutions. The government is proposing a continuation of the maximum price in 2014 at the same real level as in 2013, which means that the maximum rate shall be set at NOK 2 405 per month.

     

    Improving the quality of higher education

    The government will increase basic funding for universities and university colleges by NOK 100 million through the result-based funding scheme. An allocation of NOK 50 million is also granted for new and better equipment at educational institutions for engineers.

    The government proposes NOK 100 million for upgrading and renovation of buildings and laboratories at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in 2014.

    Student grants will be increased by more than in any other single year during the last decade. The monthly basic educational grant provided by the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund is proposed to increase from NOK 9 440 in the academic year 2013-2014 to NOK 9 785 per month in the academic year 2014-2015. The basic educational grant is thus increased by NOK 3 450 per academic year. The government is not taking measures to make student grants payable for eleven months.

     

    The government is investing in research

    The government is prioritising research, and therefore proposes an increase of NOK 320 million compared with the previous government’s budget proposal. In particular, the government has emphasised a strengthening of industrial research. The government is proposing a total allocation of NOK 22.7 billion for research and development (R&D) in 2014.This constitutes a real growth of around 3.4 per cent compared with 2013. In addition to this comes the effect of the tax rebate which is estimated to around NOK 1.8 billion in 2014, an increase of NOK 160 million compared with the previous government’s budget proposal. Public spending will thus be increased by almost NOK 0.5 billion combined.

     

    Strenghtening adult education

    In order to counteract people’s tendency to drop out from working life due to weak basic skills, the government is proposing to increase allocations for the Basic Competence in Working Life Programme (BKA) by NOK 45 million in 2014. This is an increase of 47 per cent compared with the previous government’s budget proposal. The money shall both finance a general strengthening of the programme, as well as several new measures within the Basic Competence in Working Life Programme. From now on, subsidies for this programme may be granted for training at the work place in oral Norwegian, in combination with training in other basic skills, for minority speakers and employment immigrants.

     

    The government is prioritising the most important investments first. As previously informed, the government will not be continuing the programme offering free fruit and vegetables in lower secondary schools. Starting from the autumn 2014, the government will also terminate the primary school programme which offers municipal cultural school classes. The maximum price in day-care institutions is being kept at the same real level as in 2013, and the proposal from the previous government to introduce two intakes per year will be reversed. The government will be using other strategies in order to increase flexibility for admission to day-care institutions.