Further growth and enhanced quality - strategy for tertiary vocational education

The Government wants to see growth in the vocational college sector, and its ambition is for the quality of vocational colleges to be increased in step with this growth. The purpose of this strategy is to devise a framework for the development of tertiary vocational education.


An important characteristic of tertiary vocational education is that it is developed in close collaboration with the labour market. Vocational colleges should contribute to a knowledge-intensive labour market by offering professional top-up for those already in employment and provide study programmes for people who would like more education after upper secondary education. This special role of vocational colleges will continue to be important going forward. Vocational colleges must also offer opportunities for graduates who want to pursue their career.

New technology and the transition to a greener economy give rise to major changes in society and new labour market needs. This makes vocational colleges even more relevant, as they offer short, practical study programmes that the labour market needs. Vocational colleges are in close contact with the labour market and are capable of establishing new programmes as the need arises. At the same time, traditional vocational college programmes are becoming more and more specialised, and the duration of some of the programmes is increasing in step with the need for more in-depth skills. Vocational colleges must strike a balance between the different needs and expectations of an ever-changing society. The ambitions and goals for tertiary vocational education are based on a sector that encompasses great variety, with different goals for the programmes it represents. I appreciate all the useful input we have received on the strategy. It obviously reflects great interest in vocational colleges in society. The input has helped to give direction to an educational sector that is becoming increasingly important to Norway.