Historical archive

The 2009 budget for the Ministry of Education and Research:

National budget: Knowledge for the future

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Education and Research

The red-green coalition government will continue to develop the Norwegian welfare state, through investment in kindergartens, education and research. Amongst other things, the government proposes spending a total of around NOK 2 billion on improving the quality of our schools in 2009. Priority will be given to measures to enhance the status of teachers, make the teaching profession more attractive and improve standards in our schools.

The red-green coalition government will continue to develop the Norwegian welfare state, through investment in kindergartens, education and research. Amongst other things, the government proposes spending a total of around NOK 2 billion on improving the quality of our schools in 2009. Priority will be given to measures to enhance the status of teachers, make the teaching profession more attractive and improve standards in our schools.

“We are going to invest heavily in schools in the coming years. There will be a particular focus on increasing teacher numbers, and making it easier for teachers to exercise their profession,” say Bård Vegar Solhjell, the Minister of Education, and Tora Aasland, the Minister of Research and Higher Education. 

Investing in teachers

Teachers are one of the key factors in determining whether pupils receive a good education. The government believes that Norwegian schools need more teachers, and it will therefore develop a long-term investment strategy aimed at teachers. The proposal is to spend a total of around NOK 1 billion on such measures in 2009.

There is a strong need for more and better teachers. The government will therefore use around NOK 50 million on various measures to increase recruitment to the teaching profession. There will be a particular focus on recruitment to upper secondary schools, which is where the need is greatest. For example, the government will introduce a scheme to write off student loans, in order to attract more foreign language and science teachers to upper secondary schools. 

The government also proposes spending around NOK 100 million in 2009 on various measures to improve teacher-training. More newly qualified teachers will be mentored, and 180 new students will be admitted to teacher education. Around the turn of the year 2008–2009, the government will present a white paper on the role of teachers and teacher training, which will set out in greater detail various measures to improve the quality of teacher training and increase recruitment to the profession.

The government will spend around NOK 400 million on establishing a permanent system for the further education and training of teachers and headmasters from 2009.

The headmaster training programme will be established in the autumn of 2009, and will be offered to all newly appointed headmasters, as well as to various headmasters who have never received any such training.  

Other important areas of investment in the 2009 budget: 

Schools

The government is planning to use NOK 430 million on funding additional Norwegian/ Sámi and maths teachers for years 1–4 from the autumn of 2009 onwards. This will increase the support given to individual pupils. The government also proposes allocating two more lessons a week in primary schools to physical activities, starting in the autumn of 2009.

The government will also further develop the national quality assurance system. From the autumn of 2009, pupils in all three years of upper secondary school will receive free learning materials.

Funds will also be earmarked for measures to combat bullying, and to make the learning environment safer and more inclusive. 

Our knowledge about the education sector will also be strengthened through increased investment in educational research. 

The government proposes introducing an interest compensation scheme for schools and swimming pools. Over a period of eight years, the government aims to allow local authorities to take out interest-free loans worth a total of NOK 15 billion. In the 2009 budget, the government proposes allocating NOK 2 billion for this purpose. 

Research

The government proposes creating over 200 new research positions, comprising a mixture of funded research posts, post-docs and company-sponsored PhDs. The government also proposes increasing the funding for each new research position to NOK 800 000, in order to cover more of the associated costs.  

In order to ensure stable, long-term funding for research, the government proposes increasing the capital in the Research and Innovation Fund by NOK 6 billion. The government proposes using NOK 190 million of the increased return on capital on scientific equipment, starting in 2010. For 2009, a one-off allowance of NOK 80 million for research infrastructure is also proposed.  

In total the funding for research and development in the central government budget will increase by around NOK 1.6 billion to around NOK 19.7 billion. That represents a real-terms increase of around 4.4 percent in comparison to 2008. 

New buildings

The government proposes allocating a total of NOK 80 million in 2009 to new buildings for the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Bergen, and buildings for the nursing degree course at Oslo University College. The government proposes that work on a new building to house the whole of Bergen University College start in 2010. 

Financial support for students

The government also proposes applying a 3 percent inflation adjustment to the financial support provided to students through the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund from the academic year 2009–2010. This is equivalent to the expected increase in the consumer price index. The living allowance for higher education will be NOK 87 600 for the academic year 2009–2010.

 The government also plans to build up to 1 000 new student flats in 2009. 

Completing our investment programme in kindergartens

From 2009 onwards, the government proposes maintaining the cap on parents’ fees at the same nominal level until the price falls to NOK 1 750 (in 2005 prices) per month. The proposal is therefore that in 2009 the maximum fee will be NOK 2 330 per month for a full-time place, which is equivalent to NOK 25 630 per year. 

The government proposes creating 150 extra places on ordinary pre-school teacher training courses, and 150 places at further education and training centres, as well as increasing investment in pre-school teacher training for kindergarten assistants. The proposal is to increase funding for this by NOK 15 million in 2009.

National budget