Historical archive

Prioritising knowledge and education

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Education and Research

In 2011, allocations to education and knowledge increase with the total of NOK 4.6 billion. -We are pleased that the government, within a tight budget, has chosen to prioritise the most important investment that we can make in our future – the education sector, say the ministers Kristin Halvorsen and Tora Aasland.

In 2011, allocations to education and knowledge increase with the total of NOK 4.6 billion. -We are pleased that the government, within a tight budget, has chosen to prioritise the most important investment that we can make in our future – the education sector, say the ministers Kristin Halvorsen and Tora Aasland.

Clear priorities in the Ministry of Education and Research’s 2011 budget include expanding and improving the quality of day care institutions and measures to increase the proportion of young people completing upper secondary education and training. A total of NOK 1 billion has been allocated to these areas. 2,200 additional places at universities and university colleges will also be created. Basic research will receive a NOK 60 million boost.

More people to complete upper secondary education and training

The budget sees a NOK 175 million increase in funding for projects (connected to Ny Giv) to help more people complete upper secondary education and training. In 2011, the total budget for this area will be NOK 425 million.

Through the Ny GIV programme, the government will work with county and municipal authorities to provide better support for students at risk of dropping out. The resources allocated will go to areas such as ensuring that students have the basic skills needed for the transition from lower to upper secondary education, continuing education programmes for lower secondary school teachers and improving the vocational relevance of upper secondary education and training. “Through this investment, the government is increasing the focus on education as a way of meeting the growing need for skills that our society will face in the future, as well as the needs of individuals for an education that secures their position in the labour market,” says Kristin Halvorsen.

Day care institutions and schools

  • Investment in improving the quality of day care institutions will rise by NOK 25 million to NOK 130 million, to be spent on measures such as training more pre-school teachers, improving the learning environment at day care institutions and continuing education for specialists in the field.
  • In real terms, the parental contribution will be reduced, by keeping the maximum contribution at the same level as last year. The government has reduced the maximum contribution by over 31 percent from 2005 through to 2011. For a family with two children at day care institutions, this is equivalent to an annual saving of almost NOK 20,000.
  • The budget proposes a NOK 92.5 increase in funding for the five-year plan to put non-municipal day care institutions on an equal footing with municipal ones in terms of the grants they receive.
  • The government will continue to earmark funds for expanding capacity at day care institutions. NOK 73 million has been allocated to create around 4,900 new places at day care institutions in 2011.
  • Overall, state funding for day care institutions has risen from NOK 13.5 billion to NOK 28.6 billion under this government. In 2011, just over NOK 28 billion will be provided through the central government grants for municipalities. 
  • The interest compensation scheme for the refurbishment of, and investment in, schools and swimming facilities will be expanded to cover an additional NOK 2 billion of investment in 2011.
  • The system of subsidies for private primary and lower secondary schools has been adjusted to better reflect the true costs that are covered pursuant to the Private Schools Act. As a result, funding for these schools will rise by NOK 43 million.
  • Municipalities will receive an extra NOK 350 million for the continuation of the free homework assistance scheme and the longer school day for the first four years of primary school introduced by the government in 2010.
  • The budget proposes NOK 26.6 million in compensation to municipal and county authorities to cover the introduction of free transport for the disabled to and from after-school groups during term time. 

Higher education and research

-  The number of people in the 20-25 age group is growing. The government has therefore chosen to prioritise an increase in capacity at higher education institutions. This is also the best long-term investment that the country can make. The proposal is to create 2,200 new places at universities and university colleges in autumn 2011. This means that by 2015 the government will be fully funding almost 18,000 more places at higher education institutions than in 2008, says Minister of Higher Education and Research Tora Aasland.

Higher education

  • Expanding higher education:
  • In order to promote the long-term development of knowledge in our society, and to increase capacity in the education sector, the government proposes creating 2,200 new places at higher education institutions from autumn 2011.
  • Teacher training will be given a heavier weighting in the financing system. In 2014 this will produce a NOK 114 million increase in investment in teacher training.
  • All ongoing construction projects will continue, at a cost of NOK 1.2 billion in 2011. An additional NOK 470 million will also be provided to fund equipment for construction projects in 2011. The second phase of the refurbishment of the University of Oslo’s city centre campus will receive NOK 45 million of initial funding.
  • The proposal is to once again allocate NOK 50 million to various collaboration projects in the higher education sector in 2011. The 2011 budget allocates an extra NOK 19 million to the joint administrative bodies in the sector (NOKUT – the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service, BIBSYS and The Norwegian Biodiversity Information Centre).
  • More student accommodation will be built, with around 1,000 new student rooms proposed for 2011.
  • An extra NOK 14 million has been allocated to grants and loans for students with disabilities.

Research

The government’s budget proposal envisages around NOK 24.3 billion in public investment in research and development, equivalent to a nominal increase of NOK 550 million over the final budget resolution for 2010. The proposal is also to inject NOK 3 billion of additional capital into the Fund for Research and Innovation.

-  Innovative, cutting-edge research is absolutely vital to help us discover the ways in which Norway can prosper when the oil runs out. The government has therefore prioritised an increase of NOK 60 million in funding for basic research in 2011. By expanding the open competitive arena for outstanding research (FRIPRO), we will ensure funding for the top research communities, says Aasland. - This will lay the foundation for unexpected scientific discoveries.

Selected budget proposals:

  • The government proposes providing NOK 60 million to the open competitive arena for outstanding research (basic research) through The Research Council of Norway.
  • It also proposes increasing the capital of the Fund for Research and Innovation by NOK 3 billion in 2011.
  • In 2009 and 2010 the government proposed earmarking some of the return on capital of the Fund for Research and Innovation for research infrastructure. In 2011 this will provide NOK 280 million for research equipment.
  • The government is providing a boost to research in the education sector. In 2011 the Ministry of Education and Research will allocate NOK 65 million to research in the field and the establishment of a new centre of expertise for education from 1 January.
  • There will be a NOK 45 million increase in funding for polar research.
  • A further NOK 10 million will be provided for the construction of a new weather radar in Finnmark in 2011.