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Historical archive

Investing in learning – from day care institutions to research

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Education and Research

The 2014 national budget proposes significant investments in all areas of education and research. Measures include expanding access to day care institutions, as well as a major push to improve the quality of vocational training and to increase the number of students completing upper secondary education.

The 2014 national budget proposes significant investments in all areas of education and research. Measures include expanding access to day care institutions, as well as a major push to improve the quality of vocational training and to increase the number of students completing upper secondary education. 

The 2014 national budget proposes significant investments in all areas of education and research. Measures include expanding access to day care institutions, as well as a major push to improve the quality of vocational training and to increase the number of students completing upper secondary education. 

Kristin Halvorsen, the Norwegian Minister of Education and Research, points out that the government has given high priority to day-care institutions, education and research ever since it took power in 2005.  

-Our reform of day care institutions is the biggest innovation in the Norwegian welfare state in recent decades. We have also implemented a major drive to reduce dropout rates in upper secondary education, and have proposed the biggest changes to vocational training programmes for twenty years. We have provided grants for more than 1,000 units of student accommodation each year since 2008, which is even more than we promised at the start of the current parliamentary term. Compared with when we entered office in 2005, government plans would raise the number of places at higher education institutions by 24,800 by 2019. Moreover, we have increased public funding for research by around 34 per cent since 2005, says Kristin Halvorsen. 

With the 2014 budget, the government proposes expanding access to day care institutions and envisages the gradual introduction of a system of two intakes per year. It also proposes several new measures to reduce dropout rates in upper secondary education. Other suggested measures include making student grants payable for eleven months, funding 400 additional places at higher education institutions, building 1,300 new units of student accommodation and investing NOK 1.3 billion in buildings for the higher education sector. The government will also create 60 new funded research posts as part of its commitment to supporting young researchers. 

Expanding access to day-care institutions

The government wants to expand access to day-care institutions. Children who turn one in September or October 2014 will therefore have a statutory right to a place at a day-care institution. 

-The government plans to reduce waiting times by gradually introducing a system of two intakes per year, explains the Minister of Education and Research Kristin Halvorsen. 

The government is publishing its proposals in a draft bill for consultation which is being sent out today. The changes will come into force from the school year 2014-2015. The 2014 budget proposal allocates NOK 241 million for the creation of around 2,900 additional places at day-care institutions, in order to meet the demand arising from the new statutory right. The government is also investing in raising competence at day-care institutions, with a total of NOK 200 million allocated to research, recruitment and staff training in this area. 

Overall, the government proposes to increase funding for the pre-school sector in 2014 by almost NOK 700 million in relation to the previous year’s budget. 

Strengthening vocational training and reducing dropout rates 

The government is following up on its recent white paper on raising the quality of vocational training and reducing dropout rates in upper secondary education by allocating a total of NOK 156 million to these areas. 

-The high dropout rates in upper secondary education have a big impact on society and on the individuals concerned. Since 2010 we have been investing significant resources in the “Ny GIV” project, in order to reduce dropout rates, and ensure that more students complete their education with a school leaving certificate or trade certificate. In addition, the white paper we presented in the spring included specific measures to make vocational training more relevant to the world of work. Now we are providing the money needed to put the measures proposed in the white paper into practice, says the Minister of Education and Research. 

The 2014 budget includes NOK 750 million of extra funding for new measures and schemes for the primary and lower secondary levels. 

Higher education and research

  • The government proposes creating 400 new places at higher education institutions, and investing a total of NOK 1.3 billion in buildings for the higher education sector.
  • It will also make student grants payable for eleven months, making it easier to study full-time. The government also proposes indexing student grants, in order to maintain the purchasing power of students. Together, indexing and adding the eleventh month will raise the basic student grant by over NOK 11,000 to NOK 105,600 in the 2014-2015 academic year.
  • Student accommodation remains a priority for the government, and funding in this area will therefore increase by NOK 100 million. The budget ceiling will thus amount to NOK 359 million. This will allow the addition of 1,300 new units of student accommodation in 2014. Furthermore, the grant per accommodation unit will go up by 20 per cent, and the cost ceiling per unit will be raised by NOK 100,000.
  • The government proposes earmarking NOK 50 million to talented young researchers through the FRIPRO funding scheme for independent projects. It will also create 60 new funded research posts, including in the fields of mathematics, science and technology.