Pressemelding | Dato: 14.10.2005
The Government proposes to allocate NOK 1.6 billion to implementing the Knowledge Promotion Reform in the Budget for 2006. The Government is also making a significant investment in research, and suggests a total increase in allocations to this field of NOK 1.4 billion. In addition the Government proposes to increase the capital in the Fund for Research and Innovation by NOK 39 billion to NOK 75 billion. (14.10.05).
Budget for 2006, Ministry of Education and Research:
Substantial investment in education and research
The Government proposes to allocate NOK 1.6 billion to implementing the Knowledge Promotion Reform in 2006. NOK 600 million of this is to be spent on competence development for teachers and head teachers. The Government is also making a significant investment in research, and suggests a total increase in allocations to this field of NOK 1.4 billion. In addition the Government proposes to increase the capital in the Fund for Research and Innovation by NOK 39 billion to NOK 75 billion.
In connection with the Knowledge Promotion Reform the Government will allocate NOK 400 million to covering the municipalities’ costs for new teaching aids in primary and lower secondary schools. Furthermore it is proposed to increase the block grant made to the municipalities by NOK 190 million in order to finance the total annual effect of the increase in the number of lessons that was implemented in primary and lower secondary education in autumn 2005. The development of new curricula is another measure that has been assigned priority in the reform. It is proposed to allocate NOK 80 million to completing the remaining curricula in 2006.
To strengthen the recruitment of researchers, the Government proposes to allocate NOK 132 million to the establishment of 350 new doctoral positions from autumn 2006 and to the 100 new doctoral positions that were instituted from autumn 2005. The allocations to basic research through the Research Council of Norway over the budget of the Ministry of Education and Research have been strengthened by more than NOK 250 million. The capital increase in the Fund for Research and Innovation will produce higher returns in 2007 that amount to around NOK 1.4 billion. Over other ministries’ budget areas, the Government suggests a particularly strong growth in allocations to business-oriented research.
Other important matters in the budget proposal are:
- Quality reform in higher education: the quality reform was fully financed through an allocation of NOK 1,144 million in 2004. The allocation level was maintained in 2005 and a proposal has now been made to sustain this level and to make it permanent. At the same time, budgets to universities and university colleges will be strengthened by NOK 156 million as a result of the increase in the number of study points awarded.
- Buildings in the university and university college sector: the Government proposes to allocate NOK 40 million as an initial allocation to two new construction projects in the university and university college sector: NOK 30 million to the rehabilitation of the Sørhellinga building at the University of Life Sciences, and NOK 10 million to the construction of the new Sámi science building in Kautokeino. In addition it is proposed to allocate NOK 75 million to continuing the construction project at the Department of Informatics (IFI II) at the University of Oslo, and NOK 55 million to continuing the establishment of joint premises at Vestfold University College. The budget proposal also contains suggestions for NOK 172 million for funds for both equipment and rent for buildings that will be completed in 2006.
- Net infrastructure: to expand the net infrastructure at Norwegian research institutions, the Government proposes to allocate NOK 12.6 million to the Gigacampus project. The project is intended to provide standardised upgrading of the local campus infrastructure and the local ICT competence at the institutions.
- Modernisation of the State Educational Loan Fund: the Government proposes to allocate NOK 93.5 million as an initial allocation to the modernisation project in the Loan Fund with the aim of achieving faster and more secure administrative procedures and a good level of service. The Government suggests strengthening the administration budget in the Loan Fund by NOK 11 million in the modernisation period.
- Higher basic support from the State Educational Loan Fund: the Government proposes to increase the basic support to pupils and students from NOK 8,000 per month to NOK 8,140 per month. The increase does not apply to young pupils taking ordinary upper secondary education.
- Extended access to loans for pupils and students at private educational institutions: the Government proposes to increase access to loans in the Loan Fund for covering school fees for pupils and students at private educational institutions from NOK 20,860 to NOK 50,000 per academic year. The increase does not apply to young pupils taking ordinary upper secondary education.
- Competence policy: to ensure that more adults gain sufficient knowledge of reading, writing, arithmetic and ICT to enable them to face the challenges of working life and community life, the Government proposes to allocate NOK 15 million to initiating a “new chance” programme. It is suggested that the previous competence development programme be wound up from 2006.
- Adult education associations: to make room for other measures, the Government proposes to reduce the grant to adult education associations by NOK 54 million.
- School premises: to enable school owners to continue their investment in renovating school premises, the Government proposes to strengthen the grant scheme involving the state providing compensation for the interest on investment in new buildings and the rehabilitation of school premises. It is suggested that the investment budget be raised by NOK 2 billion to NOK 12 billion in 2006, constituting an allocation that is far more than the adopted total budget of NOK 15 billion to be distributed over eight years. So far more than 1,000 schools have benefited from the scheme. The grant is allocated through the budget of the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.
Budget proposal according to category
The budget proposal of the Ministry of Education and Research for 2006 amounts to around NOK 96.3 billion and is divided among the following categories:
Amount of loan transactions[JOH1]
Primary and lower secondary education
Measures to promote competence development
Higher education and vocational college education