OECD countries catches up with Norway regarding the proportion of young people with Higher education

Minister of Research and Higher Education Iselin Nybø (Liberal Party).Photo:Minister of Research and Higher Education Iselin Nybø (Liberal Party).Photo: Terje Bendiksby / NTB scanpix

In four years time, Norway will with today’s development fall below the average for OECD countries when it comes to young people with completed Higher education, says a recent report.

This is serious both for Norway’s competitiveness and for our adaptability, says Research and Higher education minister Iselin Nybø (V).

The report, which was published on Tuesday, has looked more closely at how Norwegian education and Norwegian universities and colleges are doing compared to other OECD countries, the Ministry of Education and Research stated in a press release.

Norway is overtaken

It is especially one area that is highlighted in the report as a challenge in Norway. This is concerning the proportion of 25–34 year-olds with completed Higher education.

The development shows that from 2010 to 2017, Norway has fallen from fifth to tenth place in terms of the percentage with completed education in this age group. On average, there has been a greater increase in young people with completed education in other OECD countries than in Norway. For whilst in Norway there was an increase of 13 per cent from 2007 to 2017, an average increase of 37 per cent is happening in the OECD countries.

Norway is a high-cost country and therefore it is important to be able to compete on knowledge and quality. In addition, many of the future jobs will require higher education. A highly educated population is also important for the ability to restructure and further develop our society, says Minister of Research and Higher Education Iselin Nybø (V).

Two possible solutions
If developments continue as they currently do, this could mean that we will already be below the average for the OECD countries in four years’ time.

To meet the challenge ahead, the OECD has pointed to two possible solutions. One solution is to get more people to complete their degree course within the normal time frame. This will have the greatest and fastest effect rather than increasing the uptake, if the proportion increases from around 50 per cent to 70 per cent.

But it is also pointed out that getting more people to take Higher education is a solution.

The completion of Higher education within the intended timeframe has gone in the right direction which has meant more study places, but we are by no means in goal. If we are to solve the gap that is about to occur between us and others, both more people must embark on Higher education and more must complete the studies within the normal timeframe, says Nybø

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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