Norway:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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Overview Norway

Contents

Norway:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Norway:Historical Development

Norway:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Norway:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Norway:Political and Economic Situation

Norway:Organisation and Governance

Norway:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Norway:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Norway:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Norway:Organisation of Private Education

Norway:National Qualifications Framework

Norway:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Norway:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Norway:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Norway:Funding in Education

Norway:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Norway:Higher Education Funding

Norway:Adult Education and Training Funding

Norway:Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Norway:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Norway:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Norway:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Norway:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Norway:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Norway:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Norway:Higher Education

Norway:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Norway:First Cycle Programmes

Norway:Bachelor

Norway:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Norway:Second Cycle Programmes

Norway:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Norway:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Norway:Adult Education and Training

Norway:Distribution of Responsibilities

Norway:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Norway:Main Providers

Norway:Main Types of Provision

Norway:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Norway:Teachers and Education Staff

Norway:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Norway:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Norway:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Norway:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Management and Other Education Staff

Norway:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Norway:Management Staff for Higher Education

Norway:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Norway:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Quality Assurance

Norway:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Norway:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Educational Support and Guidance

Norway:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Norway:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Norway:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Norway:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Norway:Mobility and Internationalisation

Norway:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Mobility in Higher Education

Norway:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Norway:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Norway:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Norway:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:National Reforms in School Education

Norway:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Norway:National Reforms in Higher Education

Norway:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Norway:European Perspective

Norway:Legislation

Norway:Glossary

In Norway, the compulsory school system comprises primary and lower secondary education, covering grades 1-10. These grades are described in chapter 5. Upper secondary education, or the period from the 11th to the 13th grades, normally serves the 16-19 age group. It includes general studies, vocational studies and apprenticeship training. Around half the pupils attend the programmes for general studies, the other half attend the vocational education programmes.

Specific Legislative Framework

Public upper secondary education and training is regulated by the Education Act, Act No 61 of 17 July 1998. This act covers all public education at school, from primary to upper secondary level. It also covers vocational training (apprenticeship), whether this takes place in an enterprise or at school.

Private upper secondary education is regulated by the Act on Private Schools, Act No 84 of 4 July 2003.

Upper secondary education and training comprises all education leading to qualifications above the lower secondary level and below the level of higher education.

Young people having completed primary and lower secondary education, or the equivalent, have a statutory right to three years’ upper secondary education and training leading either to admission to higher education, to vocational qualifications or to basic skills.

Pupils with a right to special needs education are entitled to an extra two more years of upper secondary education.

Upper secondary education normally covers the 16-19 age group, or the period from the 11th to the 13th grades. It includes general academic studies, vocational studies and apprenticeship training. The authorities are legally obliged to make adequate provisions for older pupils who wish to start, continue or complete their education at this level. The county administration is responsible for both ordinary and adult upper secondary education.

The National Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion 2006, with status as a regulation, includes the following:

● The Core Curriculum

● The Quality Framework

● Subject Curricula

● A Framework Regulating the Distribution of Periods and Subjects

The Core Curriculum for Primary, Secondary and Adult Education (1993) has been retained as the general part of the Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion. The main aims stated in the Core Curriculum are something to work towards and to measure progress by.

The quality framework summarises and elaborates on the provisions in the Education Act and its regulations, including the National Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion in Primary and Secondary Education and Training, and must be considered in light of the legislation and regulations.

The Act on Vocational post-secondary education, Act No 56 of 20 June 2003, revised in 2007and again in 2010, regulates short (half-a-year to two years’) vocational post-secondary education - both public and private. In this Act, the term vocational denotes programmes leading to qualifications that can be immediately used in working life without further training. The main purpose of the Act is to ensure and promote quality provision, and to ensure student rights.

As a consequence of the 2007 revision of the law, all providers must document quality assurance systems, and it is also possible to obtain institutional accreditation for programmes within a defined field of study, rather than having to apply for recognition programme by programme. NOKUT, the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education, is responsible for recognition of post-secondary non-tertiary provision.
Since 1 January 2010, vocational colleges are administered by the counties.

The 2010 amendment of the Act was to introduce the National Qualifications Framework for this level of education, to introduce the possibility of recognising part of qualifications both on the basis of formal education and on the basis of non-formal and informal experience, to introduce a system of credits and common way of grading throughout. Regulations following up on these changes were laid down on 1 August 2013.

General Objectives

One of the main objectives of upper secondary education is to make it possible for all pupils to attain a recognised qualification, vocational and/or academic.

The Education Act of 1998 has the same main objectives as the earlier Act on Vocational Training and Act on Upper Secondary Education. According to the Act, the objectives of education and training are:

"Education and training in schools and training establishments shall, in collaboration and agreement with the home, open doors to the world and give the pupils and apprentices historical and cultural insight and anchorage.

Education and training shall be based on fundamental values in Christian and humanist heritage and traditions, such as respect for human dignity and nature, on intellectual freedom, charity, forgiveness, equality and solidarity, values that also appear in different religions and beliefs and are rooted in human rights.

Education and training shall help increase the knowledge and understanding of the national cultural heritage and our common international cultural traditions.

Education and training shall provide insight into cultural diversity and show respect for the individual’s convictions. They are to promote democracy, equality and scientific thinking.

The pupils and apprentices shall develop knowledge, skills and attitudes so that they can master their lives and can take part in working life and society. They shall have the opportunity to be creative, committed and inquisitive.

The pupils and apprentices shall learn to think critically and act ethically and with environmental awareness. They shall have joint responsibility and the right to participate.

Schools and training establishments shall meet the pupils and apprentices with trust, respect and demands, and give them challenges that promote formation and the desire to learn. All forms of discrimination shall be combated".

The school environment is of great importance to pupils’ well-being and learning results. Chapter 9a of the Education Act establishes that "all pupils in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools are entitled to a good physical and psycho-social environment that will promote health, well-being and learning". The schools must work systematically to follow up the pupils’ school environment and implement measures to comply with the requirements of the Education Act.

The goal of Knowledge Promotion is to help all pupils to develop fundamental skills that will enable them to participate actively in our society of knowledge. The Norwegian school system is inclusive; there must be room for all. Everyone is to be given the same opportunities to develop their abilities. The Knowledge Promotion, with its special emphasis on learning, is meant to help ensure that all pupils receive a differentiated education.

The Learning Poster, as part of the Quality Framework, includes 11 basic commitments, mandatory in all upper secondary schools and apprenticeship work-places (as well as in primary and lower secondary schools). 

All schools and apprenticeship work-places shall:

● Give all pupils and apprentices/trainees an equal opportunity to develop their abilities individually and in cooperation with others.
● Stimulate pupils’ and apprentices’/trainees’ motivation, perseverance and curiosity.
● Stimulate in pupils and apprentices/trainees the development of their own learning strategies and their capacity for critical thought.
● Stimulate pupils’ and apprentices’/trainees’ personal development and identity, and assist them in the development of ethical, social and cultural competence, and democratic understanding and participation.
● Encourage pupil participation, and enable pupils and apprentices/trainees to make conscious value judgments and decisions on their educational needs and future work.
● Promote adapted teaching and varied working methods.
● Stimulate, exploit and develop the individual teacher’s competence.
● Contribute to teachers and instructors being evident leaders and role models for children and young people.
● Ensure that the physical and psycho-social working and learning environment promotes health, joy and learning.
● Prepare for cooperation with the home and ensure parents’/guardians’ co-responsibility in the school.
● Prepare for the local community to be involved in education in a meaningful way.

The aim of the 2003 Act on vocational post-secondary education (“fagskoleloven”) is to ensure quality vocational post-secondary non-tertiary provision through a system of public recognition and to ensure good learning conditions for students attending such programmes.