Studying at a folk high school in another Nordic country can be an expensive business, at least as the rules stand today. The Nordic Council Committee for Knowledge and Culture has a drawn up a proposal to change those rules.
Folk high schools in the Nordic Region can apply for funding from Nordplus for exchange visits but money is not available to individual students to cover the extra costs of studying at folk high schools in other Nordic countries. According to figures from the Nordic Folk High School Council, the number of students studying at folk high schools in other Nordic countries has fallen drastically since the rules were last changed.
Folk high schools play an important role in spreading understanding of the Nordic languages, culture and democratic system. They also help the students forge networks across the national borders.
The committee proposal – called “Improved conditions for co-operation between folk high schools in the Nordic Region and student mobility“ – seeks to encourage these positive activities and make more of them.
“The opportunity to live, work and study in another Nordic country is a prerequisite for Nordic co-operation,” says the new chair of the committee, Kjell-Arne Ottosson.
The most integrated region in the world
The committee feels that its proposal is in line with the action plan for mobility 2019-21 published by the Nordic Council of ministers earlier this year.
“The prime ministers want the Nordic Region to be the most integrated region in the world. The conditions faced by students are just one of the many challenges that need to be solved before the fine words on paper become a reality,” the chairperson continues.
The committee discussed the proposal at its summer meeting in the Faroe Islands. It will now be submitted to the Presidium of the Nordic Council.
About the proposal
The proposal suggests that the Nordic Council recommends to the Nordic Council of Ministers
– that it be possible for students at Nordic folk high schools to apply for individual grants from Nordplus Adult to cover the extra costs associated with taking a complete course at school in other Nordic countries
– that an opportunity be introduced under Nordplus auspices to fund information work by the Nordic folk high school organisations about the opportunities for students to study at folk high schools in other Nordic countries.
– that an opportunity be introduced under Nordplus auspices that makes it possible for folk high schools to boost their Nordic profile.
The Nordic Council recommends to the government of Sweden
– that the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) amends its rules and makes it possible for Swedish students to apply for grants to study at folk high schools in Norway and Denmark.
This article was originally published on Norden.org