Education for Tomorrow

Education for Tomorrow

The aim of the thematic programme Education for Tomorrow is to generate new knowledge about the Nordic educational systems that will better equip them to meet the needs of society – today and in the future.

The Nordic countries share a long tradition of state-funded education, from pre-school through university, and lifelong learning. Nevertheless, international surveys have revealed considerable differences in performance between the educational systems of the individual countries. Researchers in the field of education examine topics such as learning, knowledge formation and knowledge traditions, among others, as well as the role of the educational system in social development.

The Nordic Ministers for Education and Research have together taken the initiative to launch a major Nordic programme on educational research. They agree there is tremendous benefit to be derived from Nordic-level collaboration on research on the Nordic educational systems and their strengths and weaknesses, similarities and differences.


The programme’s primary objectives are to strengthen the Nordic position in educational research, to contribute to the development of knowledge-based policy in the Nordic countries by shedding light on research questions of social relevance, and to disseminate research results to a wide range of stakeholders. At the same time, activities under the programme will strive to find answers to questions on what needs to be done for the educational system to meet future knowledge and learning needs and how the role of education should be defined in this context. Programme funding has also been earmarked for studies on dropouts in the school system.

The programme funds several large-scale, interdisciplinary research projects and one Nordic Centre of Excellence.


The programme has figured on the political agenda in the Nordic countries for quite some time, and a number of studies and national consultations were conducted to determine its thematic focus, organisation, priorities and level of ambition. The Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research (MR-U) and the national research councils subsequently reached an agreement on co-funding the Nordic initiative. NordForsk was assigned the responsibility of administering the programme.

Programme Committee

  • Professor Krista Varantola, Chancellor Emerita, University of Tampere (Chair)
  • Professor Eva Björck, Secretary General, the Swedish Research Council
  • Otto Auranen, Science Adviser, Academy of Finland
  • Sigurjón Mýrdal, Head of Division, Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Iceland
  • Kari Tonhild Aune, Special Adviser, The Research Council of Norway
  • Tue Vinther-Jørgensen, Senior Consultant, Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.


The overall programme budget is approximately NOK 75 million for the period 2012-2016. The programme also encompasses a smaller-scale thematic initiative (NOK 4 million) on Nutrition, Learning and Health, which is fully funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers via the Globalisation Initiative on Health and Welfare.


Nordic Centre of Excellence: Justice through education in the Nordic countries (JustEd)
Nordic fields of higher education. Structures and transformations of organisation and recruitment
Skill acquisition, skill loss, and age. A comparative study of cognitive foundation skills (SASLA)
The future of vocational education - learning from the Nordic countries (NordVET)
Values education in Nordic preschools: Basis of education for tomorrow (ValuEd)
Learning spaces for inclusion and social justice: Success stories from immigrant students and school communities in four Nordic countries
ProMeal - Prospects for promoting health and performance by school meals in Nordic countries
Contact person
Siri Bjarnar - Senior Adviser
Contact person Siri Bjarnar
Senior Adviser
Work +47 913 16 554
Sofia Elamson - Adviser
Contact person Sofia Elamson
Work +47 47 254 732