Justice through education in the Nordic countries (JustEd)

Current societal changes put pressure on the values and political ideals underlying the Nordic democratic educational project and its practical realisation. The centre focuses on the crucial question: How do systems, cultures and actors in education facilitate and constrain justice in the context of globalising Nordic welfare states?

The centre’s three thematic areas address this question from different angles:

  • Governance and the impact of marketisation and how these influence the understanding of justice in education.
  • Teaching and learning practices and how they are influenced by politics and policies in terms of justice.
  • Agency, marginalisation and diversity. The spread of neo-liberalism represents a challenge for Nordic educational ideologies based on equality, equity and inclusion.

The centre will use multilevel, comparative, cross-cultural and cross-border research, to examine educational policies and practices in a critical light, and to explore the role of governance and the agency of teachers and students in terms of equity and equality.

Participating countries: Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, USA, Italy, Australia and France.

Cross-cutting themes and issues in the Nordic higher education research

Furthermore, NordForsk has financed several cross-cutting projects aiming towards creating synergies between the Nordic Centre of Excellence, JustEd, and the different research projects funded under the first phase of the Nordic Research Programme Education for Tomorrow. One of the projects that were granted funding, was the application ‘Cross-cutting themes and issues in the Nordic higher education research – with special focus on justice and equality in/through education’.

The project was a collaboration between Finnish, Swedish, Norwegian and Icelandic partners. The overall focus has been on the effects that current changes in higher education have on educational opportunities and equality, with regards to gender, academic/non-academic family background, immigration background, prior education, etc., which has not thus far been extensively researched in the Nordic context.

The project comprised of researchers from three JustEd teams and the research project ‘Nordic Fields of Higher Education Structures and Transformations of Organisation and Recruitment’. The purpose of the cross-cutting themes and issues collaboration between the Nordic Fields of Higher Education and JustEd has been to strengthen the theoretical basis of Nordic higher education research with special focus on the justice and equality in respect of the above developments.

Watch interview with project leader Gunilla Holm