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Education and Research Policy

Research, education and research-driven innovation are fundamental in order to meet the future needs for knowledge and restructuring and to maintain a sustainable welfare society.

National and global challenges require a stronger focus on knowledge development. However, Norway is still investing less in research than our neighbouring countries Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

Research efforts must be based on a holistic research policy. The Government must take a stronger responsibility for strengthening research efforts in the business sector, while ensuring good coordination of public sector research efforts. The ministries' sectoral responsibilities must be maintained better. All ministries must take responsibility for research-based policymaking and resource management in their areas.

In recent years, the growth in research efforts has generally taken place within directed research. Specialisation and strategic prioritization is necessary, but should not come at the expense of basic research and width. Basic funding is crucial for the knowledge institutions' freedom of action and for their core activity. For many institutions, the de-bureaucratization and efficiency reform has resulted in zero growth or a real decline. Additional cuts will not lead to more efficiency, only reduced quality.

NAR will strive to ensure that:

  • Norway increases its research spending to 3 per cent of GDP by 2030 and a plan to step up the efforts is developed in which the public sector’s share is increased to 50 per cent.
  • The long-term plan for research and higher education provides a longer-term perspective for the entire knowledge sector through planned escalation of efforts in line with proven needs.
  • The public sector requests longer-lasting R&D assignments.
  • Funding for long-term basic research is given a substantial increase.
  • The basic funding for universities, colleges and research institutes is strengthened.
  • Archives, libraries and museums are given better conditions in order to fulfil their responsibilities for research, collections and dissemination.
  • The Research Council increases funding for research projects for archives, libraries and museums.
  • The allocation for independent basic research under the auspices of the Research Council is increased significantly, and the micromanagement of research programmes is reduced.
  • The government and the ministries follow up the sector responsibility for research and better coordination of public research efforts.
  • Academic activities are shielded from the de-bureaucratization and efficiency reform.

Read more in our Work program 2019–2021 (pdf)

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