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The most recent policy framework describing the development of entrepreneurship competence and of an entrepreneurial mind-set among young people is presented in Entrepreneurship in Education and Training – from compulsory school to higher education 2009–2014. The main objective of the action plan was to “strengthen the quality of and the scope of entrepreneurship education and training at all levels and areas of the education system. Internationally Norway shall be a leading force when it comes to entrepreneurship in education and training”. The plan emphasised that entrepreneurship in education and training must comply with the overarching fundamental principle in Norwegian educational policy; that it must be given broad priority and made available for everyone, adapted to the individual’s abilities and needs. It also emphasised the involvement and collaboration of several actors, including:
- Private actors: business and industry, and commercial and industrial organisations
- Organisations: pupil and student organisations, the social partners, Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise Norway (JA-YE Norway), STARTNorway and the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities (KS)
- Public actors: Innovation Norway, the Research Council of Norway, SIVA, municipalities, county authorities and other regional development actors, the Directorate of Education and Training, the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development
The current Government is in the process of developing a White Paper on the quality and relevance of education which will be presented in 2021. An important aspect of the policy document will be the strengthening of innovation and entrepreneurship in higher education.
Primary and lower secondary education, upper secondary education and training, vocational college education, universities and university colleges are all governed and organised differently.
Entrepreneurship in primary and secondary education and training is mentioned in the National Curriculum for Knowledge Promotion in Primary and Secondary Education and Training. Entrepreneurship for both compulsory education and for upper secondary education and training is embedded in the Core Curriculum, the Quality Framework and in the various subject curricula. There is increasing interest in entrepreneurship in education and training and entrepreneurship is taught in many ways.
Entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity are concepts that have become embedded in Norwegian higher education. In higher education the emphasis is on developing the students’ knowledge about and skills in innovation processes, establishing enterprises and business development. Most state university colleges and universities offer programmes of study in entrepreneurship, varying from individual courses to complete master’s degree programmes. Among these there are courses and degree programmes for teachers, economists, technologists, and the tourism trade as well as cross-disciplinary courses. A number of universities and university colleges have established separate units for entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, such as the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Oslo, the University of Stavanger, the University of Agder and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
The vocational technical colleges are required to offer vocational education and training, so entrepreneurship competence is relevant both as a discipline and as a topic integrated in other subjects.
Non-formal and informal learning
Junior Achievement - Young Enterprise Norway (JA-YE Norway) is a non-public actor that provides entrepreneurship training for students, in collaboration with county municipalities, local businesses and industries. Through their programmes, students are given the opportunity to run their own student businesses and to develop their business skills in cooperation with other students. The organisation also organises innovation camps that take place during school hours. JA-YE Norway receives funding in the national budget through the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries in order to expand its programmes (approx NOK 30 mill in 2018, 2019 and 2020).
In addition, entrepreneurial skills, creativity, and leadership competences are crucial for the associational and voluntary sector. As described in YouthWiki Chapter 2. Voluntary Activities, voluntary engagement has a central place in the Government’s policy platform and is an integral component of almost all policy areas.
Educators support in entrepreneurship education
Entrepreneurship education is not a compulsory topic in Initial Teacher Education (ITE) in Norway.
Only teachers in general upper secondary education are offered CPD activities (Continuing professional development) related to entrepreneurship education. No central guidelines are provided for any curriculum area.
pedent.no is a public resource bank for teachers focusing on educational entrepreneurship. The aim is to inspire teachers to use entrepreneurial work methods in teaching.