Norway has many measures to ensure that newly arrived immigrants are integrated as soon as possible. Education is an important element.
A total of 49 043 immigrants arrived in Norway in 2015: the term immigrant also covers asylum seekers and refugees. The biggest group, around 18 000, are labour immigrants. Flight was the reason for immigration for 9 221 arrivals, partly due a large increase in migration of Syrian refugees, while 16 580 came for family reasons.
Coming to a new country demands that people deal with a lot of information at the start. Easy access to knowledge about language, culture and society is important.
White paper on integration
In May 2016 the government presented a white paper From reception centre to the labour market – an effective integration policy, with measures to strengthen integration. It details how integration policy and measures should be organised to help newly-arrived immigrants with refugee backgrounds to find work or start education more quickly and gain a permanent foothold in the employment market.
One of the education measures proposed is for residents at integration reception centres to take part in a full-time programme with Norwegian language tuition and training as key elements. Government also wants to increase the use of web-based Norwegian language tuition and training for adults.
Other parties have also taken on tasks to ease the integration of newly-arrived immigrants. Funded by the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training, one production company is making news broadcasts and teaching material in five different minority languages. A website with learning materials in several languages, www.skolekassa.no, was established in 2016.
Available Norwegian teachers have been asked to register their interest in teaching newly-arrived immigrants. This was begun in February 2016, and is administered by municipalities and county authorities. Courses for teachers are planned from autumn 2016 to increase their competence in receiving and teaching newly-arrived immigrants.
Statistics Norway https://www.ssb.no/innvgrunn
Report No 30 to the Storting (2015-16): From reception centre to the labour market – An effective integration policy. https://www.regjeringen.no/no/dokumenter/meld.-st.-30-20152016/id2499847/ (in Norwegian)
The National Centre for Multicultural Education (NAFO): http://nafo.hioa.no/
The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training: http://www.udir.no/