The formalised cooperation between the Nordic countries is one of the oldest and most extensive regional cooperatives in the world. It is based on shared values and a willingness to achieve results that contribute to the Nordic region’s development and competitiveness. The Nordic cooperation includes Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, as well as the three autonomous territories; the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland.

The Nordic countries have a goal of creating a good education and research community – for children, young people and adults in terms of mobility, quality, and political priorities.

To strengthen their cooperation, the Nordic countries have signed several contracts and agreements in areas including, among others, education and language.

One example is the agreement on a Nordic education community at upper secondary level. The agreement applies to both general and vocational education. The Nordic countries mutually undertake to provide applicants with access to the countries’ regulated general and vocational education. Participants apply on the same conditions as the country’s own citizens.

The agreement also recognises applicants with a certificate, diploma or other form of evidence of formal qualifications. They may apply for the same type of education in their home country as in the country where they have completed their upper secondary education. Partly completed education is also covered by the agreement.

In 2016, the ministers for education in the Nordic Region signed the revised Reykjavik declaration, which aims to introduce automatic recognition of comparable educational qualifications in the Nordic Region.

In June 2018 a new service was launched allowing people with higher education from the Nordic countries to download a document confirming that their degree is automatically recognised in Norway. This scheme will simplify the assessment of education obtained abroad and will include the vast majority of recent degree programmes in the Nordic countries. The approval document shows the degree to which the foreign education corresponds to the Norwegian education system. The courses included range from bachelor to doctoral degrees.

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Nordic Council of Ministers