More graduates seek higher education

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More Norwegians graduating from high school this spring are applying for higher education than ever before. Nearly 120,000 sought admission to local colleges and universities this year.

Education Minister Torbjørn Roe Isaksen of the Conservative Party said he was especially pleased that the biggest increase was among those wanting to become teachers. “I’m really satisfied that there’s such positive development among those applying for teaching, technology and majors within the sciences,” Isaksen told news bureau NTB.

There’s been an emphasis on improving pay and working conditions for teachers in recent years, in an effort to recruit more. Teacher applications were up 2.4 percent over last year, even in a year when existing teachers nonetheless are threatening to go out on strike, because of proposed changes in their work rules. Young Norwegians applying for a program that combines the equivalent of a bachelor’s and master’s degree in teaching were still up 15.9 percent.

Isaksen said he couldn’t guarantee that all those wanting to become teachers would be accepted into teaching programs. “The most important thing is the trend this is setting,” he told NTB. Applications among those wanting to be elementary school teachers were also up, by 5.3 percent. staff