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We believe that access to the right type of education provides individuals in rural areas with the knowledge, skills, and tools to improve their lives and pursue opportunities. Education and training closely connected to the local labour market will help them develop the skills needed for future employment. At the same time, by encouraging young people to tap into their entrepreneurial spirit from an early age, and by providing various support measures, rural municipalities can become hubs for start-ups and entrepreneurship, which will contribute to the development of rural communities. Access to great education and training at all levels, whether online or in person, is important for encouraging young people to stay and see a future in Nordic rural areas. 
We recommend: 
  • Working to maintain and develop smaller schools in rural areas, as they are important for both children and the local community. At the same time, cooperation should be promoted between smaller schools. 
  • Introducing mandatory short-term internships at a local business, so that all young people can gain insight into working life in their local area. The internships should be one or two weeks long and can be spread between school years. This will increase collaboration between schools and workplaces and help show rural youth what local businesses and public offices have to offer. 
  • Investing in vocational education and training by increasing its visibility and enhancing connections between vocational education and training and local businesses. This will open doors for young people, address skills mismatch, and provide a labour force for rural businesses. 
  • Investing in career counselling and guidance for students to show the diverse range of opportunities available in rural areas, while also providing favourable scholarships and financial incentives for college students living in rural areas.  
  • Mainstreaming satellite university campuses and offering more hybrid, flexible learning options for college students. These hybrid options, including online courses, remote work, and distance learning centres, will allow students to maintain connections to rural areas while pursuing higher education. Improved models for hybrid studies at university level can offer access to educational programmes or courses that would otherwise be unavailable to certain geographies.
  • Ensuring that higher education curriculums are available in native languages. Young people from indigenous rural areas with little education in, e.g., Scandinavian languages, should have the ability to complete higher education in their mother tongue (e.g., Greenlandic, Sami, Faroese).