Education for Tomorrow

Education for Tomorrow

The aim of the thematic programme Education for Tomorrow is to generate new knowledge about the Nordic educational systems that will better equip them to meet the needs of society – today and in the future.

The Nordic countries share a long tradition of state-funded education, from pre-school through university, and lifelong learning. Nevertheless, international surveys have revealed considerable differences in performance between the educational systems of the individual countries. Researchers in the field of education examine topics such as learning, knowledge formation and knowledge traditions, among others, as well as the role of the educational system in social development.


The primary objectives of the Education for Tomorrow programme are to strengthen the Nordic position in educational research, to contribute to the development of knowledge-based policy in the Nordic countries by shedding light on research questions of social relevance, and to disseminate research results to a wide range of stakeholders. At the same time, activities under the programme will strive to find answers to questions on what needs to be done for the educational system to meet future knowledge and learning needs and how the role of education should be defined in this context.

The programme was initiated in 2013 and several large-scale, interdisciplinary research projects and one Nordic Centre of Excellence, JustEd, is funded in the first phase 2013-2018.

In June 2016, the NordForsk Board approved an expansion of the programme. The second phase focuses on bridging research with practice in the area of teaching and learning in new learning environments. The research funded in phase two should be of high quality, innovative and contribute to the Nordic added value. The research area covers early childhood education and care, primary education, and teacher education.

Two calls for proposals were issued under the programme in 2017. Inclusive Education Across Borders is a joint call with the Netherlands Initiative for Research Education (NRO), and funds three Nordic-Dutch collaborative research projects oriented towards practise and policy. Under the call New learning and teaching environments and practises, a Nordic Centre of Excellence will be funded. 


Education has been on the political agenda in the Nordic countries for quite some time. A number of studies and national consultations were conducted to determine the thematic focus, organisation, priorities and level of ambtions of a Nordic research programme on education. In 2010 The Nordic Council of Ministers for Education and Research (MR-U) and the national research councils subsequently reached an agreement on co-funding the Nordic initiative. NordForsk was assigned the responsibility of administering the programme.

Programme Committee

  • Professor Krista Varantola, Chancellor Emerita, University of Tampere (Chair)
  • Professor Eva Björck, Jönköping University, Sweden
  • Professor Päivi Atjonen, University of Eastern Finland
  • Ágúst Hjörtur Ingþórsson, Head of Education and Culture Division, The Icelandic Centre for Research - RANNÍS
  • Kari Tonhild Aune, Special Adviser, The Research Council of Norway
  • Tue Vinther-Jørgensen, Senior Consultant, Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.


The overall budget for the programme is approximately NOK 130 million for the period 2013-2023, with financing organisations from all the Nordic countries. The programme also encompasses an initiative co-funded by the Netherlands Initiative for Research Education.


Nordic Centre of Excellence: Quality in Nordic Teaching (QUINT)
Mixed classes And Pedagogical Solutions (MAPS)
Inclusive science teaching in multilingual classrooms - a design study
Politics of belonging: Promoting children’s inclusion in educational settings across borders
Nordic Centre of Excellence: Justice through education in the Nordic countries (JustEd)
Learning spaces for inclusion and social justice: Success stories from immigrant students and school communities in four Nordic countries
Nordic fields of higher education. Structures and transformations of organisation and recruitment
The future of vocational education - learning from the Nordic countries (NordVET)
Values education in Nordic preschools: Basis of education for tomorrow (ValuEd)
ProMeal - Prospects for promoting health and performance by school meals in Nordic countries
Skill acquisition, skill loss, and age. A comparative study of cognitive foundation skills (SASLA)
Contact person
Kaisa Vaahtera - Senior Adviser
Contact person Kaisa Vaahtera
Senior Adviser
Work +47 911 48 694
Siri Jørgensen Bjarnar - Senior Adviser (on maternal leave)
Contact person Siri Jørgensen Bjarnar
Senior Adviser (on maternal leave)
Work +47 913 16 554