Evaluation of the Competence Reform in NorwayNov 9 2012
From the start of the 2001-2002 academic year, people who had not completed secondary school were able to enter higher education based on documented non-formal learning, realkompetanse. Based on interviews with key personnel at selected universities and university colleges, and on quantitative data from the applicant register, this article presents results from an evaluation of this reform in Norwegian higher education. The evaluation indicates that the reform, by and large, works according to the lawmakers’ intentions in providing a second chance for learners not usually linked with higher education. Still, findings suggest considerable variations in how the universities and university colleges have adjusted to the reform. Geographical location and supply of students are factors contributing to the institutions attitude to the reform. University colleges in rural areas with a low number of applicants, in general, react more positively to the reform and it seems to be easier for applicants to be assessed as qualified for studies, in such institutions.