Research and Education Centres in Rural Icelandlooking back over a decade dr. Rögnvaldur Ólafsson director University of Iceland, Regional Research Centres NVL Symposium Faroes The Nordic House 21 September 2011
Will talk about: Background Iceland Population Demographic changes Local education networks Research centres of The University of Iceland Knowledgecentres
Iceland 103.300 Km2
Population is very small 318.452 Iceland is basically a micro state But a state with an ambition to be an educated, internationally minded society Expensive Demanding on manpower Requires education
The long literary tradition helps
The demographic changes The population multiplied during the 20th century
Population of Iceland 1900-2011 2X 2X From 80 to 300 thousand in 100 years (Statistics Iceland, 2011)
They all went to Reykjavík In the rest of the country the population remained stable Only Akureyri increased its population somewhat
30. maí 2000 Population 1997 and changes from 1987 to 1997 Stefán Ólafsson: Búseta á Íslandi, Byggðastofnun 1997
Annual average population change by urban nuclei 2006–2011 Size of circles shows the population size of urban nuclei. Colour of circles: Red = negative; yellow = positive, below national average; green = positive, above national average. (Statistics Iceland, 2011)
IcelandandtheNordicCountries Much fewer people in Iceland Much lower population density Norden i tal 2010
But even more important There is only one densely populated area in Iceland, the capital region around Reykjavík A very large portion of the population lives there Much larger portion than in the other Nordic countries
During the last decade or two big changes have occurred in Iceland, not least in rural areas
The situation some decades ago Plenty of jobs in the basic industries that did not require education Plenty of possibilities and plenty of money for hard working, uneducated people Consequently neither need for education nor was it highly regarded This has to be taken with a grain of salt !
The fishing industry....
Huge changes in the last 20 years Fundamental changes in the labour situation A new fishing quota system Mechanization of fish processing The abundance of well paid unskilled jobs disappeared With rationalization the skilled jobs tended to be transferred to the capital region People moved to Reykjavík as never before
... and farming
The development of some industriesfrom 1991 to 2009 Acriculture Education Fishing industry Other industry Hotels & restaurants (Statistics Iceland, 2010)
The service industry grows Commerce Production Service Heimild: Mikilvægi þjónustugeirans fyrir íslenskan þjóðarbúskap. Skýrsla unnin af viðskiptadeild Háskólans í Reykjavík fyrir SVÞ – Samtök verslunar og þjónustu. Katrín Ólafsdóttir og Vilhjálmur Wiium, Hagfræðisetur Viðskiptadeildar Háskólans í Reykjavík, 2006
But much less in the regions Production Commerce Service Regions Capital area Iceland Source: Katrín Ólafsdóttir and Vilhjálmur Wiium, 2006
Great differencein educational level People with university degree: About 25% in the capital region About 15% outside the capital The need for education is recognised Do you need more education? No Yes
In 2000 the question was: How can a sparsely populated country like Iceland ensure the availability of education to all its inhabitants?
A grass root movementwas borne For increasing the availability of education By using the possibilities of the new technologies Internet, ADSL, Video conferencing Local education networks were established in all regions They were outside the official educational system They got special finance through the local parliamentarians
The local education networks The networks were established in 1998 and have grown since They are: now well established in the Icelandic education scene beginning to have an effect on the Icelandic regional politics based on the new technologies http://www.fraedslumidstodvar.is/
Local education networks Independent, self governing Basically networks Participation: Local industry Local authorities Labour unions Secondary schools Universities
The facilities The larger centres have good access to internet through a net set up with the assistance of the Ministry of Education Reading facilities Facilities for group work Student assistance and advice Video conferencing Cooperate with the universities running a video bridge
Their emphasis The emphasis varies according to local needs and circumstances All levels of education Continuing education Secondary education University education In Iceland the individual pays for his continuing education
The present state Considerable demand for the service Lack of courses from the universities The centres are financed by a yearly fixed contribution from the ministry of education The amount is not related to “output” Decided from year to year
University of IcelandInstitute of Research Centres Research institute Under the senate, not a department The contact point with the regions local councils, institutes, private firms and individuals A collection of small research units independent
Staff Selected by same process as other university staff Duties: 80% research 20% other duties Recently signed contract with the department of Life and Environmental Sciences
Institute of Research Centres 2009 Turnover around 170 MIKR 19 employes Over 20 master and doctor students
Why situate researchin the regions? Some important research is better done outside the capital region Land use and preservation Forestry research The effects of glaciers Research on birds Snow avalance research ......... ?
Research policy depends on: Local facilities and interest Natural and social Knowhow inside the University Fundamental research Akademic, not applied research
Important: Carefully define field of study Stick to it Ensure quality of: research teaching Form networks: national international
Húsavík North Sailing News February 25th 2011 Researches Each year, researches of whales are becoming a bigger part of Skjálfandi Bay
Ever since North Sailing began offering regular whale and nature watching in Skjálfandi Bay the company has striven to assist scholars and researchers, both Icelandic and foreigners, to perform various marine biology studies in the bay.
Vatnajökull National Park
Höfn and Þórbergssetur
The effectof the research centres New job oportunities in new fields Research that otherwise might not have been done Projects connected with culture and new employment Close cooperation with the University Local and foreign researchers and students Impact on local life
Knowledge activitiesin the regions Local Education Centres Research Centres of the University of Iceland Natural history institutes Branch offices of research institutes Marine Research Institute Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories Agricultural service institutes Regional Environmental Research Institutes Business and Regional Development Centres ................
This activity forms a few nets Each with their own properties Local educational networks – teaching and training Research centres – mostly academic research Natural history institutes - mostly applied research Regional development agencies - development, employment, innovation
How can this activity support research, education and development in the regions?
Knowledge Centre Continuing education University Teaching Centre Research Distance education Local education
The knowledge centres are centres of cooperation Þekkingarsetur Þingeyinga, Húsavík Þekkingarsetur Vestmannaeyja Þekkingarnet Austurlands, Egilsstöðum Háskólasetur Vestfjarða, Ísafirði Háskólafélag Suðurlands ehf, Selfossi
Extensive cooperation The aim is to house in one building all knowledge related activity in the area Create a community of the people working in the so called „information sector“ Collective facilities and service Nýheimar, Höfn
Lifelong learning a centre for lifelong learning and adult education expand educational offering offer vocational and recreational courses and study programmes be a centre for distance learning in co-operation with schools offering such programmes provide guidance and counselling to students and prospective students work with businesses, municipalities and institutions in shaping their educational policy and provide customized study programmes
Research and development a hub for research and researchers in Þingeyjarsýslur county initiating research in the region provide service to the scientific community; independent researchers, postgraduate students, institutions and organizations facilitate co-operation and increased activity among those who do research in the region take active part in shaping a dynamic environment of innovation in the region facilitating collaboration in research and innovation
University study operate a well equipped study facility in Húsavík and, as needed, elsewhere in the region work with universities to increase the offering in distance learning and local study opportunities in Þingeyjarsýslur work with universities to develop study programmes and courses based on natural and cultural traits unique to the region
Coordination of academic studies and research Strengthen the community in Þingeyjarsýslur by offering dynamic lifelong learning programmes, distance learning programmes and active research coordinate research, academic work, education and development among the parties of interest in this field
Local teaching Distance master courses from the School of Education at the University of Iceland Two courses Quantative Research Methods (5 ECTS) Qualitative Research Methods (5 ECTS) Local groups of students Local assistant lecturers Meet once a week for tutorial and assistance
Supportinglocaltourism Weak easterly part Analysed the situation Strengthen the tourism industry Lengthen the tourist season
Establish a geopark
Networking local operators
Courses in geotourism and local geography for local guides
Master courses with foreign students in cooperation with the University of Iceland
Katla Geopark – GeologicalMap of Area
Katla JarðvangurorKatla Geopark Admitted into European Geopark Network and Global Geopark Network last Friday
Effect of knowledge centres on employment and innovation Considerable in some places Nýheimar Höfn Átaksverkefni Háskólafélags Suðurlands The tendency goes this way In most places better cooperation and contact has still to be built up
From Erla Björk Örnólfsdóttir, Sjávarrannsóknasetrinu Vör, Ólafsvík
Evaluation Too limited General lack of research on regional development in Iceland In 2010 a study on the number and turnover of regional activities in the field of: Education and training Research and development Culture Service and consulting http://www.menntamalaraduneyti.is/frettir/Frettatilkynningar/nr/5550
Regional employment Áfangaskýrsla um þekkingarsetur á Íslandi. Ministry of Education and Culture Oct. 2010
Some results Total turnover: 5.052.234.000 IKR
In 2011 the question is: How can a small and sparsely populated country as Iceland ensure jobs for educated people in all regions?
The communities need Similar diversity as big places in employment socially Young, educated people A better self image
Rural development A clear policy is needed The solutions need to be local, not imported from Reykjavík or abroad dr. Rögnvaldur Ólafsson Institute of Research Centres University of Iceland Sæmundargötu 2, 101 Reykjavík email@example.com