Should you be able to access higher education regardless of where you live? We think so. Nya Vägar (roughly translated “New pathways”) wants to find new ways to ensure that higher education reaches more people and places.
Nya Vägar is a joint project between Campus Västervik and University West.

What’s the problem?

Many rural areas today face major challenges in terms of skills supply. Businesses and public actors have difficulty finding staff with the right training.
In the long run, the growth of rural communities as well as the development of society in the whole country is threatened by this growing knowledge and competence gap.
197 municipalities Sweden are rural. Aside from one of them, none of these municipalities host an institution of higher learning. Individuals looking for an academic education are often forced to leave home to study. Younger people who leave rural towns and municipalities rarely return.
Therefore, increasing access to higher education in places far from colleges and universities is an important issue for individuals and society alike. It is a crucial issue in ensuring innovation, growth, and knowledge creation throughout Sweden.

How can Nya Vägar help?

The most important goal of Nya Vägar is to advocate for greater access to higher education and research in rural areas of Sweden. We want to spread knowledge about the benefits of distributed higher education, especially among politicians and other decision makers.
There is a lack of structured collaboration regarding distributed higher education and distance education today. This applies to both universities and municipalities, as well at local campuses and learning centres in Sweden that offer distributed education. Nya Vägar strives to facilitate this collaboration.

For example, campuses could benefit greatly by gaining a general overview of good practice and sharing experiences and methods in an organized way.

Our key questions are:

– How can higher education reach more people and places?
– How can we set up collaboration to optimize and assure the quality of education given at local campuses and learning centre?
– What can municipalities and other key actors do to create a local context that favours access to higher education?
– What is the role of employers?
– What is required from the higher education sector to increase access to courses and programmes for individuals and groups far from universities?
– How can all actors collaborate to strengthen skills supply and Lifelong learning throughout the country?

Jerry Engström
Campus Västervik
0490 – 25 41 14

Lena Lindhé
Högskolan Väst
0733 – 975104