Nordic schools during COVID-19: lessons learned

Perspectives from Nordic researchers, politicians, teachers' trade union leaders, and school leaders.

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A family on distance learning at home. Credit: NadyaEugene via Shutterstock

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Report from the event


The pandemic has had profound consequences for schools, teachers and students all over the world. How have the Nordic countries handled this challenge?

Policy makers, researchers, teachers’ union leaders and school leaders from across the Nordic region will discuss:

  • What measures did each country take?
  • What could have been done differently?
  • What has each country learned, and what can we learn from each other?

We will hear from six researchers who have studied emergency measures for secondary schooling in the Nordic countries and their effect on students, teachers and parents.

There will also be a live panel debate between politicians, school principals and teachers’ union leaders, where we will gain insight into the national measures taken in each country to keep schools running during the pandemic.


Updated 07.02.22

Welcome by progamme leader Monica Bjermeland, Senior Adviser, Faculty of Educational Science, University of Oslo 

Secretary General Paula Lehtomäki, Nordic Council of Ministers on Nordic Cooperation in education and the pandemic.

Part I – Presentations by QUINT researchers about the impact that the pandemic has had on schools in the Nordic countries. From papers published in Education in the North special issue: Nordic values and schooling during COVID-19 

"Long-term consequences of COVID-19 on students' well-being and values"
Professor Ane Qvortrup, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

"Teachers in new situations during the COVID-19 period: impact on professional collaboration and quality of teaching"
Professor Hermína Gunnþórsdóttir, University of Akureyri, Iceland
Assistant Professor, Berglind Gísladóttir, University of Iceland, Iceland

"Classrooms going online: Nordic lower secondary teachers' readiness at the COVID-19 outbreak" 
Associate Professor Anna Slotte,University of Helsinki, Finland
Associate Professor Marie Nilsberth, Karlstad University, Sweden 

"Individualised home-schooling - at odds with the equity ambitions in the Nordic model of education?"
Professor Marte Blikstad-Balas, University of Oslo, Norway

Part II – Panel discussion with Nordic politicians, leaders of teachers' trade unions, and school leaders on the education measures taken in each country during the pandemic.

Moderator: Professor Kirsti Klette, University of Oslo/QUINT

  • Guri Melby – MP, Minister of Education in Norway 2020-2021/ Streaming from Oslo 
  • Pernille Rosenkrantz-Theil –  MPMinister of Children and Education in Denmark since 2019 /recorded video presentation
  • Gunilla Svantorp – MP, speaker for the education committee in Sweden / Streaming from Sweden 
  • Steffen Handal – President of the Union of Education in Norway since 2016/ Streaming from Oslo 
  • Ragnar Þór Pétursson – President of the Icelandic Teachers’ Union since 2017/ Streaming from Iceland 
  • Elin Brandsæter – Principle of Fagerborg Upper Secondary School in Oslo since 2014/ Streaming from Oslo


A link to the live-stream will be posted on this page. Check back here for updates on the program. 

Language: English

Q&A session through chat during the panel discussion.


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Published Jan. 28, 2022 2:24 PM - Last modified Mar. 7, 2022 12:50 PM