Taskforce meeting Norway March 2023

Taskforce meeting Norway March 2023

3 February 2023 to 3 March 2023
Host organisation: 
National Centre for STEM-recruitment, Norway
City & meeting location: 
Oslo, Norway
Short summary: 

On the 2nd and 3rd of March NCSR organised Taskforce meeting has used this Taskforce meeting to get input for the development of a national STEM strategy. They were given input by LUMA, the Arctic University of Norway, University College London and Teknikcollege.

Objective of the meeting: 

The political party, Høyre, has suggested to develop a new STEM strategy, without consulting or discussing this with NCSR or the participants in STEM for Future. The group give their advice on how to react to this, and how to bring our expertise into the process. The initiative is coming from the two biggest STEM universities in Norway, in collaboration with The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprises. This proves the need for collaboration and coordination for STEM recruitment in Norway.


Different presentations were held:

  1. Political anchoring and communication work, Martine Kopstad Floeng (Tekna)
  • Challenge – How to capture public and political attention?

This presentation was cancelled due to the illness of the speaker, will be rescheduled.


  1. The LUMA strategy, Jan Lundell (LUMA Finland)

Luma centers
Luma is the Finnish term for STEM. The Luma centers provide research-based solutions for STEM education to inspire children and youth and aim to support teachers in their everyday work. One of the reasons for the program is the requirement for schools and universities to start working together.

The LUMA centers are organized with a board, a director and an advisory board. The advisory board consists of more than 50 participants that meet with the director twice a year.

13 centers cover all of Finland. Every center has a region and is connected to every school in the region. The government takes half the cost of the center, the university takes the other half. Every region makes up their own ecosystem.


The Luma strategy is an initiative to embed all STEM activities under one coordinated umbrella. The Ministry of education asked for a written justification describing why Finland needed a LUMA strategy. All the local Luma centers were involved in the proposal. The finish national strategy was based on the proposal from the Luma centers.

The overal goal of the strategy is socially, ecologically and economically sustainable growth.

The key is the teachers – they need to learn how to teach the pupils STEM in a way the pupils find interesting. Where do you need STEM skills? Why do you need them?

The implementation is in action and will be released soon – a systemic approach that addresses teaching and learning st different levels – policy, research, curriculum design, teacher education and practice. There is a need to focus on both formal, informal and non-formal education, and everything needs to be correlated. Teacher training is crucial. Collaboration and co-creation with educators at various levels is needed. Everything goes back to the training of teachers.


  1. STEM ecosystem pilot, Elin Glad (The Arctic University of Norway)

Collaboration is key – the project aims to contribute to increase the local recruitment for STEM. This pilot project is one of several new initiatives from NCSR with the same goal – increasing collaboration across sectors - and runs in collaboration with The Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø. The local and regional perspective is a very important aspect in the ecosystem.

The project facilitates cooperation and knowledge between relevant stakeholders interested in increased STEM recruitment. One must establish united goals and work together to reach them.

The project collects an overview of existing initiatives and look into how the initiatives can work together. There is a great need for systemization and collaboration between schools, higher education, science centers, local initiatives and working life. There are some challenges – but the project aims to gather the expertise and make the different parts work together.

Comment from the audience:
In Sweden they work region by region, and claims that the key to success is one full time employee per region, and a system that allows local adjustments for every region.

  1. Group discussion – how to gain traction with decision-makers and trigger resources?

Collaboration with the main companies with STEM interests is key. Find the key players in the industry with STEM shortage. The big companies can fund the work, but the small companies must also be included. Include a variety of organizations. NCSRs should use its neutral position to suggest that this is what we need, and industry wants.

For the meeting with the Ministry of Education:
Give the ministers a solution – an “easy way out”. Ask how one can work together. The solution should be politically independent and work regardless of the party affiliation in government.

Teacher training is crucial – collaboration with the engineers, role models.

NCSR should consider an advisory board, and a PR-person for the political discussions and use every opportunity to communicate the main common message which is the competence need within STEM.

Monthly meeting with the dean to make her speak our case. Make the message relevant to the university. Need to make a contract with the dean.

Make everyone come together - one network. Same message. Reference Luma strategy.

Impact & reach of the 50.50 Engineering Engagement strategy and programmes, Dr Elpida Makrygianni MBE (University College London)

  • 6 priority areas, the 50:50 strategy
    • Inclusion and diversity
    • Experimental engineering
    • Relatable engineering role models (Use young engineers into schools, - this is where they see real results)
    • Stem career
    • Early intervention (start as early as 5 yrs old, STEM ambassadors – work with STEM learning/STEM-ambassadors; link with the curriculum)
    • Professional development
  • Achievements; 10 years in
    • Need time to make a change, - one inspiring lecture will not help
  • This led to the National UK STEM Campaign “Meet the future you”
    • Reached 300.000 kids
    • Booklist – diversity, ethical questions, the importance of making mistakes
  • “Meet the future you” led to Engineering UK making a consortium – 250 members to collaborate, collective efforts
    • Collaboration is a mindset; a common purpose: Strengthen and diversify the UK STEM workforce
    • Code of conduct; 4 pledges
      1. Inspiring connection – collaboration is a mindset, always
      2. Driving inclusion – inspiring a sense of belonging in engineering – through role models, offering a holistic wrap-around support system
      3. Showcasing engineering – making young people achieve a better understanding of what engineers do
      4. Improving impact – evaluation – the most important! Beginning – midway – end, sharing their learning through case studies and specialist workshops
    • Neon.uk – where all the partners share their experiences
    • Tomorrowsengineers.org.uk – to improve practice
    • Theiet.org/media/11077/engineering-kids-futures.pdf
    • Digital poverty alliance – during covid: digitalpovertyalliance.org/ Tech-packs for underprivileged
    • UCL engineering – website showcase different areas of engineering

Organizes by advisory groups / boards

Need the support dpt. of education, defense, trade
Professional institutions are the main force, - they have a way in to the politicians

Teknikcollege – collaboration for increased attractiveness and quality of technically oriented education, Rickard Bäck and Johan Ståhl (Teknikcollege)

Strategy for smart industry 4.0 (2016) but no STEM strategy. Vocational training and academic training are of equal importance. They also work with EVU.

Owned by the Council of Swedish industry, schools need certification and platform. There are 24 certified Teknikcollege regions (soon 27), 160 certified schools, 180 municipalities, 3000 companies

Funding and financing; National level (national office 5 ppl), Council of Swedish industry, member fees, EU-funding, National School Board. Regional level triple helix; municipality regional governments, companies

Eight quality criteria form basis of collaboration; 1) Regional cooperation/perspective, 2) Organization management, 3) Future needs of competence, 4) Education and sizing, 5) Creative and stimulating learning environment, 6) Education within Teknikcollege, 7) The involvement of labour market education, 8) Quality assured processes

Tools and methods; quality assured Teknikcollege, support for communication, company recruitment training, teachers guide LEAN, Teknikcolleges model for innovation and entrepreneurship, TKs model for quality assured internship, attractiveness.

Currently the “bleeding” from STEM-subjects has stopped

New taskforce and STEM promoting activities at the Estonian Research Council, Lilia Grosovski (ETAG)

  • ERC works with a number of stakeholders to promote STEM
  • STEM is the pillar of Estonian economy and innovation
  • Changes in structure; reorganizing responsibilities and tasks
  • Science communication ERC: make research available for the society in general:
    • summer school, spring school, science communication conference, science politics and other conferences, contests for student and researchers, students research festival, opinion festival, sTARTUp days, TV-show “Rocket 69”, Unicorn squad, and other outreach activities
  • Some contests/projects are mandatory
  • Using different SoME platforms where young people are present
  • Website – STEM is everywhere, lists of different professions within STEM, - but it is a continuous task to keep it updated, it is constantly changing – target groups: pupils, parents, teachers and so on
  • Governmental strategy decides what to prioritize

    STEM working life, Tonje Olderskog (NCSR)

Insight Phase; schools; survey and focus-groups; 95% was interested in rolemodels, 72% neeed to build network with regional businesses, 66% interested in separate girl events

Result from insight: One Stop Shop for STEM measures (website)
Website: Offering booking of Company visits and Role models
Companies decide what to contribute to for the next year

STEM partner – a flexible partner program. 2023 goal; partners in all parts/regions of the country

Discussion: How to Reach out with the Information – message + channels, - advice for implementation?

  • School advisers and National and regional teacher associations – work with them, what is the best way to do this? Start with teacher associations that we know about. Training and making sure the people are trained correctly. Let teachers be ambassadors and spread the word amongst other teachers. Send the teacher out for company visits, give them first hand experiences
  • Role models will be important, - cultural competency + +
  • STEM-hubs in different areas? Regional subject networks
  • Government, - HK-dir; utdanning.no > collaborate!
  • Realfagskonferansen – Skolelab
  • STEM arena - presentation
  • Go for the communities – where u meet all the school people
  • Modest launch then larger campaign later? Or not?
    • Parallel work – give an example, and an information campaign
    • Techer community; need some strong stories when launching
    • Tekna and NITO; can help us spread the word
      • Need to use all the companies and organizations that we work with
      • Or – do we need a national approach…?
      • Offer a sneak-peak for the most engaged teachers
  1. Group discussion – how to reach the target group and increase the reach of recruitment measures

Summary of main messages and discussion:

  • Start with localizing STEM teacher networks
  • Look at teacher communities regionally
  • Should have an overview of different measures available for teachers
  • What has worked before (ENT3R); it's easier when teachers know the measures and can spread their (positive) experiences by word of mouth
  • Its hard without having regional coordinators
  • Put up a list of people to contact in our network; Utdanningsetaten?
  • It´s learning?
  • Ask them what they want and need, a first step to arrange a big event
  • Refer to research or knowledge based reports that shows consequences/value of measures
  • Stories are powerful, speak to the teachers and use their experiences
  • Parents council at every school
  • Low science capital: housing, community centers, youth workers, sports community centers (most successful) – hard continuing work demanding collaboration and sharing resources – it takes a lot. Culture is a key.
  • Use our networks better
  • Look for new arenas for recruitment and spread of info where you reach young people with a greater diversity in background and interests.
  • The 100 dollar race – youtube, - privilege, - empowering video, check it out


Next steps: 

NCSR is working on establishing a new national STEM initiative and strategy through the taskforce STEM for future. In recent weeks, they`ve had several meetings with, among others, The Ministry of Education and the Storting's research and education committee. The feedback is positive and appreciation is given for having a clear message.