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  • Victor Silvestrin-Racine

Nordic Master’s Degree Programs: a unique way to learn and discover 
 multiple Nordic Countries

As I was exploring master’s degree opportunities across Europe, I stumbled upon one of the well- kept secrets of Nordic countries for which I didn’t hesitate to sign up. Last August, I started a degree in Innovative Governance and Public Management in three Nordic universities: Tampere University (Finland), University of Agder (Norway) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). Each semester, my cohort and I move to a different university to explore public administration in each of these countries and learn about the leadership and governance which these countries are built on.

For over a decade now, the Nordic Council has sponsored universities from all of the Nordic countries to team up and create joint programs. This allows for a more comprehensive Nordic approach which brings better learning outcomes to the students and helps create a Nordic sense of belonging. As of now, there are 18 different programs offered in English, which propose this Nordic approach to their students with the opportunity to move every semester or year to a different university and country to pursue their degree. Programs are offered in multiple fields such as social work and welfare, cold climate engineering, urban planning, marine bio-resources, intelligent software systems and environmental law (See the full list on the link below).

So far, this program has been nothing but eye-opening for multiple reasons. First, being able to explore Finland and Norway (so far) has been fantastic become of the sight-seeing experiences. Second, studying in each country immerses you in the culture and if I didn't experience Finland, I would not have learned about Alvar Aalto’s views on the links between the creation of the State of Finland and the creation of a distinct Finnish national architecture or how the Academy of Finland determines the country’s scientific research priorities. In Norway, I wouldn’t either have learned how the country has managed its oil resources in the past decades and all the traditions around May 17th celebrations. These are the kind of discoveries that make these programs interesting not only on the educational level but also on the cultural level.

I'm so grateful for these wonderful opportunities that I have had so far, and I hope my little text will inspire you to consider one of these programmes or that you will talk about it to your relatives or friends who may be interested.

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