Education and young adults in Nordic rural areas (EDYNORA)

The “Education and young adults in Nordic rural areas” (EDYNORA) project addresses the crucial role of education in retaining and attracting young people in Nordic rural areas.

Although education is vital for rural development, highly skilled individuals frequently migrate to urban areas in pursuit of better opportunities. Urbanization introduces imbalances such as population decline and economic disparities between urban and rural regions. This highlights the need to customize educational opportunities in rural areas to align with the needs of young people and local communities.

The educational opportunities in regional centres are crucial for strengthening ties between young adults, regional labour markets, and local communities, potentially influencing young people’s decisions to stay or return to rural areas. EDYNORA investigates the impact of education, particularly higher education and vocational training, on the mobility decisions of youth and young adults. The goal is to enhance understanding and identify innovative approaches that align education with the needs and motivations of rural youth, ultimately strengthening their ties to local labour markets.

The research aims to address three key questions:

  1. What factors influence the mobility decisions of young adults, particularly in terms of education? What  are the characteristics of those choosing rural areas?
  2. How can the establishment of educational hubs in regional centres make them appealing to young individuals, influencing decisions to stay or settle in rural areas while boosting the local labour market?
  3. What possibilities and challenges exist in providing education in rural areas and regional centres, and how can policies and innovative approaches enhance education delivery?

The project implementation involves surveys, gathering statistics, and exploring innovative approaches through focus group interviews and case studies across the Nordic countries and Åland.