The Faroese Path to a Comprehensive Education System

  • Nina Volckmar Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
Keywords: Faroe Islands, self-government, comprehensive education, educational development, policy diffusion, policy borrowing


This article traces the Faroese path to a comprehensive education system, following the winding road from Norwegian heritage to Danish rule and an increasing degree of autonomy. The main research question explores the extent to which the Faroese themselves have determined the development of their education system, and the extent to which Norwegian and most of all Danish influences have been crucial in this process. Previous research on the development of Faroese education is insufficient and few secondary sources are available. Therefore, this article is largely based on primary sources, such as legislation, curricula, circulars, official reports and interviews. The analysis shows that changes in governance structures and economic conditions are determinant factors that have had impact on the extent to which the Faroese have been responsible for their own educational development. Strong economic growth in recent years has allowed the Faroe Islands to adopt what is considered to be “global education” and “international standards.”

Author Biography

Nina Volckmar, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway

Professor at the Department of Education