The impacts of the higher education experience in the quality of life : a Norwegian-based study focusing on individuals with an ethnic minority background

Master thesis English OPEN
Pinheiro, Romulo Teixeira (2005)

In the last couple of years, considerable attention has been given to the integration of ethnic minority individuals in western societies. The Scandinavian region is no exception and renewed debates on the (modern) nature of the welfare state have led to intense political manoeuvring surrounding the opportunities provided to socially disadvantaged groups such as ethnic minorities. In the Norwegian national context, the (broad) educational attainment (and performance) of ethnic minority groups living in the country is below national averages. Within the higher education sub-sector, students possessing a minority background are nderrepresented. Enrolment and graduation rates are below national averages, and, most seriously, dropout rates amongst minority pupils, across the sector, are extremely high. Advocates of the ‘human capital theory’ have presented convincing evidence of the private and social returns of educational endeavours. Most importantly, higher education is seen as a critical ‘capital’ with regard to individuals’ social mobility and consequent levels of socio-economic well-being. ‘Quality of Life’ has emerged in recent years as a key policy-instrument used to measure and tackle socio-economic inequalities amongst inhabitants and the regions they inhabit. This theoretical perspective provides a ‘holistic’ notion of life and living beyond traditional econometric assessments used by some social scientists. The analysis provided in this report brings together the (often) dissociated concepts of ‘quality of life’, ‘ethnic minorities’, and ‘higher education’. It is shown that quality of life outlooks amongst the minority individuals composing the study-sample differ slightly from individual to individual. The study also sheds light on the nature of the direct/indirect impacts of individuals’ higher education experiences on the different domains of their quality of life, where a positive contribution is revealed.
  • References (33)
    33 references, page 1 of 4

    Helland, H. (1997). Etnisitet og skoletilpasning. En undersøkelse av norske, pakistanske og konfusianske Osloungdommers skoleprestasjoner. Magistergradsavhandling, Institutt for sosiologi og samfunnsgeografi, Universitetet i Oslo.

    HiO (2005a). 'Personal interview with senior administrator and MiP ('Minoriteter I Profesjonsutdanning') project-leader Ida Marie Andersen', May. Høgskolen I Oslo.

    HiO (2005b). ”Flere Minoritetsstudenter ved HiO”. Høgskolen i Oslo. Online at:

    HiO (2005c). StudData. Database for studier av rekruttering og kvalifisering til profesjonell yrkesutøving. Høgskolen i Oslo. Online at:

    Hodge, J. (1990). “The quality of life: A contrast between utilitarian and existentialist approaches”. In, Baldwin, S., Godfrey, C. and Propper, C. (eds.) (1990). The Quality of Life: Perspectives and Policies, p. 42-54. London:. Routledge.

    Hoyle, R., Harris, M., Judd, J. and Charles, M. (2002). Research Method in Social Relations. 7th ed. Wadsworth Thomson Learning Inc.

    Hustad, Arnt E. (1999). ”Begår innvandrere mer kriminalitet enn andre?”. Samfunnspeilet 3/99. Tidskrift for levekår og livsstil. Statistisk sentralbyrå, Oslo.

    Hvistendahl, R. and Roe, A. (2004). “The Literacy Achievement of Norwegian Minority students”. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 48(3), July. Hällgren, C. and Weiner, G. (2001). “The Web, Antiracism, Education and the State in Sweden: Why here? Why now?” Revised version of paper presented at the conference, 'Governing Patterns of the Child, Education and the Welfare State', Norsjö, Sweden, 18-20 May. Online at: Häyry, M. (1999). “Measuring Quality of Life: How and What?” In, Joyce, C., O'Boyle, C., and McGee, H. (eds.) (1999). Individual quality of life. Approaches to conceptualisation and assessment, p. 9-27. Reading:. Harwood Academic.

    IHEP. (1998). The New Millennium Project on Higher Education Costs, Pricing, and Productivity: Reaping the Benefits. The Institute for Higher Education Policy. Washington DC. IHEP Publications. 129

    Norlin, E. (2003). “An Analysis of Immigrants' Participation in Adult Education in Sweden”. Umeå Economic Studies (617), Umeå Unversity, Department of Economics.

  • Metrics
    No metrics available
Share - Bookmark