Vestland County is situated on the west coast of Norway and has a population of about 636 500 inhabitants (2019). The region is newly formed under the 2020 Norwegian regional reform and was established on 1 January 2020. (formerly Hordaland and Sogn & Fjordane counties). The county is made up of 43 municipalities each with their own governing councils.The county administration, Vestland County Council (VCC), is situated in Bergen (second largest city in Norway) with offices also in Leikanger and Førde.
The County has a vision to ensure the development of Vestland as an attractive and innovative region. The County Council is responsible for the county policies regarding secondary and adult education, economic and regional development, planning, tourism, energy and climate, cultural affairs, integration and inclusion, transport, communications and dental health. VCC is the owner of 46 upper secondary schools (combined VET and general studies) including adult education, and the Vocational College.
VCC aims to increase regional innovation capacity by systematically building skills and competences through the interaction between the educational sector, the labour market, municipalities and other relevant stakeholders Regional Plan for Competence and Labour 2017 (in Norwegian).
VCC cooperates with the regional knowledge clusters on several levels. Several of Norway’s most important centres of research and education are located in Bergen, i.e. the University of Bergen, the Norwegian School of Economics, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. and Marineholmen innovation district, NORCE and Western Norway Research Institute.
All county departments are engaged in international activities. Targeted and systematic focus on knowledge sharing and competence development ensures that the county of Vestland possesses the competence and skills the region needs. The objectives for the international activities are in line with these strategies, mainly linked to European cooperation financed by EU-projects. The Department of Innovation & Economic development and the Department of Education also have responsibility to mobilise and support a wide range of stakeholders, including different departments in VCC, municipalities, schools (all levels), businesses, NGOs,with EU projects and applications.Young people are a priority target group. .
EU-programmes most relevant for VCC are Interreg, Erasmus+, Horizon 2020 and EEA Grants.
VCC leads several EU-funded projects. Some of the recent and ongoing are (2020):
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Country report about vocational education and training (VET) by Cedefop.
This report features the latest news from Hordaland County Council in terms of international and European cooperation.