NOM Organizations

Here you’ll find the contact information of all NOM-organisations and also a brief description of the organisations and higher education system of the country.

Member organisations
Meginfelag Froyskra Studenta (MFS)
Norsk Studentunion (NSU)
Studentenes landsforbund (StL)
Suomen ylioppilaskuntien liitto (SYL)
Suomen ammattikorkeakouluopiskelijayhdistysten liitto (SAMOK)
Sveriges Förenade Studentkårer (SFS)
Studentarad Haskola Islands (SHI)
Bandalag íslenskra námsmanna (BISN)
Danske Studerendes Faellesråd (DSF)
Organisationen af Grønlandske Studerende i Danmark (Avalak)
Eesti Üliõpilaskondade Liit (EÜL)
Latvijas Studentu apvieniba (LSA)
Lietuvos studentu atstovybiu sajunga (LSAS)
Lietuvos studentų sąjunga (LSS)
Contact information
NOM has it’s own mailing list, where information can be shared.
The address of the list is: nom at
Only subscribers can post e-mails to the list. If you are unsure of whether you’re on the list or not, please contact the adviser for international affairs in SYL.

The Birth of NOM
In 1946 a Nordic Student Meeting was held in Aarhus, which was a very significant event when it comes to the development of Nordic co-operation. From this meeting emerged the later Nordic Presidential Meeting (Nordiskt Ordförandemöte – NOM).
It was in 1946 that SYL expressed the wish that the following issues be dealt with at the Nordic Meeting:
– The right of Nordic scholars to apply for teacher’s positions at the universities of another Nordic country
– accumulation of Nordic study tours and student exchange
– lecturer and teacher exchange between Nordic universities
– Nordic students’ freedom from the registration and tuition fees at the universities of another Nordic country
– increase of Nordic scholarships
– acceptance of training abroad
– Nordic validity of examinations
– joint text books in Nordic subjects
– joint professional publications
– regular meetings in the various fields.

The above list has been taken here because it is interesting to compare it with the themes NOM is dealing with today.

In the 1950s issues discussed at the NOMs were eg. bookstores, increasing the students’ influence at the universities, issues connected with the International Union of Students (IUS) and International Student Conference (ISC), and the international relief activities. The Nordic NUSes also cooperated within the Scandinavian Student Travel Service (SSTS). At that time they also had a jointly financed Secretariat the task of which was to organize various meetings.

The sixth Nordic NUS, MFS of the Faroe Islands, was established in 1967. By that time the NOM had become a biannual event, discussing and reporting about current issues. Joint activities were restricted to various studies. There were also some attempts to create joint policies prior to international meetings and seminars.

The student movement becomes more active
In the 1970s the NOM discussions were centered on four areas: organizational, international, socio-political and educational issues. These categories had been written in the NOM rules and regulations accepted in 1974. ALso the question of having a Nordic secretariat came up very strongly. At that time it was also agreed that hosting the NOM would rotate between the participating NUSes, with the exception of MFS, the hosting organization also chairing the meeting.

Educational issues dealt with were the university administration reform, examination reform, university resources, research, as well as science and educational policies in general in the Nordic countries. The most central socio-political issues were study financing, housing, student unemployment, the students’ social security, etc. The development had been fairly similar in the various Nordic countries and, thus, it could be said that the discussions were constructive and of good informative value.

Every NOM also discussed international politics. There was always one Nordic NUS among the members of the Preparatory Committee for the European Meeting (EM), and this NUS reported to the others. NOM was also able to give statements only on issues accepted individually by every Nordic NUS. Some NUSes were strongly of the opinion that NOM should not give political statements. At that time SYL was the only union demanding NOM to be politically active. This restricted the statements to minor solidarity issues with e.g. the Middle East, Southern Africa and Vietnam.

Besides the NOMs also several other Nordic meetings and seminars were arranged in the 1970s. It was then that e.g the tradition of Nordic Student Housing Conferences was initiated (the first one was held in 1975).

Towards the 1980s
In the beginning of the 1980s each NOM concentrated on one or two issues agreed upon in advance while the NOM was more or less like a seminar. The themes as such did not change very much, but women’s issues were introduced as a new topic. Also the question of creating a nuclear-free zone in the Nordic countries was taken up, primarily by SYL.

Now there were already seven NUSes participating in the NOMs: SFS/Sweden, NSU/Norway, DSF/Denmark, SHI/Iceland, MFS/The Faroe Islands, DKIK/Greenland and SYL/Finland. Owing to financial difficulties MFS and DKIK did not take part in every NOM, and for a long time they were not burdened with the hosting of the meeting either.

The language
The question of language has often emerged during the NOMs. The principle has been that the language to be used in Nordic co-operation should be “Scandinavian”. Only when someone has had unsurmountable difficulties in understanding the discussions English has been used. In practice English has been the language of recent NOMs, together with a sort of Scandinavian.

The themes of the late 1980s and early 1990s NOM had concentrated its attention almost entirely to socio-economic and educational questions. The position of foreign students in the Nordic countries involves both of the above issues.

The NOM unions applied for finances in order to be able to employ a Nordplus projects secretary and to have more meetings during the first Nordplus year. DKK 50.000 was received from the Nordic Youth Committee, and Karl Holm from SYL was elected Projects Secretary. In June 1989 he gave his report on the problems of Nordplus.

A students’ reference group was established for the follow-up of the Nordplus Management Group’s work and the materialization of the Norplus program. Two representatives of each Nordic NUS were appointed to the reference group and in 1989 the Nordic Ministers’ Council appropriated DKK 100 000 for the financing of its work. A report was given to NMR in 1992.

In 1987 the question of a NOM secretary once again was taken up, but the idea was abandoned after thorough discussions. The introduction of the Nordplus Program increased the actuality of this issue. It has been raised up again in the 1990′s with not very much enthusiasm. The need for more thorough preparation of the NOMs and the exchange of information has been recognized by all NUSes concerned, though. In 1994 SFS and in 1995 DSF volunteered to be a coordinator of NOM but the experiment was not very succesfull as it did neither improve the preparation of the meetings nor the flow of information between the NUSes.

In 1989 at the NOM in the Faroe Islands SHI, MFS and DKIK decided that they would form a North-Western group which in connection with NOMs would meet and discuss the specific problems of their area. This cooperation seems to have disappeared as the years have gone by. MFS and DKIK have not been participating in every NOM meeting due to limited resources, but their participation in NOM has always been very much encouraged by all the other NUSes.

Normally NOM has been convened twice a year, and until 1996 the tradition of biannual meetings has continued. In 1995 the NOM in the Faroe Islands decided to have once a year a normal NOM meeting and once a year a NOM seminar. In the spring of 1996 the first NOM seminar was held in Copenhagen under the theme “Social welfare and living conditions of students in the Nordic and Baltic countries.” The Baltic NUSes had attended the NOM in the Faroe Islands already in 1992 but not since then. It was agreed in 1995 to invite them to NOM seminars from now on. It was also in Copenhagen that LMS/Denmark participated in the work of NOM for the first time.

In 1995 a NOM File was created to help the NUSes to find out more information about other NUSes and systems in their country. The file contains information about every NUS, their work, education system, welfare system etc.

Since 1987 Nordplus has been THE theme of the NOMs although there have been also other issues on the agenda. Since 1993 the Common Educational Market has been THE topic. Also minorities, a common Nordic student card, international matters (ESIB, Youth Forum etc.), Lifelong Learning and EU have been on the agenda. Otherwise, the themes discussed have been very similar to those proposed by SYL in 1946 to the Nordic Meeting. The process has been slow but lasting.

What is NOM today, summa summarum
During various periods the various Nordic NUSes have had various opinions about the importance of NOM. Yet it has survived the fifty years of ups and downs.
In 2006 three organisations applied for the membership of NOM and were accepted as full members: FESU (Esthonia), LSA (Latvia) and LSS (Lithuania). This historical event extended the cooperation to more natural regional boundaries and welcomed new ideas and thoughts to NOM cooperation.
In Finland we very much appreciate this co-operation and do hope that, despite the quick turnover of persons involved in the NUSes, this form of co-operation will continue and develop.

NOM Meetings
Next NOM: Reykjavik 6-9.4

Previous events
Helsinki 4-6.11