The Nordiskt Ordförande Møte
The Nordiskt Ordförande Møte (NOM, Nordic Presidential Meeting) is a cooperating network and consultative meeting of the Nordic and Baltic national student organisations for students in higher education. It all started in 1946 when a Nordic Student Meeting was held in Aarhus, Denmark. Today, NOM operates both as a regional cooperation platform and a network within the European student movement, especially European Students’ Union. NOM represents about 1 million students in the Nordic and Baltic countries through its member unions. NOM convenes twice a year for a combined seminar and meeting, which is held on a rotational basis, if not otherwise agreed. During every NOM meeting a statutory meeting of the national student unions of Nordic and Baltic countries is held.
The aim of NOM is to bring together the National Unions of Students (NUS) in the Nordic and Baltic countries with the purpose of gathering information, to discuss and to promote the educational interests of university students. This includes organizational, educational, welfare, financial and international matters. Every NOM meeting has a theme but overall it is all about discussing common challenges that students and student organisations face.
NOM’s member unions comprise the National Unions of Students of Denmark (DSF), Faroe Islands (MFS), Finland (SAMOK and SYL), Iceland (LÍS), Norway (NSO), Greenland (ILI ILI and AVALAK), Sweden (SFS), Estonia (EÜL), Latvia (LSA) and Lithuania (LSS).
Danske Studerendes Faellesråd (DSF)
Eesti Üliõpilaskondade Liit (EÜL)
Ilisimatusartut Kattuffiat (ILI ILI)
Kalaallit Danmarkimi Ilinniagaqartut Kattuffiat (AVALAK)
Landssamtök íslenskra stúdeta (LÍS)
Latvijas Studentu apvieniba (LSA)
Lietuvos studentų sąjunga (LSS)
Meginfelag Froyskra Studenta (MFS)
Norsk studentorganisasjon (NSU)
Organisationen af Grønlandske Studerende i Danmark (Avalak)
Suomen opiskelijakuntien liitto (SAMOK)
Suomen ylioppilaskuntien liitto (SYL)
Sveriges Förenade Studentkårer (SFS)
NOM has its own mailing list, where information can be shared. The address of the list is: firstname.lastname@example.org Only subscribers can post emails to the list. If you are unsure of whether you’re on the list or not, please contact the adviser for international affairs at SYL.
In 1946 a Nordic Student Meeting was held in Aarhus, which was a very significant event when it came to the development of Nordic co-operation. From this meeting emerged the later Nordic Presidential Meeting (Nordiskt Ordförandemöte – NOM). 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
- The 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 and joint professional publications
- Regular meetings in the various fields.
In the 1950’s 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 NUSs 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.
By the 1960’s NOM had become a biannual event, discussing and reporting about current issues. There were also some attempts to create joint policies prior to international meetings and seminars.
In the 1970’s NOM discussions were centered around four areas: organizational, international, socio-political and educational issues. These categories had been written in the NOM rules and regulations accepted in 1974. It was agreed that hosting the NOM would rotate between the participating NUSs, with 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. 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.
Besides NOM meetings, several other Nordic student events were arranged in the 1970’s. It was then that the tradition of Nordic Student Housing Conferences was initiated (the first one was held in 1975).
In the beginning of the 1980’s 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. 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.
The themes of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s NOM meetings focused almost entirely on socio-economic and educational questions. The situation of foreign students in the Nordic countries emerged as a new permanent topic.
In 2006 three organisations applied for the membership of NOM and were accepted as full members: FESU (Estonia), LSA (Latvia) and LSS (Lithuania). This historical event extended the cooperation to Baltic countries and welcomed new perspectives to NOM cooperation.
In practice English is now the official language of the NOM meetings, though the question of language has often emerged within NOM. The principle was for a long time that the language to be used in the Nordic co-operation should be “Scandinavian”. Only when someone had difficulties understanding the discussions English was used, but since NOM has grown and a lot of participants do not speak “Scandinavian” has this principle been removed in favor of inclusion.